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Old 09-14-2012
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Re: PSC 37 How many have done away with staysail?

VALIS is a PSC44, but we have a permanent staysail on a furler. We have a 120% genoa with a slightly high clew. It's not a yankee, but it's not a deck-sweeper either (I had the foot cut high for visibility).

* The staysail does help the boat speed in light and moderate air, at least when on a reach.

* In light air the genoa often hangs up on the furled staysail. This happens regardless of the way the sheets are tied to the clew. I've currently got two bowlines, but before that I had a single line with a lark's head (cow hitch / luggage-tag) at the clew. It's the sail itself that hangs up, not the knot (usually). Waiting for the genoa to backwind before releasing the sheet sometimes helps, and I can usually horse it around the staysail stay by pulling hard on the sheet, but sometimes one of us has to go forward to pull the sail around the stay. In heavier air the genoa is much less likely to hang up.

* If I partially furl the genoa it doesn't usually get snagged. If I have the staysail unfurled and backwinded, the staysail keeps the genoa from wrapping around the staysail stay and the genoa tacks easily. The staysail is the last sail to be tacked.

* I really like the staysail. In big winds (40 kts +) the boat balances nicely with staysail and deeply-reefed main, or with staysail only. In lighter winds the staysail can help with boat speed. No doubt the staysail is less efficient than a full inventory of properly-sized jibs, but with my roller-furled sails the staysail gives me some nice options.

* Finally, the staysail just looks good. I sometimes fly that thing just because it makes the boat look pretty.
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Paul Elliott
S/V VALIS - PSC 44 #16 - Sausalito, California

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