Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Kona, Hawaii
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Re: Question about singlehanding
I'll be sailing a cutter and will be eliminating my staysail boom. Any cutter sailors who singlehand sail who can share their experiences with this cutter setup. Thanks
Tacking our Westsail with loose footed staysail was a piece of cake though the Aries normally steered the boat. Would set the Aries for the other tack, release the yankee when it began to luff and then the staysail, haul in the staysail's other sheet by hand and cleat it, haul in the yankee sheet and trim it on the winch if necessary, go back to the staysail and trim it. Usually didn't have to do much to trim the staysail as pulling the sheet tight by hand could feel the proper tension with the sail luffing as the bow passed through the wind. The vane would have the boat steering on the new tack and work was done. Wouldn't be much harder without self steering. Just keep the tiller between the legs and steer that way while you are working the sail.
Running the staysail loose footed is way way better than having it on a club. Sail sets better on all points of sail by simply adjusting the sheet. With the boom, it would kite putting a big belly in the sail as soon as you cracked the sheet off. The only way to get a well trimmed sail was to vang the sail down which defeated the whole self tacking issue. Worst part was the boom was physically dangerous unless strapped down hard and I have the scar to prove it.
Very high aspect ratio rigs lend themselves much better to a self tending set up but still have issues with trim on some points of sail no matter how they are set up. For light air with a normal rig you need an overlapping to keep the boat moving optimally which negates self tending.