Cutter as Sloop?
I've noticed that a staysail adds about 1 knot of speed to the typical 40' cutter. I've also found the staysail to be somewhat of a pain in the ass.
Here's my issue: I'm eying a Valiant 40 cutter as my next step up, but I don't like cutter rigs. I love everything else about the Valiant.
I prefer a sloop with a roller furling jib and a roller furling code zero. Would I be crazy to re-rig the Valiant this way? (I suppose I would have to consult with a professional rigger. Just thought I would run it by you guys first.)
I have seen a number of the Valiant 40's that are primarily used for coastal cruising adapted to permit the detachment and storage of the foot of their jibstay. This permits them to sail as a sloop with a big genoa in coastal conditions, but to then to reattach the jibstay and use a smaller headstaysail on the headstay furler. I suggest that you bounce this off of Bob Perry first and then your local sailmaker. Bob says that he charges a nominal fee for a serious consultation but my experience is that he will generally respond to a considerately brief e-mail exchange without charge.
Removing the forestay (the stay that the (fore)stay is attached wont change a cutter to a sloop ... as the mast will still be at about 45-50% LOA unlike a sloop which carries its mast much more forward than a cutter.
Removable forestays are just as much a PITA as leaving the forestay up as the Bayfield lever attachments never really allow you easily correctly tension the forestay. Either the forestay is too loose so the lever can work well, or too tight (needed for good stay tension) which doesnt allow the lever to operate well.
I have a Perry designed cutter of similar geometry and rigging to a Valiant 40. Ive learned to love that staysail/jib-genoa combo.
If you are referring to tacking problems of the genoa, etc. fouling on the forestay ... thats easily remediated by using a tricing line (small line from cockpit to block on stem then back to near the clew of the genoa) on the foot of the genoa and keeping the staysail up in all winds above ~5 kts. The 87 AC boats used tricing lines to get their genoas around the babystay/masts during that entire series - If you ever get a video of the 87 AC matches, watch the tricing lines in action.
Normally, during a tack you release the staysail *after* you release the genoa sheet and allow the genoa to slide over the staysail ... if it begins to 'hang'/foul simply pull the tricing line which 'bunches' the genoa forward and through between the forestay and the headstay. (Better yet is fly the staysail from a self-tacking clubfoot or *hoyt-boom*, then you can forget about resetting the stay after tacks/gybes.) Quoting Bob Perry ... "the hoyt boom is probably one of the best things you can add to a cutter rig" ... especially if well set/shaped sails is important to you. The only real 'problem' I find in tacking a genoa 'through' is in very light winds when there isnt enough wind energy nor momentum of the genoa to get it through between the two stays .... and thats about the only time I disconnect the forestay and drop the staysail. For long term tacks/gybes with no staysail flying simply furl the genoa part way on its foil before maneuvering.
Hope this helps.
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