I am the captain of a 44' cruising charter catamaran and I have been puzzling over the following: I have noticed hints in more than a couple of places that sailing a large sloop-rigged, no-backstay catamaran with the jib
only (no main) could be bad for the rig
and may lead to mast breakage. I find this hard to believe, I mean, many of these cats are sailed across oceans and the rigs
are quite sturdy. Furthermore, I have personally sailed 44, 45 and 47 foot catamarans under jib
alone with no problems.
However, one example is in the owner's manual for my Lagoon 440 (and I quote): "WARNING: Any sail combination different from these requirements may cause the mast to break. In particular, 100% genoa with 2 reefs in the mainsail is totally banned". Their requirements show both sails used at the same time and furled equally to varying degrees based upon wind speeds. Another boat owner I know cautions his bareboat charters to never sail his boat under jib alone "because it stresses the rig
". Is there any validity to this?
I am not a reckless sailor and would not attempt to fly downwind under full jib in a storm, but I am concerned about flying our big gennaker downwind with no main if flying jib alone with no main is a bad idea. I figure the topping lift to mainsheet connection should provide a lot of support if I keep it tight and make up for the lack of a backstay. Other than that, am I in danger of losing my mast? Comments? Experiences? Etc?
Thanks in advance for any insight!!