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Discussion Starter #1
How much of a problem is it to add an inner forestay to a sloop rigged boat? I am thinking it would be nice to have more sail plan options because I mostly single hand. I was thinking detachable at the deck and equipped with roller furling.
How would you attach stay to mast?
How would you add a halyard?
Would you have to beef up the deck?

Thanks.

Jim.
 

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This is called a Solent Stay. If you search the internet you will find a lot of information on adding them.

You need to figure out how you'll beef up your foredeck to handle the load. This is normally done with a stay mounted inside the boat going from the inner part of the foredeck padeye down to the bow.

I've looked into this pretty seriously on my boat, so that I can run hank-on 100% and storm jibs for higher wind days. It looks like it will be about a $1000-$1500 project not including the sails, but including the cost to drop my mast.
 

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How much of a problem is it to add an inner forestay to a sloop rigged boat? I am thinking it would be nice to have more sail plan options because I mostly single hand. I was thinking detachable at the deck and equipped with roller furling.
How would you attach stay to mast?
How would you add a halyard?
Would you have to beef up the deck?

Thanks.

Jim.
I am very interested in this as well




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Discussion Starter #4
Alex.

Being able to go to a heavy weather foresail is what got me thinking about this modification.
Could the stay be farther aft than your thinking, by the forward cabin hatch?

Jim.
 

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The upper mount of the stay needs to be close to the mast head, or you will be stuck adding running backstays to support the mast at the new forestay location. If you did this but left the new forestay running far aft you would end up with very high aspect ratio sails. I'd rather have a normal aspect ratio so that used sails could work.
 

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Alex.


Being able to go to a heavy weather foresail is what got me thinking about this modification.
Could the stay be farther aft than your thinking, by the forward cabin hatch?

Jim.

I am thinking of a stay behind the anchor locker up as high on the mast as possible . I am primarily interested in a storm jib



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I would really advise checking with a real rigger, someone like Brion Toss. You need someone who has the wherewithal to do the calculations on the rig to determine if it is even possible, if it is if you need running backs (not all masts need them if they are strong enough already), where to put the Solent stay, and what type of force it will experience.

Frankly I don't get the advantage of doing this. Presuming you have a relatively modern roller furler on the headstay, it is much easier to just take it down and put up a storm sail before storms roll in. And this approach doesn't require you to furl the big headsail every time you want to tack it just to get it passed the second stay.
 

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I agree with the advice to work with a qualified rigger.

Frankly I don't get the advantage of doing this. Presuming you have a relatively modern roller furler on the headstay, it is much easier to just take it down and put up a storm sail before storms roll in. And this approach doesn't require you to furl the big headsail every time you want to tack it just to get it passed the second stay.
Changing head sails on roller furling when single handed is not very easy. You need to deal with the halyard and feed the sail at the same time. It is a lot harder than with hank-on sails. The luff tape sails are also harder than hank-on sails to flake properly singlehanded, especially while on the boat.

With a solent stay the inner forestay is removed when you use the roller furling sail. On a modern implementation the solent stay will be a low stretch synthetic (like Dynex Dux) that is stored alongside the mast when it is not in use.

From my point of view the solent stay gives me the ability to use my 135% genoa most of the time (it is the right sail when winds are 15kt or less, which is typicaly here in Seattle) with all of the ease of use of roller furling. In higher winds I could deploy the solent stay and run a 100% jib and then when it is time to double reef I can hank on a storm jib.

It is possible to roll down my 135% genoa to a 100% jib, but even with a high end furler and foam luff panels the shape is not as good as a properly cut 100% jib.

Without this setup I have trouble pointing much at all in winds over 30 knots. The boat gets overpowered until I reduce sail, and the sail shape of a 50% rolled up jib is too poor to point. Running on main only works best, but my boat doesn't point very well on main only.

The solent stay is still enough work and cost that I'm heavily considering having a heavy weather 90-100% sail (that can be rolled down to 60 or 70% pretty well) cut for my boat and changing sails on heavy air days.
 

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There's a lot to think about this. I have a solent rig from the get go and I love it. Still it's a PIA when using the 140% genny coastal. It means everytime I tack the genny I have to roll the genny , tack, then roll it out on the new side.
Also a solent does not replace a true storm jib. For me this is an issue only >50kts. Boat came with a padeye anchored below deck to my forward watertight bulkhead for a stormjib stay. However, leaving this attached is also a PIA. SO- I just rigged a dyneema stay with a tensioning device at deck level. The top has a ball which fits into a slot in the mast. I already had the running backstays which I leave unrigged coastal. When going offshore the stay goes up, the stormsail rigged and left on deck and the running backstays rigged but left at mast pulpits.

In short BEFORE spending any money get a good rigger to look at your boat. See what's possible and what it will cost. Think about how you really use the boat and what deficiencies you think you have at present. Explore your needs and options before deciding prematurely by internet search which solent supplies you will install or if a solent is the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The first thing I am going to do when I, if I, start this project is consult a rigger.
What I would really like to do is have a detachable inner stay connected to the deck maybe halfway between the mast and bow, run up to the mast at the same angle as the head stay dedicated for a storm jib.
The problems I'm concerned about are, beefing up the deck at that attachment, reinforcing the mast at that attachment and would the jib be too far aft to be efficient.

Jim.
 

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The first thing I am going to do when I, if I, start this project is consult a rigger.
What I would really like to do is have a detachable inner stay connected to the deck maybe halfway between the mast and bow, run up to the mast at the same angle as the head stay dedicated for a storm jib.
The problems I'm concerned about are, beefing up the deck at that attachment, reinforcing the mast at that attachment and would the jib be too far aft to be efficient.

Jim.
You'd be turning the 'sloop' into a quasi-cutter with that setup, and having the inner forestay so far below the masthead will require runners to maintain tension of that stay in a blow, as Alex W already pointed out. This complicates the job a bit, as you'll need not only an adequate anchor for the stay itself, but also for the runners (Though if you've got a perforated toerail that might do the trick) plus a free winch or adequate tackle to tension the runners.. it's also 'another job' on each tack.

The solent stay idea simplifies and achieves what you're after.. KISS usually works...
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for your input faster. An easily detached solent stay for a storm jib so I wouldn't have to worry about changing a furled head sail to put up the storm jib would do what I want. Food for thought.

I just re-read everybodys posts and it took me a while get what you were saying. Duh.

Jim.
 

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You'd be turning the 'sloop' into a quasi-cutter with that setup, and having the inner forestay so far below the masthead will require runners to maintain tension of that stay in a blow, as Alex W already pointed out. This complicates the job a bit, as you'll need not only an adequate anchor for the stay itself, but also for the runners (Though if you've got a perforated toerail that might do the trick) plus a free winch or adequate tackle to tension the runners.. it's also 'another job' on each tack.

The solent stay idea simplifies and achieves what you're after.. KISS usually works...

until you need to tack .....
 

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until you need to tack .....
.. meaning the tight clearance between stays??

I think most 'fixed' solents are on furlers and the forward sail is not intended to be 'tacked' without furling/unfurling.. if detachable presumably the stay is 'out of the way' when using the forward set.

But honestly I think for most coastal cruising all of this is a bit of overkill.. generally we're not far from shelter, pick our travel days and can wait out bad weather if that's what we want. For a short 'lets get the hell out of this' run to harbour a partial roll, or single sail will get the job done.

Offshore that's a totally different scenario....
 

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I worked out this same modification for my I-28. I have drawings for a deck fitting that mounts against the aft end of the anchor locker. All the rigging was professionally designed.

I have hank on head sails. A man who I have great respect for and, who understands the sail plan and sailing characteristics of the Islander-28 quite well, gently advised me that the head stay, carrying a storm jib. would be all the boat needs. A solent stay was unnecessary. As Faster said, "overkill". The man was Bob Perry. Thanks again Bob.

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.. meaning the tight clearance between stays??

I think most 'fixed' solents are on furlers and the forward sail is not intended to be 'tacked' without furling/unfurling.. if detachable presumably the stay is 'out of the way' when using the forward set.

But honestly I think for most coastal cruising all of this is a bit of overkill.. generally we're not far from shelter, pick our travel days and can wait out bad weather if that's what we want. For a short 'lets get the hell out of this' run to harbour a partial roll, or single sail will get the job done.

Offshore that's a totally different scenario....
Yep .... if you have the Solent rigged you have two choices. Furl come about unfurl or someone on the foredeck to guide the outer through the gap. Either way, something of a pain. A standard cutter or non solent double headsail sloop will usually allow the outer sail to slide past the inner stay. Not a perfect way to treat a piece of sailcloth I do admit.

Otoh, if you are not in a screaming hurry and you have a bit of wind then to hell with the head, just use the inner. Only negative with that is you'll get a whiff of excessive weather helm. As the wind increases balancing the boat by reducing the main makes for a pretty effective setup that is easily handled.

All of this said in relation to cruising not racing mode.
 

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I have hank on head sails. A man who I have great respect for and, who understands the sail plan and sailing characteristics of the Islander-28 quite well, gently advised me that the head stay, carrying a storm jib. would be all the boat needs. A solent stay was unnecessary. As Faster said, "overkill". The man was Bob Perry. Thanks again Bob.
I wouldn't even consider a solent stay if I had hank-on headsails. The solent stay is just the most effective way that I've seen of getting a storm jib onto a boat with a roller furling headsail.

The other options are a tape luff storm jib and changing sails (harder, but do-able) or the ATN storm jib that slides over a furled headsail. I've read that the ATN option works very poorly.

I do often wonder if the benefits of roller furling are really work it on ~30' boats.
 

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My "old" (all my boats are old, Ha!) Rhodes 22 has a roller head sail. I love it. Release the line in the jamb cleat and... Your off! There is nothing more convenient on a sloop. But!.... I love the hank on sails on my Islander. I am not in as much of a hurry as I was when I sailed the Rhodes. I guess? Getting underway as quickly as possible isn't that important. Choosing which sail to use. Reefing it if necessary. Dealing with hanks on the head stay are just part of the day's sail. I store the 135 in a jib bag, hanked on, with its reef in. It is a very responsive boat. Sailing with the reef (working jib) is comfortable. Shaking out the reef is no big deal. There are always the 180 and the sym spin for calm days. A high cut storm jib and storm tri sail should do all the "sailing" necessary. Adding a track for the tri sail is a good next step if long offshore travel is planned. I am sailing along the coast and really don't need the storm gear yet. I keep thinking we should grow our boat a little and make longer trips more comfortable. It keeps getting put off. A bigger boat means bigger head sails and probably a roller jib! Ha! Then I'll need a solent stay!

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Frankly I don't get the advantage of doing this. Presuming you have a relatively modern roller furler on the headstay, it is much easier to just take it down and put up a storm sail before storms roll in. And this approach doesn't require you to furl the big headsail every time you want to tack it just to get it passed the second stay.
The reason that boats rigged for offshore use have the inner forestay is that a storm jib flying off the forestay results in an unbalanced boat, as the center of effort ends up too far forward. Plus the jib will not work in concert with the trysail due to the large slot.
 
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