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Old 04-02-2009
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Dear Own-
In his post, Jeff mentions that he likes to singlehand, and that having a babystay makes gybing the pole a P.I.T.A. and dangerous. With a babystay rigged, you have to do an end-for-end gybe. Singlehanded, this means lots of loose ends flapping around and things that can go wrong while the boat wallows through the maneuver with no one at the helm. The babystay also makes it necessary to handle the loose pole further out on the foredeck - adding to the danger. Using lazy sheets and guys without a babystay enables you to perform a dip pole gybe, which gives you much more control over the situation. It's also a lot quicker (and safer) to switch the guy in the jaws on a dip-pole gybe than it is to be fishing around with a pole swinging from just the topping lift.

If you're only going to rig your babystay in heavy weather, possibly to hoist a staysail or storm jib instead of your genoa, then you're not likely to be flying a spinnaker at that point, and the issue won't affect you. When the chute's up, the crew can put the babystay away. If you've got a boat that needs the babystay to keep the rig in the boat, or to bend the mast for tuning, then it's a different story. I've been on boats that stowed them when not needed, and even then they can be a hassle: clunking around and getting in the way of smooth leads and such. Getting a mast that's strong enough without is is a much simpler solution. K.I.S.S.
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