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Old 06-04-2015, 10:36   #16
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I have a Yankee on a bobsprit and the staysail stay terminating in the anchor well, so there's not a vast gap for the Yankee to pass through. But it does, fairly non-dramatically, because you have to blend the timing of the tack with a slight "backing of the jib" to start the rolling motion. You also have to avoid the temptation to haul in the new weather sheet and you (naturally) have to slack off the old weather sheet considerably.

The fold of the jib should pick up speed through the tack and you can slow the tack at the helm and start bringing in the clew on the new side just as it's passing the stay. Of course, you bugger about with the staysail sheets afterwards, unless you've got more crew than me!

Like anything, it just takes practice and co-ordination, and I won't claim it's 100% successful, but I will claim in the 90% or better range.

Exactly correct. Slow the tack, re trim, fall off, speed up..it just takes a moment or two to let the wind pull the Yankee thru the gap and take up the slack in the sheet.
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Old 06-04-2015, 13:03   #17
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

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Hi,

now your all in with heavy wind and storms. But what about the very light winds as I would expect in the Med? I will have to right my boat Nicholson 26 with a inner forestay and plan to use extrem light material for a staysail maybe together with a main made of spinacker cloth (read Pardey). Any words from you to that, guys?
What's wrong with using the engine? Or just waiting for another puff?

It is not the wind that will be limiting you, it is the roll.

On the lake, go for it.

On any choppy or rolly waters, forget it. Any sizable swell will shake any little wind from the sails of any small craft.

Start the donkey, or wait for the wind to return.

And now to brighten you up: small and flat sails are the ones that you will be able to keep up longest: reef the main + hoist a very light and very flat dacron fore sail (NOT a very big one). Light dacron keeps shape better than nylon.

Sailing a 26' rolly tub is not like sailing a 65' VOR machine. It is not.

b.
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Old 06-04-2015, 13:17   #18
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

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Hi,
now your all in with heavy wind and storms. But what about the very light winds as I would expect in the Med? I will have to right my boat Nicholson 26 with a inner forestay and plan to use extrem light material for a staysail maybe together with a main made of spinacker cloth (read Pardey). Any words from you to that, guys?
I wouldn't. Not been fond of a staysail in light airs. I even had a genoa staysail built for my 31 footer. Useless in most situations... especially on a small boat. I probably wouldnt run any staysail on a 26. Didn't even use a staysail on my 47 footer except in medium or heavy winds.
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Old 06-04-2015, 15:39   #19
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

Dockhead,

I have the same sail arrangement. How do you heave to? The yankee will not backwind on the staysail w/o serious chafing, so I imagine heaving to is a staysail affair. Do you lash the car on the staysail track on the leeward side before tacking? That would allow for backwinding the staysail.
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Old 06-04-2015, 15:56   #20
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

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Dockhead,

I have the same sail arrangement. How do you heave to? The yankee will not backwind on the staysail w/o serious chafing, so I imagine heaving to is a staysail affair. Do you lash the car on the staysail track on the leeward side before tacking? That would allow for backwinding the staysail.
I have thought about lashing down the staysail car, but never tried it. It would be necessary if you're heaving to in strong weather, and you've already put the yankee away.

I heave to like everyone -- just tack without tacking the yankee, leaving it backwinded, and put the helm over.

It does not chafe excessively. It does not chafe so much against the inner forestay, as it does against the spreaders. Like with all boats. I have soft ends on my spreaders and have never seen a mark on my yankee, and I heave-to fairly often.

Try it; you'll see that it works fine.

People worry about heaving-to in boats with modern underbodies, but I have never sailed any boat, without exception, which I couldn't make heave to, or at least forereach slowly, which is basically just as good. My Moody 54, despite the bulb keel, heaves to splendidly, very stable, and with no need to fiddle like some boats. It is just amazing how nice this is, when you need to take a break during a long beat to windward. Maybe to cook some dinner and rest, or give someone who's seasick a break from the motion. It's like pressing the "off" button -- one minute you're bashing through head seas, heeled over hard, holding on, with the wind howling through the shrouds, the next minute you're lying comfortably, the wind has died down, you're no longer heeling, and you can cook, have dinner, rest a bit, take a shower, clean up below, fix something, whatever.
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Old 06-04-2015, 16:47   #21
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

One more vote for the staysail. On the bowsprit I have a high clue 110 Yankee on roller furling with a hank on club footed staysail with one reef point.

I love the self tacking in narrow channels plus the hanks are pretty much foolproof.

In 20-25 kt the full main and staysail give fingertip control at the wheel.

For heaving to I've found that there was no need for headsails at all. With the main, reefed or not, but sheeted in flat lets me heave to without effort. Now my Cabo is a true cutter and the highest winds when I hove to were only around 30 kt, but according to the GPS I only drifted about 1/2 mm downwind in 2 hrs.

I admit, coming from a sloop to a cutter, the transition was difficult. There seems to very little written on sail trim.


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Old 06-04-2015, 17:04   #22
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

Ahh, there's nothing quite like going to weather in 30-35k with a double-reefed main and the staysail. Center of effort is low and inboard, all the strain levels are reduced. Truly a joy. And you no longer have to get all the way out onto the bow in crap weather if you want to make some small changes up there (or even swap to the storm jib riding on the inner forestay).

And rigged correctly upwind in a little less breeze with the Yankee outboard of it the two really start to pull together.

Wholeheartedly agree that a paean is appropriate and required.
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Old 06-04-2015, 17:26   #23
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

Dockhead,

OK. I'm convinced--I'll try it. I had a Moody 38 sloop with a shoal keel before my current M46 (also a bulb shoal keel), and it would heave to just fine. I usually had some reef in both jib and main, but there was no staysail. I was just visualizing that yankee lying against the staysail furler and rubbing away. But I'll try it, and it certainly beats going on deck to lash down the staysail car in a blow.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:08   #24
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

There is perhaps an issue that is not being addressed. There is some difference between a cutter rigged boat with a staysail and a sloop with a staysail. Primarily the position of the main mast.

I freely admit that I don't know if this is important or not but the center of effort has to be at least somewhat different

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Old 07-04-2015, 10:27   #25
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
There is perhaps an issue that is not being addressed. There is some difference between a cutter rigged boat with a staysail and a sloop with a staysail. Primarily the position of the main mast.

I freely admit that I don't know if this is important or not but the center of effort has to be at least somewhat different

Rich
t
All of our rigs have evolved and don't look much like their namesakes. We call our sloops "Bermuda sloops" but other than the basic outline of the rig, there's not much in common with the original. In particular, modern "sloops" are much taller, have proportionately much shorter booms, and don't have bowsprits. Likewise with cutters. Modern "cutters" are more like sloops with staysails than traditional cutters, but "sloops" aren't sloops, either, so it's a fairly academic discussion.

Some modern boats are designed specifically as cutters -- mine is one of these. The mast is located somewhat aft of where a sloop's mast would be to leave room for a more powerful foretriangle. In practice there's not much difference. Much more significant are the differences between sloops and sloops -- I mean those "sloops" which now have rigs similar to what you see on catamarans, with huge mainsails and small, non-overlapping, self-tacking headsails. Or, for that matter, between fractional and masthead sloops.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:37   #26
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

Mine is a traditional cutter with a full keel. You are correct that the mainmast is more centered than a sloop. The taller masts with shorter booms are supposed to enhance the ability to sail to weather. The shorter masts with longer booms were supposed to enhance downwind sailing. "Youse pays your money and takes your choice "


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Old 07-04-2015, 12:12   #27
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

Another upvote for the staysail. I find there are three conditions under which she excels.

1. Off the wind in a heavy blow -- it just works. The first time I fell in love with the sail I was running under a staysail alone in a strong gale in the gulf stream. Made 8 knots through the water, never felt overcanvassed (we weren't), and the with sail pulling the boat along (as opposed to pushing with a reefed main) made for less yawing motion -- absolutely no tendency to round up in gusts.

2. Better pointing in high winds. I suppose I *could* sheet a furled up yankee inboard of the shrouds, but I usually keep the sheets outboard. As such, the staysail offers much better sheeting angle and thus higher pointing.

3. Reaching in light winds. I think it adds a little bit of speed. That's what I tell myself. Or at least it looks cool!

As others have said, the staysail gear has to be at least as strong as the genoa. Although only a fraction of the size, it gets used in much stronger winds. I learned my lesson about halyard tension, though. While dodging tropical storm faye the forces on the staysail were so great the luff tape partially pulled out of the groove in the furler. It wasn't a problem until I later tried dropping the sail. The sail-loft recommended retensioning the halyard when using in high winds -- since doing that I haven't had that problem again.
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Old 07-04-2015, 15:04   #28
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

Where the mast is does not matter. Because if the center of LR is fixed, for a mast to go forward, the main will be smaller. And so, the center of SA will fall roughly in the same spot. Otherwise the boat would not sail well at all.

So to say, a cutter and a sloop-cum-cutter are roughly the same beast.

This is a post for the poster above who investigates a cutter vs. a slutter.

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Old 07-04-2015, 15:19   #29
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

A true cutter can make better use of the staysail due to the mast placement. Most cruisers won't notice the difference though.

I have noticed that the staysail is appreciated only by those who have one. Those without one will say you don't need it. But when the weather gets going a good heavy sail hanked on the inner forestay gives a lot of flexibility.

I personally haven't noticed much difference in speed (+/- 0.5 kt) when going upwind trying to carry two headsails. But tacking is a lot easier.

For the poster asking about light air a good solution is to fly a medium weight asymmetrical with a sock. Easy for one person to put up or take down. Leave the staysail and genoa furled for a simpler sail plan.
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Old 07-04-2015, 15:37   #30
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Re: A Paean to my Staysail

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For the poster asking about light air a good solution is to fly a medium weight asymmetrical with a sock. Easy for one person to put up or take down. Leave the staysail and genoa furled for a simpler sail plan.
^^^ This. ^^^
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