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  #51  
Old 08-05-2011
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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
I'd like to toss cutter, ketch, and double head sail rigs into the discussion also. Seems to me, if you have to change sails, when you have more then one forward of the mast you will have more control, since one will still be deployed unlike when a masthead head sail is removed underway. Don't know how that would apply to a fractional rig. Of course, recreational sailing in heavy weather is not something most of us would be seeking?
We have a releasable inner forestay. Its purpose is specifically to be able to change headsails for heavier weather. The original owner of our boat planned to do the Caribbean 1500 and could load a smaller head sail or even a storm sail on the inner forestay.

The forestay is coiled up in a cockpit locker. That is where the original owner stored it, that is where we store it. To my knowledge, its never been installed!!

We may do Bermuda next year, in which case, I assume I will load her up with something. So far, we've only cruised the Northeast Coast and haven't even been slightly concerned that we couldn't manage with the RF genny.
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  #52  
Old 08-05-2011
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Originally Posted by jimrafford View Post
Have you ever used a headsail that was built to be roller furled w/ a padded insert in the luff. I'm guessing probably not or you wouldn't be asking about pointing ability.
Padded luffs aren't magic, Jim. The usefulness depends in part on the cut of the sail and the furler. Furlex, for example, has a cool little feature that causes the foil to turn almost a full turn before the tack and head are pulled. While this puts a wrinkle in the luff it does cause the middle of the sail to get a turn around the foil before the top and bottom begin to turn.

On my boat I have good results without a padded luff on my 110 and three rows of pad on my light 135 (the latter taking some experimentation to determine). Regardless I lose 5 - 8 degrees of pointing furling the 110 down to 85(ish) and 10 degrees or a bit more with the 135 rolled up to 110 or 115(ish). Even that much takes some tweaking of the backstay and halyard tension.

If you aren't seeing a loss of pointing with a furled headsail then you aren't working very hard to point in the first place.

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
I'd like to toss cutter, ketch, and double head sail rigs into the discussion also.
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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
We have a releasable inner forestay.
My inner forestay is similarly removable. It is permanently attached at the upper spreaders and stows wrapped around a U fitting on the mast. I have a nice hanked-on staysail that can be reefed down to quite a small bit of canvas. Back to pointing I've found that even reefed all the way down (three deep reefs on the main, no jib, and the staysail reefed) I can still point to about 40 degrees apparent in 40 kts true or better without knocking anyone's teeth out.

The biggest issue with flying a staysail on an inner forestay is that by the time you need it conditions are quite simply too unpleasant to rig. If your staysail isn't ready to go, either on a roller furler or hanked on and bagged, then it really isn't going to help you. Sailing near home the staysail is buried in the sail locker and the inner forestay is stowed; offshore the inner forestay is rigged and the staysail hanked on and bagged ready to go. Close to home the biggest surprise I'll see is an afternoon thunderstorm (still get some notice) that doesn't last long. I can heave to, strike sail and motor, or run hide somewhere. Truly offshore, even with notice, bad weather can last for many hours and the ability to keep the boat moving without undue punishment to the boat or crew is valuable.

Happy to go out and play with this stuff if anyone is around Annapolis. Always glad to be shown a way to get up a few more degrees but I'll be really surprised if anyone of lesser caliber than Gary Jobson or Dave Flynn (our local rock stars) can get up higher than I can. I've been privileged to sail with Dave on my boat and know what miracles an ace sailmaker can perform. I know he'll beat me to windward every time but I pay attention and learn from my betters. *grin*
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  #53  
Old 08-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
.

The biggest issue with flying a staysail on an inner forestay is that by the time you need it conditions are quite simply too unpleasant to rig. If your staysail isn't ready to go, either on a roller furler or hanked on and bagged, then it really isn't going to help you.
Exactly. I put the staysail on a furler just for that reason and I'm very happy with it. Although it's a bit of a hassle (tacking with the inner forestay permanently rigged) it's well worth it for those times when the wind comes up out of nowhere and things are getting exciting quickly. Very nice to just roll in the genny, reef the main and have things back in balance without adding a trip to the foredeck. I also find that with staysail and reefed main I am able to sail just as fast as with a partially furled genny and the reefed main, but with less heel in stronger winds.
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  #54  
Old 08-05-2011
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Something for all to think about.......As JRD pointed out, a staysail and a reefed main is just as fast with less heel than a reefed genoa and main. WHY?!?!?! the staysail is lower to the deck than the reefed genoa, so less heel. In windier conditions, many times, if not ALL the time, the same area lower to the deck, with be just as fast or faster than an equal amount higher up. Hence why frankly, sometimes it is better to change out headsails ahead of a high wind time, such that, you have the proper HS on, or a smaller HS will roll lower to the deck, making it such that you do not heel as much etc.

I remember reading a few years back in "Sailing World" granted this is a race boat, ie a V70 doing the Vendee globe at the time. but the skipper for the boat had 3 sail options for winds in the 40-50 range depending upon the wave hts, and where the wind was highest in relation to the surface. this was from a small jib and double reef main, to a triple and slightly bigger jib and a full main and really small jib IIRC the three configs. Granted a cruiser or weekend racer/cruiser is not going to have as many sail change option, much less a dozen or so hulks on board for sail changes during southern ocean gales etc, Taking the above examples of what to have up for conditions as we are normally in, one can see that having some different sail options for different conditions is good.

I have also notices as S/V Auspicious points out, in the winter due to colder denser air, one may need to be reefed or have a smaller HS out in the same winter conditions F30's and 40's vs summer weather in the 80f temps.

A lot of what works best, will be getting out in your boat, trying different sail combo's to see what is fastest, less heel, easier to control etc. Just because you are a cruiser, you should not IMHO limit yourself to a main and one RF jib option. Having two jibs as a day sailor similar to S/V Auspicious's options, ie a 135-150 for summer or less wind season, a 110 plus or minus in the winter months or higher wind times is a way to go. Along with, even if you get higher winds in the summer, nice to have a smaller HS to operate than the big one! Even a 75% fortriangle jib might be nice to have at times vs a storm jib that is too small for most of our uses.

My 02 not that 02 is worth much.....altho it might be if the idjiots in DC get there way!LOLOL

Marty
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  #55  
Old 08-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

The biggest issue with flying a staysail on an inner forestay is that by the time you need it conditions are quite simply too unpleasant to rig. If your staysail isn't ready to go, either on a roller furler or hanked on and bagged, then it really isn't going to help you. Sailing near home the staysail is buried in the sail locker and the inner forestay is stowed; offshore the inner forestay is rigged and the staysail hanked on and bagged ready to go.
Exactly. I put the staysail on a furler just for that reason and I'm very happy with it. Although it's a bit of a hassle (tacking with the inner forestay permanently rigged) it's well worth it for those times when the wind comes up out of nowhere and things are getting exciting quickly. Very nice to just roll in the genny, reef the main and have things back in balance without adding a trip to the foredeck. I also find that with staysail and reefed main I am able to sail just as fast as with a partially furled genny and the reefed main, but with less heel in stronger winds.
Agree completely, one of the best upgrades I’ve ever made was putting my staysail on a furler… For the reasons Dave mentions, I think it’s even more valuable on a smaller boat like mine, when going forward to deal with a hanked on sail can be considerably more dicey and uncomfortable than on a larger foredeck in equivalent conditions… Roller furling on the staysail, it’s akin to having an automatic transmission… (grin)

It was after a winter cruise to Maine years ago that I started to think seriously about the switch to a furler, I had my share of very unpleasant trips forward to tend to the staysail during that trip…




But it was really after I made the switch from a roll-up inflatable that got stored in the lazarette, to an Avon Lite that lives on the foredeck that I went with the furler, and have never looked back… It’s a great setup, at least for me…

Another big advantage of a staysail for offshore, IMHO, is simply the added stability it provides for the rig… Especially on a rig like mine, a deck-stepped mast with no fore and aft lowers and only a babystay to help control pumping… The inner forestay and running backstays really give me a lot more confidence in bigger winds and seas, and of course provide an element of backup in the event of a head or backstay failure. And, having runners that can clear the end of the boom, and a main that when deeply reefed has the head below the top of the runners at the mast is a wonderful arrangement, whenever I’m double-reefed I can simply leave both running backs strapped on all the time, really nice to have… Last, but not least, they add a considerable extra measure of security when moving about the cockpit, if I have to go aft to adjust the windvane, for example…

Finally, for those days when I’m just going for a daysail out on Barnegat Bay, or know I’m gonna be doing a lot of short-tacking in restricted waters, I’m able to stow my inner forestay back at the shrouds… You may want to see if you can do this on your boat, the combination of considerable sheer and crown to my deck just makes this possible, and a deck attachment like the Wichard pelican hook I use makes it very quick and easy to do… Since there is no reason to have a staysail low to the deck anyway, I’d advise anyone considering going with a furling staysail to configure the furler to be able to stow it back at the shrouds in a manner such as this, then you’ll have the best of all possible arrangements, in my opinion…

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What I want to know is why people don't reef more often. Without the mast and rigging dirtying up the air the jib is WAY more efficient than the main. So reducing the main and allowing the jib to do more of the work makes a lot of sense. I always wonder about how fast people go too. I've had lots of cases where we seemed to be going like a bat out of hell, but actual distance into the wind was very small. After dozens of tacks you are still only a little ways to your goal. Reef the main, unroll the jib completely and the results are often much better, not to mention more comfortable.

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  #57  
Old 08-07-2011
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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I had my share of very unpleasant trips forward to tend to the staysail during that trip…
Agreed. It isn't just one trip either. If you aren't rigged ahead of time you have to haul the staysail forward, sit on the deck (don't be proud - sit!) to hank it on, run the sheets back on each side (hopefully remembering to take the bag back on one trip), then another trip to raise the sail. You don't have to do that many times before getting the staysail rigged before leaving the dock. *grin* That works well enough on my boat that a furler like Jon's falls to the level of just "nice-to-have." I agree with him that the value increases on somewhat smaller boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Another big advantage of a staysail for offshore, IMHO, is simply the added stability it provides for the rig…
Definitely true. The inner forestay and runners are great stabilizers.

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Originally Posted by GaryHLucas View Post
What I want to know is why people don't reef more often.
Depends on the boat and sails. On my boat with a 110 I have all three reefs in the main before I touch the jib. With the 135 on I getting better performance rolling the 135 down to 110 before the first reef goes in the main. The 135 rolled down to 110 still doesn't come close to pointing like the real 110 and the extra windage is discernible.
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  #58  
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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
.........Depends on the boat and sails. On my boat with a 110 I have all three reefs in the main before I touch the jib. With the 135 on I getting better performance rolling the 135 down to 110 before the first reef goes in the main. The 135 rolled down to 110 still doesn't come close to pointing like the real 110 and the extra windage is discernible.
I would also bet, the 135 rolled to a 110, is slower than a 110 and full main too! WIndier conditions, I've found a smaller HS with a full main to be better on ALL points of sail assuming the main is reefed with the same approx sq footage of sail up. So if a double reef main and 135 is equal to a full main and 110, the latter full main and 110 will be an easier to handle, faster sailing, less heel etc than a double reefed main and 135. I prefer to change out HS's before reefing the main generally speaking.

Altho in some cases racing, we will reef a main, with the 155 up for the shorter upwind shots, unreef for the down wind, and rereef for the upwind depending upon the distance of the leg etc.

Then again, I do not have an RF system, so my only options are changing out an HS or reefing the main.

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