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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-13-2006
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Question Twistle

Has anyone had any experience or views on the "Twistle" double headsail rig as suggested in John Vigor's books? It seems to be a twin jib rigged on poles pointing forward of the stem. That is, viewed from above, the sails would appear to have the apex of a triangle pointed backwards toward the stem. Vigor says that this rig was ideal for downwind sailing in the Atlantic trades and moved the center of effort so far foward that the load on his vane steering gear was minimal.
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Old 09-14-2006
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While it may work, and be quite effective, newer autopilots may have so little power draw that the costs of the Twistle setup may not be worth it. Many offshore sailors work to avoid the moving (read:breakable) parts of vane steering gear and go for solar panels powering autopilots. (K.I.S.S.!) Vanes don't depend on batteries or motors, but they by definition are out where they're likely to get worn or damaged in heavy weather. They also don't tend to work well in the lighter stuff. Just my $.02
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Old 09-14-2006
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i have seen a few

i almost went for one on an atlantic crossing but went with a gennaker and mizzen spinnaker instead.
i think it is a very efficient rig and keeps down the rolling found in the trades. i have seen most of them on British boats. the only difficulty is finding someone to make the gadget that joins the poles forward of the mast.
fair winds,
eric
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Old 09-14-2006
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paul k

upon re-reading your post, i don't see the relevancy to an autopilot and soar panels to a twistle rig. you still have to steer this rig, the benefit is that you have twin poled out headsails and they are somewhat self tending in a rolling trade wind sea.
fair winds,
eric
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Old 09-15-2006
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A friend of mine had something similar on his boat... it was two headsails that had a common luff. It was used to sail wing-and-wing, but IIRC, they didn't pole it out, although I don't see why they couldn't do so. He had the sheets led back to a bungie cord rig and the tiller, and it was supposed to be self-steering, but I never saw the self-steering in action, so can't say how well it worked.
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Old 09-15-2006
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My question about the twistel rig was more related to the "reverse" direction of the rig. I can understand using twin headsails and twin headsails polled out. I can't understand why having the polls pointing over the bow would have the effect of reducing the rolling anymore than anyother headsail rig.
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Old 09-15-2006
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I believe it is because the center of effort is so far forward, that the rolling is reduced. Also, because the sails are canted forwards, rather than perpendicular to the wind, they will tend to spill gusts, rather than tip the boat much.
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Old 09-15-2006
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Twistle timeliness

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberlite
upon re-reading your post, i don't see the relevancy to an autopilot and soar panels to a twistle rig. you still have to steer this rig, the benefit is that you have twin poled out headsails and they are somewhat self tending in a rolling trade wind sea.
fair winds,
eric
The Twistle rig was lauded because it lessened the stress on the windvane self-steering gear. Fewer and fewer oceanic sailors are depending upon windvanes these days, because of their inherent weaknesses. They have many moving parts to break, and they're out where they can be blown off by the wind or knocked off by waves. They perform poorly in light air. Autopilots can be placed inside the boat, linked to the quadrant by gears or hydraulics that are not out in the weather, so they are less likely to get damaged. They work in light or heavy air. Electrical power requirements for them have dropped so low that you could sail with a single-headsail rig (let alone two), use the autopilot all the time and still not drain down your batteries. Why bother, therefore, with setting up a Twistle rig? You'd have to buy an extra headsail, additional sheets, another forestay (?) a second whisker pole, and whatever other special hardware it requires. You'd still have the same autopilot, which would be able to handle more than the Twistle rig required of it. Seems like needless overkill, complication and expense to me. Of course, if I've got a long-haul downwind opportunity, I set the spinnaker.
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Old 09-16-2006
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this is not the twistle rigs that i have seen.

The twistle rigs that i have seen have the poles attached to the clews of the twin headsails aft of the forestay. the twin headsails sit in the port and starboard grooves of the headstay foil.
the poles are joined forward of the mast and aft of the sails with the "twistle rig connector"
this is like a universal joint that joins the two poles. it has provisions for a foreguy, aftguy, topping lift and downhaul.
the twistle connector is held in place by these four lines forward of the mast and floats there.
you do not need an additional forestay. you still need to steer the boat either via autopilot of windvane.
the rig only requires the twistle, a second headsail, and a second pole.
on my amel the boat comes equipped with a genoa which is set to port on the headstay and a balooner "like a spinnaker" that is set on the starboard headstay track. we are provided with double poles as stock equipment. both this rig and the twistle rig put up a heck of a lot of sail area. on my boat it is about 1900 sq feet and my gennaker is only 1500 sq feet.
i admit the gennaker is a lot easier to fly but once set up you can run the twin headsail for days on end.
fair winds,
eric

fair winds,
eric
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Old 07-05-2010
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Twissler Yard

Although I don't have a twissler, I'll be putting one on my small sloop as soon as convenient. They have a reputation for giving a steady ride downhill, and for lifting the bow in a blow, thereby protecting somewhat from the risk of a pitchpole.
Cheers
ChippeJ.
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