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  #1  
Old 08-27-2003
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Spinnaker staysail

Deep within one locker I found a sailbag labeled "spinnaker staysail." I have a 30 ft masthead sloop, and am looking for any info on just how this sail might be flown. The sail has no hanks for the forestay, but has heavy wire running in the luff. Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2003
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Spinnaker staysail

Well, if you took this to the ''Antiques Road Show'' They would tell you that you have a ''Gen-u-wiiiine Antique'' there. Spinacker staysails are an old style racing sails (1950''s through the 1970''s) and were flown at the same as the spinacker when the boat was on a reach. There are two styles, a blade and a dazy staysail. The Blade is tall and narrow and the dazy is low and horizontal. Nether are terribly useful for racing or cruising. They need constant tending to keep them from being over trimmed and causing the chute to collapse. They are not of much use when they chute is not flying as they are too small and flat cut for light air, and too stretchy for heavier conditions. Sorry.

Jeff
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Old 09-04-2003
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Spinnaker staysail

Have to disagree with some of Jeff''s remarks. Though he is right about the constant tending, we found it added about half a knot to our speed in a Marblehead-Halifax race.
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Old 12-12-2010
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How or where does one get instruction on using the Staysail and does it work with all types of Spinnakers?

Dave B.
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Old 12-12-2010
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Agree with Paulk ---
Such sails are from an era when it was thought that the most massive sail area aloft when going near dead downwind was best .... but boats flying such sails (bloopers, tall boys, spin-stays, etc. etc.) were soon surpassed by boats that tacked 'down wind' to keep their apparent wind higher .... and VMG higher.
However, the spinnaker staysail has seen some slight resurgence on some of the 'round the world' races .... and have 'shown' some advantage for the VERY deep reaching legs.
They are quite hard to set/fly depending on the precision of the helmsman ... and generally if youre not to that level of expertise - are an absolute royal PITA to fly as the easier/better alternative is to head up slightly for BETTER VMG. The round-the-world folks probably fly them because Antarctica is in their way and prevents such optimal downwind tacking.
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Old 12-12-2010
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Old 12-24-2010
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Spin Staysails and Thier Use

Hmmm.... I have to respectfully disagree with some of the previous comments.

Spinnaker staysails are certainly not antiques, and are an important part of the downwind racing inventory on modern boats. On almost all boats which race offshore, as well as hotly competitive buoy races), they are a standard part of the inventory, i.e. Transpac 52s, SC50s, SC70s, etc. etc. In fact, we have an almost brand new one for our SC50 Hula Girl, which replaces the two older ones... the boat has always has an SS. They definitely contribute .5+ knots.

Usually, they are tacked to the bow, well inside the headstay at a point about 40%-50% of the J aft from them stem (this is always the case with an asym boat... sometimes when running deep on a conventional spin, they can be tacked to the weather rail). They are for broad to beam reaching, the angles you should be sailing anyway. You do not have to modify your VMG angles to use them. The wire or spectra luff tape is drawn taunt, so no need for an inner forestay. They are usually setup nowadays on a small furler, so they are hoisted rolled up, then unfurled. They can be quickly furled for sail changes or gybes. They have light sheets which are led aft to the cockpit.

When trimming, be careful not to overtrim! This will disturb the airflow to the spinnaker, making it more unstable and difficult to fly. If the chute becomes unruly, under-trim the SS...

SS's aren't as common on 30 footers, but not unheard of...

Have fun with it, and let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 12-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wzittel View Post
S
Usually, they are tacked to the bow, well inside the headstay at a point about 40%-50% of the J aft from them stem (this is always the case with an asym boat... sometimes when running deep on a conventional spin, they can be tacked to the weather rail). They are for broad to beam reaching, the angles you should be sailing anyway. You do not have to modify your VMG angles to use them. The wire or spectra luff tape is drawn taunt, so no need for an inner forestay. They are usually setup nowadays on a small furler, so they are hoisted rolled up, then unfurled. They can be quickly furled for sail changes or gybes. They have light sheets which are led aft to the cockpit.
The OP was referring to the more archaic spinnaker staysails that haunted 30' masthead IOR boats of the era. You know -- tallboys, bananas, big boys, bloopers....

The staysails you fly on your hot performance boat make sense because you are sailing hot angles and they can interact aerodynamically with your aerodynamic asym. Hoisting a banana on a half-tonner on LIS is ... well ... mainly just something to amuse the other racers. Those hole-plowing displacement boats don't necessarily abide by your advice, "They are for broad to beam reaching, the angles you should be sailing anyway." A Contest 31 ain't gonna plane come asym or spinnaker staysail or two JDAMs lashed to the back. So ya may as well put the bow down, hoist the tallboy, and hand around some adult beverages. "Hey -- somebody dig out that funky old orange-and-green staysail! We need a deck awning! It doesn't count against our rating, & the added windage might just gain us an extra 0.02 kts."
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Old 12-24-2010
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As is the case with many types of sails,
the term spinnaker staysail has been applied
to a broad range of sails over the years.
In the late '60s a staysail flown with a spinnaker
might be rather long on the foot, and some
had an odd 'topless' configuration where the
head had two corners and a bridle replaced the top
of the sail. In the mid '70s the 'Tall Boy' type staysail
evolved, which would be more like the staysails in
use today.
Spinnaker staysails are definitely an essential piece
of a modern race boat's arsenal, especially the
apparent wind machines that rarely see an AWA
broader than 100deg. Some of the Maxi-Sleds will
even fly a genoa staysail inside the spinnaker
staysail inside their asymmetric spinnaker.
For the average racer/cruiser, the spinnaker staysail
will be a high aspect sail of 80- 110% of the 'J' length
that can be tacked to various points on the foredeck
depending on wind angle. These sails are usually
intended to be dual purpose and will also function
very well as a 'wind seeker', flown alone in 0-3 knots
of wind.
There will be some conditions where the staysail flown with
a spinnaker is very effective, and others where there is no
discernible benefit. That is one advantage of the furling
arrangement that Wayne cited, you can occasionally
roll the sail up and closely monitor the change in
performance.
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Old 12-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COOL View Post
...There will be some conditions where the staysail flown with a spinnaker is very effective, and others where there is no
discernible benefit. That is one advantage of the furling
arrangement that Wayne cited, you can occasionally
roll the sail up and closely monitor the change in
performance.
That's what we've found. For that Halifax race, we had to play with the thing the whole time it was up. (two days?) Overtrimming was very easy. We found the it worked best (for us at that point of sail) when half of it was luffing. Sheeting it in or lowering it slowed us down by about a half knot. We won that race.
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