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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 01-03-2009
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Storm Conditions using Riding Sail

Anyone out there with some experience with using a riding sail at anchor under storm force winds? What size sail relative to boat and how was it rigged. Would anyone attempt using one under hurricane force winds?

I'm debating if I should buy a sailrite riding sail and rig it to my Tayana 37. I won't be able to use the backstay because it is insulated for the ham set.
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Old 01-03-2009
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Why can't you use the backstay? My backstay is insulated, and the riding sail works great. It is a bit of a stretch to rig it, but the hanks go above the insulator.
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Old 01-03-2009
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The riding sail that came with our boat was designed to mount at the back of the boom. One corner ties to the end of the boom, one corner is lifted by the topping lift and one corner is pulled forward and tied on the boom. We have a rigid vang.

Will I get significant benefit by moving it to the back stay?
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Old 01-03-2009
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Never in storm conditions. I don't think I'd set anything in hurricane force, in fact I'd strip off all sails and covers if possible. I've been at anchor on LI Sound in strong breezes on a lee shore (don't ask). The tide was counter to the breeze, the boat fell into the trough and rolled far enough to spill me out of my berth. I set a brailed mizzen (she's a yawl) and sheeted it in hard. That kept her bow into the seas, and at times she actually sailed up a bit. I sat up the rest of that cold night watching.
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Old 01-03-2009
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Thanks for all the replies. The comment about insulated backstays and putting the hanks on the antenna part of the backstay is doable, but like you say it's difficult with the insulators being located so high. I think mine is about 10 feet off the deck. Also I'm not sure if transmitting on the SSB will be that effective with a riding sail attached. I would probably use the end of the boom and the topping lift to set it with out hanks. Not as effective as hanking on the backstay however.

The last comment concerning hurricane force winds is well taken since everything possible should be removed from the decks. The shock loads from swinging from one tack to another however is extreme and anything to keep the boat from swinging would be benificial IMHO. Numerous things can be tried and I've tied one being the second anchor hung on short scope from the bow to limit swing. Another is to use a second line tied to the anchor rode and lead back to the stern so that the boat lays at an angle to the wind. Not sure about this one since the least amount of windage presented is best. The same thing can be achieved using a riding sail lead to the rail. Under extreme conditions the dynamic loads would possibly be just as large if not larger due to surging to beam-to rather than from port to starboard. I think an argument can be made however that lying on one tack the force is more constant vs. a time when the rode may go slack when riding with bow directly into the wind and the resultant sudden surge on the opposite tack.
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