Originally Posted by killarney_sailor
After reading the heavy weather thread I thought I would do this in a separate thread because it is quite specific.
I have a storm trysail that I have never used in anger although I have put it up a couple of times. It has its own track that goes down to the deck - on occasions I have put the sail on the track and tied the bag down to the deck which works fine. I will likely do the same in the Indian Ocean and in particular from Mauritius to Durban which I understand can be particularly nasty.
Here is the question. The sail is set up to be attached to the boom rather than deck. There is a large solid eye on the boom for this and the sail has a long, substantial line attached to the clew. I have a rigid boom so I can't drop the boom to the deck in any case so I think it makes sense to use the boom and keep it under control. Question is, what is the best way to get the clew attached and tight? Because of the length of the line on the clew, it looks like it is designed to go through the eye on the boom and then come back to the mast - likely put it around the mast and then tie to a cleat there. Should I put it onto a winch to get it really tight? I am thinking that I would need to have the rest of the sail tied up in some way so that the wind cannot get it - even the bit that would be out would be under a lot of stress at >>40 knots. I think in most conditions that 40 knots is not an issue at all, I am thinking of this sail in the 45 to 60 knot range. Any thoughts?
I don't think you want to attach the clue to the boom. One reason is to protect the boom from the increased loads. Another is that when you are sailing down wind and the boat rolls, the boom can dip in the water and maybe break. Another is so you don't have to do all that tinkering about at the mast. Hauling in the clew on a trysail in 40+ knots is not going to be easy. Also are the cleats, cam locks strong enough for the loads?
Take a look at the "Pardey's Storm Tactics Handbook", checklist #6, Items 2-6.
I found that leading the sheets aft to a block and tackle on the toe rail, and another though the aft hawse holes and then using the primaries for adjusting to be easy. You can also ease the sheet to prevent chafe as well from the cockpit.
My trysail is rigged and ready to go at the mast on certain passages as well. Only have to run the heavy permanently attached sheets back to the primaries and then attach the halyard, raise the sail and were off to the races.
Think you'll get plenty of chance to use the trysail on the trip to Africa. Maybe even more so on the trip form Durban to the Cape, Nasty down there as well, but good Wx forecast so everybody scampering down together.
Still think you should stop in Malaysia/Thailand/Singapore for a year.....