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  #1  
Old 01-17-2012
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staysail arrangement

Everything on a sailboat is some sort of compromise, the staysail arrangement on a cutter is no exception. Permanently rigged with a furling unit or removable inner forestay with hanked on staysail, which one makes you happy?
If you had it to do over again what would you choose.

I mostly river sail at this time, very wide river, but plan to do more cruising this season. I don't like the idea of going forward to rig a stay and hank on a sail when it's starting to blow hard. On the other hand I don't like the idea of having to tack the headsail through the slot. What to do?
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2012
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When the wind is light and all is well having the staysail on a furler is a PITA. When the wind changes unexpectedly and all of a sudden it's blowing 30 knots, having the staysail on a furler is a blessing. Compromises, life's full of 'em.

FYI- tacking the headsail is no problem, just leave the staysail sheeted and let the headsail slide along it and thru the slot, then release the staysail (OK, sometimes it gets hung up in very light wind, no biggee, good excuse to get off my rear and do something).
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2012
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We installed a Harken furler on our inner stay and converted from hanked on staysail. No regrets on this decision. Tacking while keeping the staysail sheeted in works ok as John mentioned above or we usually just furl in the headsail enough to clear the inner and let it back out after the tack. As you mentioned, everything is a compromise but we feel this one has been a good trade off.
John S
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Old 01-18-2012
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Well, It somewhat depends on the size of your headsail. With our old 150 genoa, tacking with the staysail stay on was somewhat of a pain. But, now with a 110 Yankee (which we love!), the Yankee tacks quite easily and we have not once removed the staysail stay as we used to whenever it was not in use. So, if I had it to do over again, I'd go with a Yankee headsail and furling staysail.

An added advantage of this arrangement is that you could then furl the staysail down when it is really blowing. On an overnight passage last summer the wind increased to sustained 38-42 knots and we were doing 6.5 to 7.2 knots under staysail alone (downwind) and needed to slow down to avoid a night time entry into our destination. Needless to say I was not too thrilled with the idea of going forward and taking down the staysail to put up the storm jib. A furler would have been a delight that night.

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Old 01-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orientalnc2010 View Post
Everything on a sailboat is some sort of compromise, the staysail arrangement on a cutter is no exception. Permanently rigged with a furling unit or removable inner forestay with hanked on staysail, which one makes you happy?
If you had it to do over again what would you choose.
I think you have the issues exactly right.

My response to those issues is to day sail with the inner forestay stowed. When headed offshore I rig the stay, hank on and bag the staysail, and run the sheets. As you note, when you want the staysail it is too late to rig it. This approach has worked well for me for years, albeit on boat that is not a PSC.
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Old 01-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I think you have the issues exactly right.

My response to those issues is to day sail with the inner forestay stowed. When headed offshore I rig the stay, hank on and bag the staysail, and run the sheets. As you note, when you want the staysail it is too late to rig it. This approach has worked well for me for years, albeit on boat that is not a PSC.
This is a variation on what we've decided to do aboard Jo Beth. The majority of our sailing is short coastal trips just offshore or in sounds/rivers. We couldn't find a way to detach and stow the inner forestay to our liking, and Jo Beth came with a lightly used 120 or 125 genoa, so we've decided to remove the inner forestay altogether and sail as a sloop. Our running backs are in pretty bad shape anyway.

When we start doing more extended offshore trips, we'll revert her back to a cutter - with new running backs and hopefully, a new suit of sails.
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Old 01-18-2012
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We usually sail with either the 110 jib or staysail only, rarely both. We keep the staysail bagged on the stay until we need it. The bag opens at the top. When the wind is too much for the jib, we drop it and run up the staysail. We find the staysail easy to tack by easing the lazy sheet after the staysail fills on the new tack. We do this after taking all the slack out of the soon to be working sheet. Then we fully trim the working sheet. Both sails are hanks on.

Most of our sailing is offshore. If we sailed mostly inland, our strategy might be different.

Dave Mancini
PSC 34 #305 "Swan"
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Old 01-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I think you have the issues exactly right.

My response to those issues is to day sail with the inner forestay stowed. When headed offshore I rig the stay, hank on and bag the staysail, and run the sheets. As you note, when you want the staysail it is too late to rig it. This approach has worked well for me for years, albeit on boat that is not a PSC.
I have detachable stay, I always rig the staysail when going offshore, if I have to slow down to wait for daylight, I just sail until I get close then heave-to, no need to go forward. My 130 doesn't tack that well and I really enjoy not having the stay in the way when river sailing.
Tom
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2012
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I also do as Auspicious. For offshore work rig the staysil and have it on the ready. If you know the wind will pike up then deploy the staysil with the headsail. Once it starts blowing then just furl in the headsail. Hopefully you also reefed the main ahead of time so no need to go foward.

Daysailing always set up your sail plan before leaving the dock.
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Old 01-19-2012
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If I mostly river sailed, as you say, I would certainly remove the inner forestay. Rivers will usually require more tacking for other boats and granite. I wouldn't expect you to get so far from port in a river that a heavily reefed jib wouldn't suffice in heavier wind. Maybe not as efficient, but certainly workable. When I was going offshore, I would reattach the staysail.

We actually come at this from a different angle. Our boat is designed as a sloop, but has a removable inner forestay as an option. We have that option, with the forestay wound up in a cockpit locker. We have yet to feel the need to install it for a passage. There are downsides to a heavily reefed roller furling genny, but it has worked fine for what has been mostly coastal cruising on this boat, with one annual exception. Dealing with the staysail hasn't been considered a lesser evil yet.
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