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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Staysail: Purpose and trimming
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Thread: Staysail: Purpose and trimming Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-11-2012 02:14 PM
RichH
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Oops, forgot the 'important' stuff.
Use a full set of tell tales on all the sails, trim the staysl as per the leech tell tales ...... then final 'trim' in/out and to set best proximity to the headsail ..... and adjust that in/out according to your SPEEDO or VMG.
You get the 'best' interaction adjusting the slot-distance between the stay'sl and head'sl using the SPEEDO ... and you probably wont see much change in the tell tale flow.
10-11-2012 01:59 PM
kjzerr
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Thank you everyone! Very useful information! I will check out the articles. jsaronson and macswift: since the boat was designed specifically for racing, your explanations make sense. Thanks again.
10-11-2012 01:29 PM
whosedream
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

I have a Crealock 37 and sail singlehanded 99% of the time. My stay is permanent.
A staysail is all about balancing and center of power for your boat.

I love my staysail and find it's my most useful sail especially as a singlehander. Great for helping to balance and power with or without my monitor windvane.

Use upwind, downwind, light winds and heavy winds
Use instead of partial furling jib in heavy winds
Use in conjunction with my aso
Use when heaving-to
Use only stay when a chubasco or elephante is on the horizon, etc.

Never had the need for the storm sail or para-sea anchor that came with my boat...Hawaii & Mexico vet. Always check the forecasts and avoid the need...storms are no bueno for me

Read about staysail use but you'll only learn how cool/useful a staysail is with experience...
Go sailing, go sailing often. Sail with main & stay only upwind, downwind, beam, light and heavy wind, etc.
Practice heaving to, practice balancing boat with main and stay, then practice balancing with main, stay & jib.

Go sailing, go sailing often!
That last thing---A staysail looks so cool!
10-11-2012 01:25 PM
jackdale
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post

To make a staysail / headsail combo 'really work'... you really need running backstays to 'help' with the 'two forward shroud' tension interplay problem.
:-)
True - both the C&C 44 and Saga 409 had running backstays.
10-11-2012 01:21 PM
RichH
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Almost 40 years ago, Arvel Gentry wrote an article for SAIL that still remains the definitive take on staysails...

go to this link, and open the PDF file entitled "The Double Head Rig":

Magazine Articles

Staysails can be awesome...

ABSOLUTELY "the" most definitive article ever written regarding 'staysails', especially when flown 'under' a topsail or headsail, etc. Here's the direct link: http://arvelgentry.com/magaz/The_Double_Head_Rig.pdf

Caution: this article is referenced to 'true' cutter rigs with the mast at ~50% LOA and the with combined "CE" within the staysail or 'in front' of the mast.

The disadvantage of a staysail is realized in 'light' conditions when beating .... usually too much 'interference' between topsail and staysl ... @ less than ~6kts. on most boats.
As the article implies, the cord length SHAPE of the staysl (draft forward) is important ... not something that is easily attained from a sail loft that designed the staysail in similar geometry for a 'sloop' headsail/jib; I like my staysails to be draft-forward and with FLAT luff entry.

The 'mechanical / rigging' problem with flying staysails is the 'interplay' of headstay/forestay tensions ... in reactance to a single backstay. For the purposes of this/my discussion - the topsail is flown on a HEADstay - the furthest forward stay; the staysail (FORESTAYsail or staysl) flies from the FOREstay - the stay that is 'immediately forward' of the mast.
This problem usually results in the headstay loosening with increasing forestay tension / loading ... and can cause significant luff sag on the 'topsail' / headsail.
The pragmatic solution is to fly the staysail on a quite loose ~5-8% tensioned forestay, which automatically tightens the headstay .... only using full forestay tension when the headsail is doused or not flown. If you dont 'consider' the resultant sag to leeward of the headstay when 'reacting with the forestay', the cutter rig will point poorly, heel aggressively and can easily skid to leeward on an artificially 'powered-up' topsail/headsail. Once you are cognizant of the two forward stays have a 'tension interplay' problem ... you can make a cutter rig 'point' like a banshee --- mostly by loosening that FOREstay.

To make a staysail / headsail combo 'really work'... you really need running backstays to 'help' with the 'two forward shroud' tension interplay problem.
:-)
10-11-2012 01:05 PM
jackdale
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaronson View Post
The C&C staysail is used when reaching with a spinnaker. It is not used like a cutter rigged sail and generally is only used by racers.
I have used both the staysail and the genoa together in light air upwind on a C&C 44 on two different trips from Maui to Vancouver. It worked very well as a cutter.

I also used the staysail in heavier air with a furled genoa and reefed main. I really liked the versatility. I have used that set up on a Nauticat 37 and Saga 409 as well.

On all three the stay could be stowed.
10-11-2012 12:23 PM
macswift
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the C&C is a cutter per se? If that's the case, then what you have is a temporary inner forestay that can be used for a storm jib and maybe a staysail to be flown when reaching with a spinnaker.
It's likely to be too close to the forestay to be used in conjunction with a headsail.
I sail a 38ft cutter (Alacazam) and fly a yankee/staysail combination which is a great rig for cruising.
10-11-2012 12:10 PM
jsaronson
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

The C&C staysail is used when reaching with a spinnaker. It is not used like a cutter rigged sail and generally is only used by racers.
10-11-2012 12:02 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Almost 40 years ago, Arvel Gentry wrote an article for SAIL that still remains the definitive take on staysails...

go to this link, and open the PDF file entitled "The Double Head Rig":

Magazine Articles

Staysails can be awesome...

10-11-2012 10:25 AM
jimjazzdad
Re: Staysail: Purpose and trimming

Quote:
Originally Posted by daledog View Post
yeah...I'd also like to hear when and how to use them. And a storm jib would be flown on the foresail halyard correct? And Seaduction, you reposition the staysail back along a shroud? Can you clarify what you mean? is it to the side or in front of the mast? I had both on my Cal and didn't use either.

Is it a cutter rig that has a staysail?
I sail a 1983 Hunter 37 Cutter. My staysail, and its forestay, are permanently installed. My furling jib at the bow is a "Yankee" - very high clew (10 -12' above the deck) and MUCH smaller than a genoa. So my staysail and jib work together, with the staysail "filling in the gap" below the Yankee jib. This is a conventional cutter setup - both sails are intended to be flown simultaneously. My 1st reef is to roller furl the Yankee and use the staysail as my sole headsail. Because the staysail is self-tacking on my boat, going to weather in heavy wind requires little effort. I love the rig, although it doesn't go to weather quite as well as a big genoa in lighter winds.

If you use a big genoa normally, and only intend to use the staysail in heavier winds, removing and storing the inner forestay for the staysail somewhere back by the shrouds is probably a good idea, making tacking the genny easier and saving on wear & tear...
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