Join Date: Jul 2002
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Sail trim primer for ketch
Gee, Ike - you are indeed in perfect Mizzen Staysail territory. <g>
Generally, the sail is tacked to the side deck and hoisted from a block on the forward side of the mizzen masthead. The sheet is run from the clew via the end of the mizzen boom (which is trimmed outboard to help in sail shape even if the mizzen isn''t being used) and then brought to a winch somewhere in the cockpit. The sail requies a split backstay; if you have a full double backstay, it will foul the leech.
There are lots of variations on this, however. One well-known/respected sailor from your area (Earl Hinz, who later cruised the SoPac area for many years aboard his Morgan OI41 HORIZON) ended up concluding that, for beamy/shallow hull forms like his, it was better to use several different sizes/shapes of a mizzen staysail rather than a main. For work closer to the wind, he tacked one to his main''s gooseneck. Less heel, less leeway, more speed was his conclusion and, being an aerospace engineer, he had the data to back it up.
In our case, we elected to have the staysail made of 2.2 oz dacron vs. the more typical 1.5 oz. ripstop - a little heartier, so it can carry a bit more wind (or more likely, accommodate my less than speedy deck work). I leave the sheet permanently rove to reduce the workload, meaning the sheet runs from a winch and cleat on the mizzen mast, out to the block on the mizzen boom''s end cap, and then back to the same cleat. When it''s time to hoist the sail (which lives in its back with the tack line led thru a grommet on the bottom of the bag and secured to a bail on a lifeline stanchion, then to a midship''s cleat), I run the sheet outboard of the mizzen shrouds, open the bag (where the head and clew are last to be stuffed inside) and attach the sheet. I then release the halyard''s shackle, insure it runs on the right side of the backstay, and attach it to the head. Returning to the cockpit, I hoist the sail and then adjust it with the staysail sheet plus the mizzen sheet (to position the boom). When beam reaching or a bit more to windward, I''ll choose a more forward stanchion''s bail; when more off the wind, I might reattach the tack line further aft.
Hope that helps. The sail was about $300 and well worth it. The other bits and pieces were either on-hand or little cost.