Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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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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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.