Re: Question for those who sail cutters
Even a 'baby stay' can seriously interfere with tacking on some boats. I'd imagine a staysail would be even worse.
I believe that on the double headsail rigs you mention, if you're on the forward sail it's expected you'd roll the sail up, tack and unfurl and carry on. (unless the outer sail is a A sail and you do an outside gybe downwind) If you're on the inside sail it's no issue. These rigs are not intended for short upwind legs with any significant frequency of tacks.
Was the staysail flying, or was it just the forestay/furler than was the hangup? In the case of the Hylas it may well have been quicker (and easier on the sail) to partially furl and unfurl the sail during the tack.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)