Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife
I wouldnt worry about mast pumping.
You will or should if that mast is now harmonically moving back and forth to the extent that your stays/shrouds are momentarily (instantaneously impacting) exceeding the material strength limits of the wire ... and your chainplates are 'old' and full of 'accumulated fatigue'.
chainplate systems are grossly under-designed for fatigue failure ... right out of the boat builders shop. With the common stainless steels you only get about 1 million load cycles (about 1 circumnavigation) above 30% stress ... then the plates, etc. are usually very prone to fail, suddenly and without much warning.
Excellent points... No One Size Fits All answer to the original query, but Mark might worry a bit more about mast pumping if he'd ever on sailed some of the boats I have over the years... Including my own, as a matter of fact... (grin)
With a deck-stepped rig, with inline shrouds (no fore and aft lowers, nor swept spreaders), even the most robust baby stay might do little to alleviate pumping or inverting the mast when sailing upwind in a blow... Doing so under a headsail alone could be a recipe for disaster on some boats, and I'm very happy to have the addition of an inner forestay and running backs when confronted with those conditions...
There is no one right answer. It depends on the boat, wind velocity, seas, point of sail and crew. A 155 on a furler is going to get beat to crap in a gale. From what I have read, a Gale Sail is nearly impossible to rig when you need it. Most boats don't have a detachable inner stay or way to rig a storm jib with a sail on a furler. Know the limits of you and your boat and plan for the worst.
I think the supposed difficulty of hoisting ATN's Gale Sail is overstated, it's really not all that different from hoisting a regular hanked-on storm jib... Of course, it always helps if you anticipate, and do it before conditions are approaching gale force... (grin)
Admittedly, I've only flown one over a furled staysail, which obviously is gonna be a less daunting prospect than working right up at the pointy end... However, I've found the trick that greatly eases setting it, is the use of a 'sleeve' made from a slippery fabric like Stamoid, which is wrapped around the furled sail at least to the height of the clew and sheets. Once that's in place, the Gale Sail will slide up over all the little ridges and protuberances of the furled jib and sheets much more easily... Sure, setting such a sail in anything more than a near-gale will always be a bit 'exciting', to say the least, but by no means impossible...