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post #15 of Old 01-11-2008
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Cutter rig, comment

We have a cutter, with furlers on both the genoa and the staysail.

Big disadvantage:
Tacking the genoa, and sucessfully getting it folded thru the slot between the stays, is tricky, sometimes it gets stuck. It helps to backwind it halfway thru the tack, then let it go, the timing is critical.

Big advantage#1: When the wind pipes up to 20 knots, we furl the genoa, use the staysail and the main with one reef. The boat sails well and the helm is balanced this way.

Big advantage#2: When the wind is above gusting above 28 knots, we use the staysail alone, the ride is ok and the helm balance ok. You won't go close hauled like this, though. Basically, it's a built-in storm jib.

Small advantage: flying both jibs looks cool but does not really increase sailing speed much, except on a reach, perhaps 1/2 knot increase, maybe less, depending on trim.

Convertible Sloop/Cutter: I modified the rig to avoid the big disadvantage; I built a sliding car, like a spinnaker car, only heavier, that takes the head of the staysail, and added another stemhead fitting near the mast. We use a quick-disconnect pin at the stemhead(s). For normal sailing, we are now a sloop, the staysail car is slid up and the the staysail furled, almost vertically, near the mast. We only deploy it in high winds. So the boat is now a convertible cutter/sloop ( "Slutter"? "Cloop"? ???). Now we are normally a sloop, and tacking is easy; but we can deploy the staysail when we want it. Converting takes only a minute. I think two boatbuilders make something like this off-the-shelf, Caliber yachts, and perhaps Shannon(?), they call it a "Scutter" rig.
It works for us.
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