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  #1  
Old 12-26-2012
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Third Reef or Storm Trysail?

We currently have a fully battened Doyle main with stack pack. It has the standard two reefs but the second reef leaves a lot of sail up and we definitely need a smaller option.
We do have a second track on the mast so a storm trysail is an option but it feels like a third reef might be easier to manage in a blow than setting up another sail.
We have simple at-the-mast reefing but setting up a third reefing line will not be trivial. It is not clear to me how the trysail outhaul is managed in any event.

Advice much appreciated.

Thanks

Graham
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Last edited by GrahamO; 12-26-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

How would the sail area of the 3rd reefed main and the tri-sail compare?
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

Couple questions: How much abuse do you want the main to take? Are you racing offshore? If so you need the trysail.
Can't give you an answer, just thoughts!
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Old 12-26-2012
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Third Reef or Storm Sail?

The trysail is not made yet so I guess it would be about the same area as the 3rd reef but maybe with the option of a reef of its own. I'm guessing that by that stage the stack pack closed would be about the same area....

Planned use is contingency for offshore runs between Maine and the Bahamas via Bermuda and trips to Newfoundland or similar.

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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

I use a triple reefed main ... and there are some considerations worth discussing, here.

Unless the main has already been constructed 'robust' for 'offshore' work, you do risk vulnerability. A try'sl will usually have wide overlapping seaming which are triple stitched and will/may have panel seams reinforced with triangular patches along the leech section for extra 'robustness' and to prevent 'the splits'.

FWIW, I build my own sails.
My triple reef main is triple stitched with the seams overly broad to better distribute any adverse wind loading. The seams are also 'glued' (PECO tape).
This is a cross-cut sail with all the panel seams reinforced at the leech / aft end with triangular patch reinforcements to prevent panel separation ('the splits') that usually starts at the leech end. The sail has an 'over-the-top' leech line system ... which makes the leech purse line equally adjustable from the normal leech / 'boom end' OR from the base of the mast .... so I dont have to 'hang out over green water' to adjust proper leech tension. Improper Leech tension is probably the cause of most sail panel/cloth failure ... leech flutter between batten stations along the leech, usually between battens #1 & #2 where the roach has its largest 'curve'.
The largest problem when triple reefed is the large amount of 'bunt' on the boom and the large amount of 'slugs stacked up' at the bottom of the mast slug track (even with the addition of 'slug jacklines' along the luff (usually found only for the 'first' reef position)... so that your not able to get a 'direct' line of force to properly operate the outhaul and needed foot tension ... the 'stack up' of slugs at the mast base requires the tack cringle of the third reef position to be FAR above the gooseneck and really requires that the third reef tack be 'additionally' tied to the mast to oppose outhaul tension (and at an angle).

Other - If you have rigid boom vang, can you up-angle the boom aft end sufficiently to match the third reef clew elevation to be somewhat equal in elevation to the third reef tack position now sitting high above the gooseneck because of all those slugs on top of one another at the mast base? Or does the sail's 'third reef' configuration already include the angled geometry (clew, reef points, etc.) to 'clear' all the 'mess' now tied onto the boom?

A properly built trysl doesnt need all these 'alterations', has a 'reversed' hollow leech for simple (automatic ?) leech tension control, etc.

A triple reef main is quite a 'bother' to set up and unless your main has been constructed with the proper panel/seam/leech 'reinforcements' as discussed above (or that the upper panels at the head of the sail are already built of the proper heavier weight cloth and seaming, etc.), its probably much simpler and easier and less 'fuss' to carry and fly a try'sl during those very few times you're going to NEED it.

;-)
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

We are cruising and chose to go with a third reef. The bunched up slugs and having to deal with them (or being lazy and letting your sail ride high) which RichH covered well are both PITAs but we still prefer the 3rd reef.

Two other considerations are that a storm trysail keeps your center of effort lower (think of a triangle that is longer fore aft than it is up and down) than a third reef (a triangle that is longer up down than fore aft) and also that a trysail can be flown as a replacement main if you completely lose your mainsail.

Still, we decided not to bother with the trysail. We have sailed from Canada-Mexico-S Pacific so far and have flown the 3rd reef only once for a sustained amount of time (off Oregon Coast) and once or twice during squalls.
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

I dont have a trysail. The main has 2 reefs, but the first reef is equivalent to about a 2.5 and the 2nd reef is equiv to a 3.5 = a very short main. Only fully reefed in anger once for a 24hr period.

Have a beaut storm jib - in bag on foredeck, always ready when on passage.
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

Put in a deep,second reef.


I did. Its wonderful
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

I have both. When your boom breaks offshore you will appreciate the 2nd track and trysail....
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Third Reef or Storm Sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
I have both. When your boom breaks offshore you will appreciate the 2nd track and trysail....
Much better to not break the boom by not stressing the boat.

Just imagine going up on deck in 40 knots or more and playing with a trysail or storm jib when you could just reef the normal kit from the cockpit and go below and have a hot cuppa tea?

Mark
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