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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about adding a storm jib to the arsenal, and last Saturday convinced me. While there was a strong wind warning for the area, I left the 150% genoa up because "strong wind" usually means firing up the Yanmar.

Sure enough, 5 knots of wind for the first hour and almost wishing for an even bigger sail. Then spied a bit of darker blue over thataway. Started sailing thataway and 6 kns .. 8kns .. 12 .. 15 .. 18 .. 22 .. 24! Man, they were right for a change.

At this point I have the headsail furled and am heading back home with the expected ridiculous amount of weather helm. Compounding the problem is that I can't reef the main; it's a new (to me) main with reef points a wee bit higher than the old meaning the reefing lines were too short meaning no reefing lines.

"I'll fix it tomorrow" I said to myself "it's sunny today and that strong wind warning is wrong."

ANYWAY, some sort of jib would sure have been nice. I did unfurl a bit and reached as much as I could.

But this is not the first time I've been so caught, being forced to head home with the wrong sails rather than enjoy big winds.

So I'm going to buy SOMETHING in the way of a storm jib for my cutter.

Now, I'm quite sure I'm going to run something off a temporary inner stay as opposed to a sail clipped around the furled headsail.

My options are an actual temporary inner stay, clamped on to a padeye, with a hanked on sail, or a sail with integral stay/halyard.

I am leaning to the latter as this would allow me to hoist it entirely from the cockpit; a consideration for a singlehanded sailor OR for a wife who may be forced into singlehanding should something happen to the old man (me). This would involve a block on the mast, a block on the foredeck, sheets pre-run and a sail well packed in a turtle.

I understand this latter setup will not point as well, but I have no feel for how bad it might be.

Any opinions on the topic gratefully accepted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hate to tell you this, but you had no business leaving the dock knowing the forecast and knowing you could not reef your main.
I accept your chastisement, but in my own defense, the number of times the forecast for "strong winds" is just plain wrong is in the 90% range, at least in this little micro climate area.

So I did what I usually do and that is check the actual wind speed from a station exactly where I was going.

It confirmed winds of 10 - 12 knots a few hours earlier and now down to 4 to 5 knots, as ALWAYS happens at this time of day, this time of year.

Going out equipped as I was did not seem at all risky. In fact, my biggest fear was that it would be a day of nothing but motoring.

You do not need a storm jib for 25 knots of wind. You don't tell us what boat you have, but chances are that a reefed main and a partially furled jib and you would have been fine. Please don't endanger yourself or your wife.
I know a storm jib is not required in those conditions; a reefed main and partial jib would have been fine. In fact, a depowered main and partial jib worked OK.

But the partially furled jib flogged WAY more than I was happy with; I don't like beating up the rig like that.

My thinking is this. A storm jib is pretty handy once in a while .. not often, but when you need it, you are VERY happy to have it.

And where I sail, it is often VERY light air; my big lightweight foresail is the right choice 90% of the time.

But EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, 20 to 25 knots of wind can come up quite quickly. Changing sails when it does is a lousy option. A solo sail change with my particular furler is an hour; when you're only going out for an afternoon, that's a whole lot of the day spent not sailing.

So under such conditions, I would just furl it and fly the storm jib.

I know I wouldn't be going all that fast, but at least I'd be going. And if it died down after an hour or two, as it often does, back to the big sail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A partially furled 150% in mid-20s breeze will serve poorly for anything and run as a chance of damaging the sail which is not heavy enough for that wind strength.
Yes, damaging the headsail under such conditions is one of the reasons I'm thinking about this. It's actually cheap insurance.

You need to get a smaller jib, something close to 100-110 would be good. You can chase adding an inner forestay, IMHO a lot of effort and cost rather than just switch sails when necessary.
I have one, but the winds in my area are usually so light that the 150 IS the right choice most of the time.

You are about 20 knots short of needing a storm sail.
As I mentioned in a previous reply, yes, well short.

But I'm thinking about a slightly larger than usual storm jib (for my size of boat), as I do not ever expect to be in 45 knot winds. Those I can see coming enough in advance that I will assuredly just stay home.

25 to 35 knot winds are a possibility though, and so I'll buy something sized for those forces.

And if I have one ready to fly, it would still be the better choice than the big sail a lot of the time. And if the wind falls off, as it usually does, drop and fly the headsail again.

An intermediate sail IS one option, but so is a big one and a little one. I learned to sail on a cutter rig and I guess I got spoiled.

If you proceed with an inner stay, be sure your "padeye" is connected to strong framing as it will subject to high loads, the back of an anchor locker often can serve.
I'm lucky here .. the back of the anchor locker is thick plywood, well glassed in on all sides and well attached to the deck. It's very rigid here, and could well be strong enough all on its own. But the overall geometry is such that I MIGHT be able to run a "stay" inside the chain locker from the bottom of the padeye down to the bow and actually have it do something useful.

Much thought on this is obviously still required and more than one boat builder will be invited over for a beer and a look-see before anything gets done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so is your boat already cutter rigged? im confused...you want a storm sail thats easy depoloyable right?
I wish .. it's not cutter rigged, but having sailed a cutter, I sure am a fan of that extra capability. So I'm looking to add an inner sail of some sort, either on a stay or integral halyard/stay.

My thought was to add a slightly larger than normal storm jib, to do double duty as both HEAVY wind sail, when storm jib is undoubtedly the right choice, as well "heavyish" wind sail, when the big foresail is too much.

a true storm jib will be dog slow in 20-25 knots of wind
Yup, but I'm OK with that. I'm not a racer at ALL .. I'm a part time cruiser and most time afternoon sailor.

On those afternoons, since I'm not actually going anywhere anyway, how long it takes to get to nowhere at all doesn't matter.

Dog slow, but still moving comfortably, is just fine. Sailing to me is a destressing activity.

I would much rather be moving at 3 knots and watching the world drift by than moving at 6.5 or 7 knots and PAYING ATTENTION.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
what size boat? if small you can rig up a quick release stay to a pad...and rig pretty quick

a good backing plate and or tie rod to the hull is almost a must in all boats

do you have a place or plate or tang to attach at the mast already?
It's a Windward 28, which is close to a 30 in terms of beam, weight and waterline length.

I'm pretty sure I can come up with a suitable mount on the deck (and if I'm not convinced I can, I won't do it.)

As to the mast, nope, nothing there. That's another issue, but one I can easily deal with. (I have some modest machine shop capabilities.) But what happens on the mast is dependent upon how I'd fly this sail .. on a stay or on a halyard .. which was my original question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just blogged about this, and the benefits of a stay. In the end I decided not to go that route, shying away from the extended deck work to provide a secure fixing point.
Hmm, for me, as an inveterate tinkerer, such a requirement is a GOOD thing! <g>

And as First Edition is quite stout in that area, the task is easier than on many other boats.

But I understand your concern; if something bad happens such that a big chunk of foredeck gets torn away, that's not going to happen while at anchor, it's going to happen in BIG wind and BIG water, as in, the worst possible time.

I read your blog and came to much the same conclusion as you as to choice of sails, right down to number 5. I also fly my symmetric spinnaker asymmetrically using the ATN device and a (home made version of the ATN) sock to get it up and down. Works much better than expected. I'll probably spring for a real assym one day, but I currently feel no real urge to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Example of Pre-feeder: Harken Carbo Racing Foil Pre-Feeder
It prevents/lessens the amount of binding / jamming of the luff tape of a jib/genoa AT the entrance of the 'slot' of the furler foil.
I will certainly give that a look, as I have to go SLOW. With one hand hauling on the halyard and the other hand guiding the luff into the slot, it's HARD getting a sail up, even at the dock in my sheltered marina. Add wind and waves and you find yourself thinking "I should have just stayed home today".

Now include the difficulty of getting the old sail down and stowed on my small foredeck through my little hatch and sail changes at sea are something I really try to avoid.

Good point is made by Waltthesalt about 'balancing' the sail plan ... as you cant simply fly a 'storm jib' with a non-reefed mainsail - the imbalance of sail area will surely cause extreme 'weather helm', etc. The typical storm jib is usually flown with a storm trysail or at least a TRIPLE reefed mainsail.
Absolutely the sailmaker will be involved.

Again, the plan for the sail is something a wee bit larger than typical stormsail, cut a wee bit less flat than a typical stormsail, something suitable to balance my double-reefed main. (The main really isn't big enough for three reef points)

I am not planning to go offshore with this setup.

I just want to make those rare but not unknown 20 to 30 knot days enjoyable. Right now, I would describe them as manageable, but certainly no fun.
 
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