Originally Posted by jbarros
John, thanks, that makes a lot more sense. I couldn't imagine the sail area being that different on the two.
Also, I'm not sure if this should be a new thread, but...
I understand how a staysail could be really beneficial on long offshore passages. An extra knot or two over a few weeks journey, another way to balance the boat with less sail area up, if you want to drop the genoa, etc etc etc, but I know from experience what a pain tacking a cutter rig is.
I believe that the PS 31 comes in either cutter or sloop rig. I've heard of boats that have a "removable"? staysail, which is to say that the staysail stay unclips from a point on the foredeck and attaches somewhere out of the way for near coastal and channel work, effectively leaving you with an easy to tack sloop. Do many boats do this? Does it work without doing horrible things to the structural integrity of mast and deck? Other advantages and disadvantages of this type of design?
What you describe (releasable inner forestay) is done fairly common on many boats that are rigged for double headsails. Some are true cutters, others are just double-headsail sloops.
Sailing coastaly, with a lot of tacking, the sloop configuration is generally considered an easier sailplan to manage. Off-shore, on long passages, the staysail would not be much of a hindrance at all, and offers some benefits.
As long as the rig is designed to be sound without a fixed inner forestay, there's usually no problem structurally. Our boat can have the inner forestay, or not - it doesn't matter. I would prefer to have it in real heavy going, along with the running backstays. But we've never sailed our boat in conditions where I felt we needed it.