Actually, on a fractional rig, it can be more dangerous, since the mast may not be supported at the point the forestay attaches to the mast. With a masthead rig, the backstay and forestay attach at roughly the same point on the mast and will oppose each other. As long as the rigging is in good shape, it really shouldn't matter much with either type of rig. The larger forces generated by a masthead rig's larger sail are offset by the fact that the fractional rig may lead to the mast pumping.
It's probably safer (if it were ever in doubt) on a fractional rig in a blow than with a masthead rig because:
- The forces acting on the mast will be lower down (not at the masthead).
- Fractional rig headsails tend to be smaller than their masthead counterparts.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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