Join Date: May 2005
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WHile I have not sailed one, to me the easiest would be a fractional sloop. To reduce sail, be it easy or not, you start to reef the main. A MH sloop, if you start with a 150 genoa or equal, you have to downgrade both the main and jib as you go. Ketch/yawl configs, do have some advantages in that one can drop the main sail, sail with a jib and mizzen and still be balanced. Cutters are not to bad either, as the main and staysail jib are self tending/tacking for the most part. Schooners, no idea!
With that, I do know from sailing my stepdads yawl with out the mizzen up, she is REALLY lee helmed! My MH rig, with a mini forstay as mentioned, is a PITA to tack anything more than about a 130 without having someone forward to pass the HS around the mini stay. Without it, a 150 is reasonably easy to tack, almost like a fractional or MH with a smaller HS. Mine with a 110 up is really simple, but lacking in power on light days!.
I do not have an RF system, so I do not as mentioned by TD the ability to use a larger HS, roll up, tack and unroll the HS> I could see this as being handy! or having an AS for down wind use, roll up to gybe, unroll when on the other tack/gybe if you will!
TO say that there is a BEST way or rig........not sure I am willing to say that. With that, some rigs are easier than others. If going used, you are limited, If new. look at rigs like the Jeanneau SF3200, Elan 350/310, Archenbault 31,34, 35 to name a few. Yeah, a bit thin on the inside coverings. but that is a easy fix! these have been designed to sail across oceans SH/DH racing. So they are fast, easy to tack, gybe etc with one or two folks onboard. Livening up the inside coverings, pretty easy. Easier tha making a rig that is not setup to SH/DH that is nice on the inside IMHO! Some boats just plain need rail meat to stay level!
She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!