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  #1  
Old 09-23-2007
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sailing with only jib

Is it safe to sail with just the headsail on a fractional sloop? I've never done it and only see masthead rigs doing it for the mostpart. any help on this would be appreciated it!
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Old 09-23-2007
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If your rigging is in good shape... I don't see a problem with it.
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Old 09-23-2007
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It's probably safer (if it were ever in doubt) on a fractional rig in a blow than with a masthead rig because:
- The forces acting on the mast will be lower down (not at the masthead).
- Fractional rig headsails tend to be smaller than their masthead counterparts.

--Cameron
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Old 09-23-2007
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Actually, on a fractional rig, it can be more dangerous, since the mast may not be supported at the point the forestay attaches to the mast. With a masthead rig, the backstay and forestay attach at roughly the same point on the mast and will oppose each other. As long as the rigging is in good shape, it really shouldn't matter much with either type of rig. The larger forces generated by a masthead rig's larger sail are offset by the fact that the fractional rig may lead to the mast pumping.

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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
It's probably safer (if it were ever in doubt) on a fractional rig in a blow than with a masthead rig because:
- The forces acting on the mast will be lower down (not at the masthead).
- Fractional rig headsails tend to be smaller than their masthead counterparts.

--Cameron
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Old 09-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Actually, on a fractional rig, it can be more dangerous, since the mast may not be supported at the point the forestay attaches to the mast. With a masthead rig, the backstay and forestay attach at roughly the same point on the mast and will oppose each other. As long as the rigging is in good shape, it really shouldn't matter much with either type of rig. The larger forces generated by a masthead rig's larger sail are offset by the fact that the fractional rig may lead to the mast pumping.
SD, you're kidding, right? On every fractional rig I've even seen (including our own) the side-stays connect at the same point as the forestay.

Granted, the angle might not be as great as from the top of the mast to the back of the boat (a backstay) which is an optional extra on our rig, but I cannot see how you can say it "may not be supported".

--Cameron
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Old 09-24-2007
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No Hartley18, you must be kidding, right?

When a forestay is several feet lower than the backstay, it is unsupported to an extent. Raising the main helps counter this, but the shrouds contribute little to fore/aft support.

In a stiff blow, flying only the jib could cause weird bends in the mast, or even snap it off like mid-sheeted boom in the fun stuff.
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Old 09-24-2007
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OK...so tell me why raising the mainsail gives support to this partially unsupported mast?
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Old 09-24-2007
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..and since I don't have a backstay, I'd love to know how I'm going to get "weird bends in the mast".

If it was a really big blow, I could understand the shrouds parting and the whole thing going overboard, but I don't understand how the mast can be unsupported with only a jib up.

--Cameron

Last edited by Classic30; 09-24-2007 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Shiva is a fractional with swept back spreaders and very stout rigging. She also has runners which support the headsail and a storm jib. We've seen no problem with sailing using only a head sail, but rarely do it. Sometimes for sailing 3/4 of a mile across the harbor to the fuel dock. Roll out, roll in. Simple.

More likely we sail with only the main if we use one sail and hoist it to motor to stabilize the boat. Getting the main up is more of an ordeal.. sail cover and manual hoisting... blah blah blah

jef
sv shiva
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Old 09-24-2007
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Considering that a storm jib can be used as the only sail under some conditions it would seem unlikely that a designer would draw something that fails just when itís most needed. Under all the conditions that I can think of just now, before my second cup of coffee that is, a main is trying to push or pull the panels of a mast out of column and that is harder on a mast then just the compression from a headsail. This assumes that the headstay pull is balanced by a jumper, running backstays or upper termination point of the upper shroud at the headstay with swept spreaders. If a particular boat is poorly designed then itís just poorly designed but offhand I canít think of a boat where I would be concerned as long as I used the running backstay, if rigged for one, and had the rig tuned properly.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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