Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Furling Main Sails
Well, I don''t mean to argue against ''systems'' and ''complexity'' when it meets needs otherwise not well met. E.g. we''ve got what to me is a pretty sophisticated DC electrical system (tho'' also very common on cruising boats these days...) but it''s so integral to the kind of lifesytle we sought that it''s easily justified...and also troublefree. Guess I was suggesting that WRT rigging and sail handling, it doesn''t need to be full of hardware to be effective and safe.
"One question, what is a Solent Stay? is this a removable stay?"
Yes. You might visit www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/Whoosh%20Main%20Page.htm and read the article I wrote on Boat Modifications; it includes a short write-up on a Solent Stay and also a rigger''s website where I found helpful info. For your anticipated level of cruising, I think it''s quite appropriate.
"Another question, the Ketch rig used to be the rig of choice for cruising. But this seems to be changing. In Jimmy Cornell''s "world Cruising Survey" the cutter rig is the favorite. I would asume this is due to better reefing, furling and sail construction. What is your experience?"
The trend to cutters began two decades ago altho'' the whole rig choice thing IMO takes on a ''black & white'' tone to it (one good rig, all the others are lousy choices) that bypasses lots of distinct differences. Cutters earned their rep on sailing better to windward than ketches, and also offering a well-stayed rig that could be semi-easily reefed down in a blow. Everyone likes the idea of a smaller sail, set closer to the CE, being available when the wind starts to moan and you need to roll up the genoa. The fact that these different rigs are all equally easily reefed, and can each offer an inner stay, somehow seems to have escaped the debate.
I''ve never been a fan of ketches but ironically both our larger cruising boats have been ketch rigged. The fact we''re pleased with the rig we have, for us, tells me there clearly must be benefits. We sail short-handed (just the two of us, now both 60) so having a lower profile sailplan with no sail truly huge in size is just fine by me (the sail handler). We have a low SA/D ratio, yet with a 135 and a mizzen staysail, the boat can be moved well in light winds. We don''t point as well to weather as single-masted boats, but it''s more due to our shallower draft and beamy hull than to the ketch rig, and we find - at least for the kind of sailing we do - this isn''t the limitation it might seem as the boat sails acceptably to weather when reefed down and the mizzen stowed and in lighter winds and shorter runs, we motorsail (as, we notice, virtually all other boats do). Today ketches are ignored by builders and yachtie magazines (seemingly more complex, more expensive, rarely discussed in the mags) but that doesn''t mean they don''t have their advantages, as they always have...and disadvantages, too. Cutters are less versatile on all points of sail and wind strengths than their rep acknowledges, so perhaps someone will ''discover'' the benefits of a split rig once of these days.<g>