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Old 10-16-2013
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Fitting out a staysail...stay

Hi there, Ive got a project Idd like to throw through the ringer of folks on here. Im looking to fit my mast with a stay for a stay sail, essentially cutter rigging my ketch. Im 31ft from stern to stem and 5ft3inches from stem to forstay attachment. from stem to main mast base its 9ft.
What Id like to know is where on the mast (40 or so feet tall) I should attatch the ftting for the staysail halyard block. Ive seen on other cutters that the distance between staysail halyard fitting and mast head (on masthead rigs) in bigger than between the two tacks down below. A friend of mine has told me that they should be equal distances between the two heads and the tacks. My jib is on the forestay is high cut and only 100%.
I am also interested to know how I would go about turning a hank on jib cut n sewed into something to work for the staysail.
I know there is a lot of knowlegable folks on here.
Any help is greatly appreiciated.
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Old 10-16-2013
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

I am not one of those knowledgeable ones. Do you want to use it for a little more push when a blooper wont fill, or for a little more steerage in the middle of a hurricane? Someone who knows what they are doing needs to advise on strength of the mast. The higher up and the larger the more air it will catch. I just fell in love with schooners again.
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Old 10-16-2013
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveitwell View Post
Hi there, Ive got a project Idd like to throw through the ringer of folks on here. Im looking to fit my mast with a stay for a stay sail, essentially cutter rigging my ketch. Im 31ft from stern to stem and 5ft3inches from stem to forstay attachment. from stem to main mast base its 9ft.
What Id like to know is where on the mast (40 or so feet tall) I should attatch the ftting for the staysail halyard block. Ive seen on other cutters that the distance between staysail halyard fitting and mast head (on masthead rigs) in bigger than between the two tacks down below. A friend of mine has told me that they should be equal distances between the two heads and the tacks. My jib is on the forestay is high cut and only 100%.
I am also interested to know how I would go about turning a hank on jib cut n sewed into something to work for the staysail.
I know there is a lot of knowlegable folks on here.
Any help is greatly appreiciated.
The problem here is that it is not as simple as just adding a forestay. Unless you have a telephone pole for a mast you will need running backstays because the tension on the forestay will bend the mast beyond its safety margin in a real blow, and that is the time you would be wanting to use the foresail. You will also need to put in some sheet leads, especially if you plan to fly both headsails at the same time. You will also need winches in the above cad.

Part of the question is: what do you want to use it for? If you just want another stay up there to keep a smaller sail handy in case the wind pipes up a lot and your jenny doesn't roll up that well, then the solution might be a Solent Stay. It is a forestay that attaches in the normal location at the deck but at the mast it is 5% or less of the mast ht. below the headstay attachment point. Hard to tack with this rig, but no runners needed. Also no winches or additional sheet leads.

If you want a sail you can fly with a high cut Yankee the Solent wont help. You'll need running backstays, and they are a PITA. Google Solent Stay, lots of good info from people who have put them on their boats. I put one on and like it lot.
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

Not speaking for him but I think all the dimensions and distances for what youre looking for could be obtained by carefully looking at all the 'ratios' of just about any Bob Perry designed cutter rig. Bob is probably THE master of modern design cutter rigs. Simply mathematically ratio those dimensions to what you have on your boat ... and then send him a nice royalty charge.

For an added forestay (the old forestay now becomes the headstay) you really need to oppose those forces applied onto the mast via either running backstays (best) or intermediate stays (so-so) .... or you can easily overload other rigging components such as backstay, etc.

FWIW. On a cutter rig (solent rigs are similar), being able to easily remove, tension adjust, etc. a forestay (where the forestay-sail flys) is a big plus, especially in those VERY light air conditions where a staysail flown 'under' a headsail will adversely interfere with the total optimum output of the total sail plan AND to more easily tack a headsail without getting it fouled on the damn forestay. I offer that the early Island Packets had an easily 'tensionable' forestay that could be totally slacked (even 'stored') and didnt have to be removed/disconnected for the system to work well. What IP did was to use 'soft' rigging wire - attached at the tack, running up to a sheave that was mounted on the mast, and then ran down the mast to a winch. Good idea but a 'materials' failure as wire does not like to be run over small diameter sheaves ... most of these systems easily broke the wire. Modern ultra-strong polymer line such as dyneema could easily be used for a forestay on a cutter rig in the same manner of the earl IPs with 'soft' wire forestays.
The 'plus' here with modern super strong polymer line is the ability to precisely tension (on the fly) the forestay so that the headstay doesnt sag off to leeward when both sails are pulling / flying ... a sagging headstay results in TERRIBLE pointing ability while causing the boat to heel over aggressively and skid off to leeward when attempting to sail closehauled. If you dont have the ability to easily change/adjust tensions in the forestay, the backstay sometimes has to apply severe load to get that headstay to give less or proper 'normal' sag ... and you can easily overload the entire rigging.
The use of intermediate stays if you dont want 'runners', attached to the level of the mast connection (hounds) of the forestay, probably could also benefit by using dyneema - less weight aloft.

What Im implying here is that a cutter rig is a total PITA to sail on a beat because of 2 stays in front of the mast (and only one backstay), each with different and variable loading being applied from their respective sails, stretching and sagging independently of one another .... that an independently and EASILY tension-adjustable forestay would be an outstanding plus while making a cutter rig FLY and point as well as any damn sloop (almost). BTW, in most cases when beating with top & staysail flying, the forestay is the one thats best to 'unload' or slacken ... which automatically tensions the headstay because the tension in the backstay doesnt change. With such a system ANY damn sail could be used as the staysail because the luff hollow - the smooth curve cut into the leading edge at the luff of jibs/genoas/staysails - could easily be 'matched' with the proper stay tension ... so the staysail could be flown close to the design shape that the sail designer intended.

The prime job of the rigging is not to hold the damn mast up; but, rather to provide a stable consistent geometric platform so that the jibs/genoas/staysails have a stable SHAPE.... and rigging wire tension is a vital component of what shape results in that headsail/staysail, etc. Cutter rigs can be cranky, recalcitrant, aggressively heeling and slow if you dont realize this 'interplay' of sails and rig tensions.

Here's an article I wrote some time ago which address how the match the headstay (or forestay) sag in the wire to what was CUT into the leading edge of the sail's luff by the sailmaker to help you understand the concept of sagging forestay/headstay wires: http://www.ftp.tognews.com/GoogleFil...f%20Hollow.pdf
Imagine the 'problem' when a single backstay is being adjusted to remedy different sags on each of those two 'wires' in front of that mast - the PROBLEM with cutter (and solent) rigs.

hope this helps

Last edited by RichH; 10-17-2013 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 10-18-2013
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

Thanks for the opinions folks. A couple of poits I should repeat.
I have a ketch rig, so two backstays. And no genoa just a working jib 100%
Im looking to use the inner stay for storm jib and to fly in **** wind. to push another .00000000000000000000000000001 knots out of my big beast.
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

o yeah...PITA??? wtf is that? thanks you
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

Frankly I don't see that this is going to help you much. But if you are dead set on doing it, go buy a copy of The Riggers Apprentice by Brion Toss. It has all the info you need.

As a practical matter I think you are going to spend a lot of time, money, and effort to may your boat sail worse in all conditions. There is a reason the designer didn't include a cutter rig on this boat in the first place, most of which has to do with the fact that a 30' boat with this many sails is getting overly complicated. Your sails are already small enough they would be considered storm sails on a sloop rig of the same size, and with a 100% jib you are already likely under powered.

Frankly I would be more inclined to try and add a massive asymmetrical for light air sailing.


Btw what type of boat?
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

RichH
Thanks for all of that information. Still trying to comprehend.

I am also thinking of adding either a solent stay or an inner fore stay (with running back stays). Either the solent or the inner fore stay would be removable as to not interfere with tacking in lighter winds.

The main reason I would like to add the above is so that I could hank on a storm jib. I currently have a 100% furling jib installed on this mast head sloop. Winds here are normally strong 25-30 knots so I generally have the furling jib rolled in at least 1/3, and then shape no good for going up wind.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Frankly I don't see that this is going to help you much. But if you are dead set on doing it, go buy a copy of The Riggers Apprentice by Brion Toss. It has all the info you need.

As a practical matter I think you are going to spend a lot of time, money, and effort to may your boat sail worse in all conditions. There is a reason the designer didn't include a cutter rig on this boat in the first place, most of which has to do with the fact that a 30' boat with this many sails is getting overly complicated. Your sails are already small enough they would be considered storm sails on a sloop rig of the same size, and with a 100% jib you are already likely under powered.

Frankly I would be more inclined to try and add a massive asymmetrical for light air sailing.


Btw what type of boat?
All the time in the world and money dosnt have to do with this project. welding experience and a little thing called DIY has pretty much 100% more influece than money, effor keeps us from being lethargic uneducated underexperienced monkeies... How can you say the designer never ment this as a cutter and then ask what kind of boat it is? the designer put a god awful huge eybolt fitting right at the stem!!!
excuse me for grilling you I hate when people bitch at eachother on forums but im looking for good solid knowlegable opinions. thank you.
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Old 10-18-2013
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Re: Fitting out a staysail...stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
RichH
Thanks for all of that information. Still trying to comprehend.

I am also thinking of adding either a solent stay or an inner fore stay (with running back stays). Either the solent or the inner fore stay would be removable as to not interfere with tacking in lighter winds.

The main reason I would like to add the above is so that I could hank on a storm jib. I currently have a 100% furling jib installed on this mast head sloop. Winds here are normally strong 25-30 knots so I generally have the furling jib rolled in at least 1/3, and then shape no good for going up wind.

Any suggestions?
Not a recommendation; but, what I do on my boat is to simply change headsails to a smaller and smaller headsail ... and my headsails are on a furler-reefing system. When that still is too much area up, then I fly the staysl only (mine is good for 40kts. w/ double reefed main0. Above 50kts its reefed hanked on staysl and triple reefed for the main - for beating (very slowly) and up to 60+ downwind)). After that its heave-to on a triple reefed main ... all by itself. I do LIKE the flexibilty you can get out of a cutter rig to match just about any sea state and wind velocity that Posidon can throw at you.

After sailing and racing a cutter rigged boat for over 12 years, I do depend a lot on that staysail ... but with a staysail a boat isnt 'just like a sloop with just another sail' ... its a totally and very complex, different animal. The best thing is that a cutter rig will force you to learn how to sail one; if your a sloop jockey that learning curve on a cutter is a steep one. I now prefer a cutter rig over a sloop any day of the week, and I race planing hull 'sloop rigs'.

For a sloop rig and planning for the possibilities to sail in BIG wind and seastates ... before Id go to the expense, toil and bother of extensive rig additions, I do some extensive short leg sea trials in 'blammo conditions' with a bomb-proof made 'gale sail' or equivalent first. I dont have one; but, the simplicity and ease of use of one seems very 'inviting'.

Considering the expense of an exhaustive rig modification versus the alternative investment one can make in chardonnay viniculture liquids or malted scots beverages ... Id take a serious look at a 'gale sail', and then go try one in 'stink' to be sure. ;-)

Last edited by RichH; 10-18-2013 at 09:47 PM.
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