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post #2 of Old 04-29-2002
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Cutter rig vs. sloop rig

While we wait for the real experts to reply, I can tell you what little I know: cutters are generally thought to offer more options for balancing your sailplan. Having, for example, a genoa on a headstay furler, and a smaller staysail (some prefer hanked-on over a furler), you can quickly quickly furl the genny and get the staysail into action in a blow. The staysail is closer to the mast, moving the center of effort closer to the midpoint of the boat, as well as lower.

Some claim that tacking a large headsail around the forestay can be a problem, but there are designs for temporarily repositioning the forestay when you are using just the headstay and genoa.

I believe that a cutter''s best point of sail is reaching. With the wind from close to broad reach, the extra sail can offer a lot of drive. While beating and running, the staysail is said to offer little to the sailplan. Of course, there are exceptions to this, too. I have seen some boats with two poles running the headsail and staysail "wing and wing."

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