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Old 03-24-2009
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Sailing w/two head sails

I was just curious if anyone ever sails with two heads sails... on the same head stay! I can't say I've ever seen this done in person. Maybe pictures in a magazine or something.

I have a 23 O'day Tempest that came with two jibs. It never occured to me to hoist them both on a long downwind run and pass on the main, but is this possible or efficient? Pros or cons? Anyone?

Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2009
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are they the same size? I have never heard of someone flying 2 sails on the same stay, the person may have just gotten a new sail and kept the old one or one is larger than the other
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Old 03-24-2009
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Yes one is a little newer than the other. I realize that the newer one was purchased to replace the older one by the PO.

They are very close to the same size. Maybe a couple sq ft difference. My thought was running them both up and not using the main, and also not having to rig a preventer for the main.

Just curious if anyone does this...
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Old 03-24-2009
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It was a common practice when sailing downwind in the trade winds.
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Old 03-24-2009
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I have seen that a couple of times but never tried it myself. I do have the rigging to try it but just go wing on wing. I think under higher winds you might have a tendency to push the bow down a bit, not sure though.
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Old 03-24-2009
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I've done it with hank-on sails. You stagger the hanks as you put them on. With a twin-groove roller furler extrusion it can also be done.

Here's a Dana 24 in action with twin-headsails:

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 03-25-2009
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As I mentioned in another thread, I just checked out a Cal 36 with twin forestays that apparently is set-up to run two headsails. Seems like that would be easier/safer than hank two onto one stay.
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Old 03-25-2009
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I've done it while racing downwind in 18-25 kt winds. Having never done it before, I was apprehensive about raising the twin jibs in that much wind, but we sailed downwind all night, and found that the boat was very stable, and our ability to control the boat was never in doubt. The boat did a lot of surfing that night! By comparison, we saw a number of spinnakers shredded by the wind, but the much stronger sailcloth of the twin jibs was never close to being overstressed.

In the strongest winds, I doubt that a spinnaker would have been significantly faster, but a spinnaker would have been harder to control in that much wind. As the wind eased into the 18 kt range, I think the spinnaker would have been faster.

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Another common variant of the idea was to pole out two identical headsails, and then use sheet to tiller steering to automatically correct the heading... this was often referred to as a Twistle rig.
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