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post #1 of 6 Old 07-10-2007 Thread Starter
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Cool turning a sloop rigged cutter into a cutter (different)

When I purchased my (very old) traditional 26 ft. huon pine yacht it was in poor condition. I am now at the stage of finally convincing her not to sink and enjoy life with me as a coastal cruiser and the new yanmar diesel, 32 litre built in fridge and 20 gal. water storage are making it all come to-gether. The low profile mainsail, luff 27.06 ft. / mainsail foot 14 ft. is original, the headsails that were on the boat are not. I avoid at all costs the one /two sail arguments, however more than a few old salts agree she was once a cutter.
Now in possession of a good genoa, set up on a bowsprit furler, plus the No.2 thrown in headsail which came with the vessel and a small (not storm) heavy weather jib I had made, stir my imagination. leaving the genoa set up for use on long trips in light breeze (single handed no spinnaker) as well as setting up a cutter rig inside it on allready fitted castings for anything better than light breeze. My only concern and its a huge one is how do I cut my No. 2 into a yankee? What is the criteria? are there specific angles on the tack and clew? I do not have the heart to ask a sailmaker this question especially as I intend to cut and sew myself.
Thank you in advance
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-10-2007
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Probably should get a few books on sail design. Cutting down a #2 to become a yankee may not be the best use of the sail or your time and money. It might be easier, and provide a much more useful sail, if you sold the #2 and bought a yankee kit from SailRite. The cut of the panels is going to be fairly different on a yankee versus a #2 and the weight of the material is probably a bit light for a proper yankee.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-10-2007
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Unless the money situation is really desparate I'd hang onto the old sail and get a new yankee.

In the SSCA thread on cutters Robert Perry gave some excelent advice in particular don't make the mistake of cutting the yankee too high, so that the clew is above 'reach up and grab it' height.

ps - what's your home port ?

pps - love to see a pic of your boat.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-10-2007 Thread Starter
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Thank you for your thoughts, I find our sailmakers appear a little preoccupied with the racing fraternity (and rightly so as they are in it for the money) so getting them to come in on something like this is not as easy as it should be. Prices quoted seem to be `cover my butt n hope he goes away` (I`m becoming a pessimist.) especially when I am not really sure this idea is going to work hence using the old sail. Wombat, my home port is Shellharbour South of Sydney I sail regularly to Sydney harbour, Pittwater, Lake macquarie, Port Stephens, and scrape under the bridge for the Myall lakes.
Will add a photo soon.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-10-2007
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A - Give MacDiarmid Sails in Sydney a call . (02-9817 4155). While I've only dealt with them a couple of times both times entailed repairs and recutting not new sails. Ian MacDiarmid was extremely helpful, the costs were certainly not outrageous and I'm happy to recommend them.

(I have no relationship with MacD Sails or any of the people involved with that business other than as a customer. MacD Sails do however sponsor one of the series at my sailing club which is why I spoke with them in the first place.)

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Last edited by tdw; 07-10-2007 at 09:47 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-11-2007
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ArvelGentry.com ---->magazine articles ----> "double headed rig"
Probably the ONLY authoritative article ever written about the interaction, etc. of staysails flown UNDER a genoa.
Specificallly the article suggests that staysails should be especially geometrically (draft position, etc.) constructed/shaped to allow for the optimization of sail interaction between the genoa and main ... otherwise adding a staysail (or bowsprit) will probably not gain you very much ... and will result in god-awful sail shape of BOTH genoa and staysail.

The alternative with respect to a modern 'marconi' rig would probably be best served by adding a 'solent stay' - an inner secondary 'headstay' that is very close in proximity to your current headstay ... although using two headstays opens you up to the rigging complexities of having two headstay loads .... and being reactively stress balanced by only ONE backstay.

Simple Speak - is your (single) backstay able to take the required loads from TWO headstays? If each of your intended headstays (each) are not set to the (typical) 12-15% of tension - the luff sections of sails used will NOT match the sag of the stays when fully loaded ... and the backstay will be 'double loaded' if you apply 12-15% in EACH of the headstays .... meaning the cut luff section (luff hollow) of the sails will need recut radically different than if the boat has ONE headstay. It gets MORE complicated than this but hopefullly you will get the 'idea' of simply 'adding' a headstay and not considering what it will do as regards the luff geometry requirements of 'typical' sails at work with stay tensions that are quite different than the 'usual' working design of 12% (of ultimate tensile strength).

Simply adding a stay here and there and not fully 'balancing' the rigging reactionn loads will result in very 'loose' (1/2 tension of 'normal') headstays ... and that will cause some very BAD sail shapes for both the genoa and the added staysail. You will need to ADD: either intermediate stays (or running backstays) and find a means to 'double' the strength of the current backstay .... otherwise the mast will probably become VERY distorted when sailing at 18+knots of wind, the boat wont 'point' worth a damn because the headstays are way too loose, etc.

Last edited by RichH; 07-11-2007 at 09:38 AM.
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