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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 08-09-2010
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twin headsails

I have a 37 foot sloop with a furler on the headsail. The foil has twin grooves and I'm equipped with two jib halyards. I normally fly a 130 genoa. My rigging is the heaviest I've seen on a boat near mine's size.

My question is: Can I fly a second head sail on the headstay via the second groove? A friend of mine who sails a Capri 23 says I shouldn't use the second groove as it will put too much strain on the sails. But that I should fly the second head sail independently as he does thus allowing any gusts to escape between them. Of course, if that's the case I wonder why the foil was designed with two grooves.

Are there any EXPERT opinions out there?
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Old 08-09-2010
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It was designed with two grooves to allow hoisting a new sail before dropping the old one when making sail changes. Yes, you can run twin headsails. It is done often. Some people use it as a good DDW self steering method. Others sometimes use it when running to gain a lot of sail area when racing in a non-spinnaker class. It is perfectly safe.
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I'll hazard a guess that the second headstay groove is meant to facilitate a *change* in jibs, not the flying of two at once.

In a racing scenario, you can sleeve up your "new" jib, with sheets attached, and raise it outside (or maybe inside) of the existing jib and sheet it. Then, lower the old jib, and you haven't lost speed since you haven't been "bareheaded" at any time.

I don't see the point in trying to have two jibs remain up while sailing since only one of them will be doing any work, unless maybe to do a wing-wing thing on a run with two poles out, and mainsail probably dropped.

As to stay strength, it shouldn't matter much while changing jibs since only one at a time carries the load.
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I'd use two headsails while club racing down wind. We don't change headsails while underway but I suppose the PO could have since he did some serious off shore racing.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DwayneSpeer View Post
I'd use two headsails while club racing down wind. We don't change headsails while underway but I suppose the PO could have since he did some serious off shore racing.

Thanks for the input.
may not favor your using two jibs at once. Some of them may only have one jib, and be racing in the "white canvas" class because it equalizes the fleet to only use one jib at a time. They might consider your use of two jibs qualifies you for a rating change. (!!) You might also want to ask the Race Committee or other racers in your fleet (rather than here) to make sure it's OK before trying it and getting yourself finding tossed out of a race.
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Old 08-10-2010
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The old time cruisers (Eric Hiscock etal) used twin headsails when running. In his book Cruising under Sail . Hiscock recounts that the speed increase was worthwhile but that the boat (Wanderer III) had a tendency to develop an uncomfortable roll.
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Generally, to use twin headsails in a race, the sailing instructions have to specifically authorize it for that race. I have raced with twin genoas in 18-25 kt winds, with an unreefed mainsail and with one headsail poled out and the other flying free. We started the race downwind with only one headsail, and, truthfully, we were all afraid to raised the second genoa in that much wind, but we screwed up our courage and raised it, and the boat couldn't have been more stable. During the night, the pole broke, and we ended up flying both headsails free, and, I don't think we lost any significant amount of speed for lack of the pole.
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Old 08-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
may not favor your using two jibs at once. Some of them may only have one jib, and be racing in the "white canvas" class because it equalizes the fleet to only use one jib at a time. They might consider your use of two jibs qualifies you for a rating change. (!!) You might also want to ask the Race Committee or other racers in your fleet (rather than here) to make sure it's OK before trying it and getting yourself finding tossed out of a race.
The club that I race with is so relaxed that some would say we don't have any rules at all. There is no race committee to take a complaint to if you had one and the race chairman couldn't care less. Last year I was fouled three times on the same day by the same boat and was livid the third time. It's a good thing I couldn't find anything to throw at him as I was ready to do so. The Race Chairman didn't care. We had a rule a few years ago that you had to declare that you were going to use your spinnaker before the race or you couldn't use it. That fell by the wayside this past year.

Anyway, my bottom line with the two head sails is I may fly them and just see what happens.

Thanks
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