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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

wondering if anyone has tried using their staysail in conjunction with a jib on a cutter rig for downwind sailing? Earlier this year we had a 60NM run where the breeze built from 15 knots to 35 knots during the trip. We alternatively ran with the genoa then the staysail and I am now wondering whether we should of tried both?

Was thinking of furling the genoa until it roughly matched the size of the staysail and I would have to purchase a new whisker pole as my existing pole is sized for the full genoa, which at 605sqft is way to big to attempt this without furling. The staysail already has its own boom so that is not an issue.

Any ideas?

Ilenart
 

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If you're sailing downwind...wing on wing, why would you furl the genny down??? Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of using the sails wing on wing???
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sailingdog,

I am thinking of windspeeds of around 15-30knots so it would make the boat a bit more managable. With this windspeed I would already be hitting hull speed with the furled sails. The genoa is also very large, around 605sqft where the staysail would be less than half this size, so I am concerned that the boat would be out of balance.

In less than 10-15 knots I would probably be wing and wing with the unfurled genoa and the full main.

Ilenart
 

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Ahh....that makes sense. No reason it shouldn't work fairly well. I've done something similar in lighter winds using my Genoa and my Screacher sail... Can't reef the screacher, so can't do it in higher winds...
 

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We have used the 130% genoa on a whisker pole with the staysail winged out to the leeward side very successfully in lighter to moderate air when wanting to run downwind. However, we find that in light air we are better off with an asym chute and running from 120 to 150 degrees off to keep up boat speed.

In heavy air we have been very happy with just the staysail out on a whisker pole. I would note that in heavy air, we've had the pole "locked" in place with a topping lift, a fore-guy and an after-guy to keep the while thing stabilized in the rolling around.
 

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Yes it will work and with a little trimming should work well. I have sailed a Island packet downwind doing this very thing as the boat did not have a preventer to lock down the main.

It is common in the trade wind areas to set two poled out genoa's for downwind running. In fact in the old days you would interlace the sail hanks on the fore stay. Run the sheets back to turning blocks to cross the cockpit to snatch blocks and turn them back to the tiller or wheel. With a little tweaking you have a self steering system in place and can run for days with out much sail tending.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
why not a reefed mainsail & the staysail for heavier winds? Might be better balanced?
What I am thinking is how to make things easier if the wind increases, say above 30 knots. On my boat to reef or douse the main is a major effort in heavy air. However with a staysail & genoa it would be a lot easier as we would just need to finish furling the genoa and remove the whisker pole. The staysail is already set and we would now be right for 30-40kts.

Thanks for all the other replies.

Ilenart
 

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It has been done many times and written about a lot. The Smeeton's used to call it hoisting the "Twins". With both headsails up and no main the boat wants to run dead downwind. Try it!
 
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