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I've also been considering adding a solent stay to my boat (29'). I would add the stay to run parallel to the forestay and just behind it. I wouldn't add a solent stay at the spreaders without also supporting that stay with running backstays. That adds a lot of complexity.

In the meantime I've changed my rigging to allow for easy sail changes on the furler. I moved the jib halyard from the cockpit back to the mast (and will be adding a second jib halyard next time my mast is down). A prefeeder has been added to the furler. Having the halyard at the mast makes it easier for me to change the sail solo (because I can lead the halyard forward). My furler (like most furlers) has two tracks, so it will be possible to do sail changes underway without dropping a sail first once I add the second jib halyard.

I have 3 headsails: 60% storm jib, 100% working jib, and 135% genoa.

With this work complete a solent stay seems less important.
 

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Yes, good correction. I've only done running changes on boats with foils (not furlers) and hadn't completely thought that one through. It actually makes me wonder why they put two tracks in, because the swivel doesn't drop all the way to the base of the furler (it stops at the feeder, about 3' up the forestay). If I start actively racing this boat it is something that I'll have to explore.

Even without the ability to do a running change this configuration makes sail changes a lot easier than they were before, especially when light handed. I'm not convinced that rolling up a furling sail and changing to the solent stay will involve less foredeck work than changing from the 100% jib to the storm jib on the furler. You would have half as much sail fabric on the foredeck, since only one sail would be on the deck instead of two.

An attraction of the solent stay is that there are a lot of good hank-on sails in the world at incredibly low prices. A solent stay would give you access to that inventory of sails, while using the furler for your most often used genoa. This benefit would be lost for the OP's plan of having the solent stay start at the spreaders, since that would make for an usually acute sail shape.
 

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He didn't say what made the sail changes hard at anchor.

Catalina boats of this size often have CDI furlers. They have an unusual design that is swivel-less and uses a small diameter halyard that is integral to the furler (this lets them get rid of the expensive top swivel). They are indeed hard to change sails on (or to adjust halyard tension on).

A better use of money might be getting a furler that allows for easier sail changes. A Harken 00AL or Unit 0 furler is in the same ballpark as adding a solent stay.
 

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You'll have to do foredeck work to setup the solent stay.

What makes changing the sail difficult on your furler? It isn't that it is a CDI as I had guessed -- the Snapfurl does have a normal halyard.
 

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If you add a pre-feeder it will make it a lot easier to pull the sail up. The pre-feeder aligns the luff tape with the track. They are inexpensive, a cheap one is $15 and a super deluxe one is around $50.

Foam strips shouldn't make a huge difference, my (6 month old) genoa also has them and I don't find that it makes dropping the sail any harder. It makes flaking it a little harder, but I don't flake the sail until later. You can leave it tied down and along the stanchions.

It would be interesting to hear from someone who has used both setups on how much time it takes to switch sails on the furler vs roll up the furler and switch to the solent sail. I have a feeling that it is about the same amount of time, but have only done sail switches on furler and don't know for sure.
 
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