Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-19-2020 Thread Starter
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Question Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

Hi all,
New to the forum, very first post.

I am at home for a little while due to the coronavirus crisis. In order to defeat boredom, I have decided to design and sew a new sail for my boat.
I bought this boat last year. It had only the two working sail, so when the wind was light, I was forced to use the engine. I decided to expand my sail inventory, and the first sail I sewed was a spinnaker for the main mast (see below). I made it from a Sailrite kit. It went pretty smoothly. So smooth in fact, I decided to design the next sail from scratch.


I used Sailcut CAD to design a flying (obviously, as the mast is unstayed) drifter for the mizzen. Now before proceeding, I would like to fish for advice from the community. What do you think? Should I make the foot longer? Should I tack the sail further forward? Should the clew be higher?
I intend to tack the sail to the windward toerail and sheet it to the end of the boom. It will be made of 1,5 oz nylon.

Anybody has specific advice on using Sailcut CAD? I have printed the panels with a 1/10th scale on paper, cut and pasted them together. I can see a pretty smooth draft in the (paper) sail. The shape looks right...
Attached Thumbnails
spi_low.jpg   drifter.jpg   Capture.PNG   Capture2.PNG  
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Last edited by Free Rider; 03-19-2020 at 07:35 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-19-2020
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

I was going to suggest making sure the clew was high enough to see under, but it seems you’ve already taken that into account. Will the new sail blanket the main, though? Do mizzen staysails have a wide range of utility, or are they only effective in a fairly narrow range of conditions/situations?
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-20-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

Hi Paul,
I have designed the staysail as an upwind sail for light wind. The draft is 13 % at 40% from luff. I plan using it from about 40 to maybe 110 degres apparent, where it will probably start to blancket the main (or the spinnnaker) too much.

Last edited by Free Rider; 03-20-2020 at 05:33 AM.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-20-2020
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

Sounds interesting. Boats I’ve sailed that had mizzen staysails used them in reaching/downwind situations. You plan to try it upwind? Running the tack to the windward rail may make that difficult - would it start luffing before the foresail, since the angle of attack is smaller?
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

Well, I don't know. I think it would look something like this close to the wind (see below). It has pretty much the same angle as the other sails. It would act almost as a part of the mizzen sail, being almost against the mast. Keep in mind this is an unstayed cat ketch : no shrouds.
I could always tack it to the centerline, but it would be too close to the main.
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Last edited by Free Rider; 03-21-2020 at 06:47 AM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-20-2020
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

What happens to the foresail if you set the staysail up this way? Does it put the foresail into a permanent header or lift? What happens to the slot between the staysail and the mizzen mast? Does the turbulence around the mast increase to the point that it causes the airflow to be totally disrupted and detached over both sails? It would seem that if this approach worked, it would have become widely adopted. Consider how high you would point going upwind if you had a sloop with the tack of the jib where you have the foresail tacked now, and the mast where the tack of the staysail would be. It would appear that to work, the boat would have to head much lower than it does without that setup. Expensive experiment. It might be worth discussing with a sailmaker before threading any needles.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-20-2020
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

You would probably do a lot better with a drifter for what you have in mind. With a light wire luff, you could fly it from your bowsprit.
I don't see a mizzen stays'l working up wind at all.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-21-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
What happens to the foresail if you set the staysail up this way? Does it put the foresail into a permanent header or lift? What happens to the slot between the staysail and the mizzen mast? Does the turbulence around the mast increase to the point that it causes the airflow to be totally disrupted and detached over both sails? It would seem that if this approach worked, it would have become widely adopted. Consider how high you would point going upwind if you had a sloop with the tack of the jib where you have the foresail tacked now, and the mast where the tack of the staysail would be. It would appear that to work, the boat would have to head much lower than it does without that setup. Expensive experiment. It might be worth discussing with a sailmaker before threading any needles.
Valid questions. That's why I started the thread. I would really like to have answers from someone who has experience with a cat ketch though. You say "It would seem that if this approach worked, it would have become widely adopted". It's just impossible with a stayed mast. The shrouds would get in the way.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-21-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
You would probably do a lot better with a drifter for what you have in mind.
I call it a mizzen drifter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
With a light wire luff, you could fly it from your bowsprit.
I will have one on the bowsprit too. I'm trying to have more sail area for light wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
I don't see a mizzen stays'l working up wind at all.
Why? Why would it be different from a staysail and yankee combination on a cutter?

Last edited by Free Rider; 03-21-2020 at 06:10 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-21-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailmaking project during coronavirus break : seeking advice

I was thinking about something like this :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...v=kZvAEmB-x58&

Or this :


Last edited by Free Rider; 03-21-2020 at 09:11 AM.
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