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Old 29-03-2010, 17:16   #1
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Any Advice on Storm Trysail ?

We are currently cruising in Central America but are planning some longer passages in the future. On the list of things to purchase are a storm trysail and a storm jib. Not a problem - we have been in contact with several sailmakers and have started getting quotes. This is the dilemma:

The admiral (me) feels we need a separate track on the mast for the storm trysail.
The captain (him) thinks we can hank it onto a taut piece of Spectra line attached to the mast alongside the mainsail track.

Does anyone know if the Spectra line solution is an option?

SailingRocks
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Old 29-03-2010, 18:18   #2
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NO, go with the separate track or a decent gate in the existing track.
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Old 29-03-2010, 18:36   #3
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While I have not set a trysail like you suggest, I have set other sails that way. They tend to sag off to leeward pretty badly unless you get the line extremely tight which will probably require heavier hardware than you have available. The tighter the line is, the more the tension in the line increases from the horizontal force imposed by the sail. In addition, you would need to worry about chafe since the last time that you want to loose that line is when you really need that sail.

If it is something that you are serious about, try it out a lot and make sure that you feel comfortable with it. It is definitely not ideal but could probably be made to work adequately.
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Old 29-03-2010, 18:53   #4
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In the sort of conditions where you set a trysail, the old latin adage "nil circum coitus" springs to mind (i.e don't f**k around). We wouldn't go to a trysail until probably 50 knots of breeze (consistent, not peak gust), and by the time its blowing 50 plus, you want whatever you are doing to be bullet-proof. Hanking to "taut" piece of rope sounds too fraught with risk. I'd be very much going for a track.
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Old 29-03-2010, 20:27   #5
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No way, a track is the only option. But it is possible to dump the mainsail slides out and use the main track when you decide to do this change well before (like 12-24 hours) the storm hits.

I would go for a separate track. I would prefer a 3rd very deep reef in the mainsail over a "free flying" trysail.

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Old 29-03-2010, 20:39   #6
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not to be repetitive, but in a word......

Quote:
Originally Posted by svcurare View Post
Does anyone know if the Spectra line solution is an option?
no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!
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Old 29-03-2010, 21:55   #7
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As Jedi mentioned above, if you do not want to install a separate track or buy a trysail, the other common solution for a storm sail seems to be a very deep third (or fourth) reef on your main.

Certainly not based on my experience (I have none), but there are experienced high-latitude sailors that prefer this route to a trysail.
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Old 29-03-2010, 23:20   #8
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I just did this. Looked around for a second hand sail and couldn't find anything suitable, ended up buying a North sails new stock sail for $475 (Tartan 37) Somewhere on the E coast, I can get you the guys email if you need it.

Seperate track 7/8" stainless two lengths of 12' was about $150 Findiing stainless rivets was a pain, about $40 from an industrial fastener place. About 3 hours to put it up. I ran the track almost to the deck so that I can leave it hanked on, and high enough that I can sheet it to the boom if I want to. Stop at the top of the track too

I also think a dedicated halyard is nice so that you can hoist it before dropping the main, I had a spare sheave.
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Old 30-03-2010, 05:08   #9
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Sounds like the Admiral's way.

YouTube - Heavy weather sailing skills
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Old 30-03-2010, 05:55   #10
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Ahoy, try the ATN made "gale sail", a smart attachement that lets you wrap a peice of heavy duty canvas around your wound up headsail and attach the storm jib to with hanks!
Avoid any "easy" solutions for the storm sail, put it up early, I use a 50% reef in the main, with 2 line slab reefing it is easy to pull the main down without leaving the cockpit.
Keith.
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Old 30-03-2010, 06:07   #11
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Have a good look at your mast.

Our Selden mast has a trysail track built into it. I only discovered it this last weekend.
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Old 30-03-2010, 06:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
As Jedi mentioned above, if you do not want to install a separate track or buy a trysail, the other common solution for a storm sail seems to be a very deep third (or fourth) reef on your main.

Certainly not based on my experience (I have none), but there are experienced high-latitude sailors that prefer this route to a trysail.
In fairness to this point of view, in about 90% of all cases where you see a boat for sail with a trysail in its sail inventory, even a boat with multiple transats under its belt, there is this note -- "NEVER USED".

I would like to have one, myself. If for nothing else, the psychological comfort of having that heavy piece of bright orange colored canvas you don't have to reef. But I'm not sure if I can justify the expense, considering how well the deeply reefed regular mainsail (in-mast furling) works even in 50 knot gusts.
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Old 30-03-2010, 08:41   #13
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For most sloops that sail into areas that have nasty storms, I would get a proper trysail with it's own mast track. If you sail locally and just have to cope with squalls I wouldn't buy it and just drop everything if the squall is bad enough because it will go away quickly.

If I would have in-mast or in-boom furling I would use a trysail much more often than with a standard reefing main. I have little faith in these furling systems anyway and none at all in storm conditions. After a storm, I see most boats with in-mast furling making repairs to it.

Also, I think that boats that sailed far but never used the trysail have all been in situations where it would have been better to use the trysail. The fact that they didn't use it doesn't mean it wasn't needed.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 30-03-2010, 09:20   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
For most sloops that sail into areas that have nasty storms, I would get a proper trysail with it's own mast track. If you sail locally and just have to cope with squalls I wouldn't buy it and just drop everything if the squall is bad enough because it will go away quickly.

If I would have in-mast or in-boom furling I would use a trysail much more often than with a standard reefing main. I have little faith in these furling systems anyway and none at all in storm conditions. After a storm, I see most boats with in-mast furling making repairs to it.

Also, I think that boats that sailed far but never used the trysail have all been in situations where it would have been better to use the trysail. The fact that they didn't use it doesn't mean it wasn't needed.

ciao!
Nick.
Well, maybe. Different boats will need it to different extents. Our boat has already been tested in 50+ knots of wind with the standard furling main, and it worked well. Sail has good shape when reefed way down, and the furling mechanism works smoothly (as long as you head into the wind). The Selden furler is a simple mechanical device with a crown wheel which can be operated directly without the furling line (there is a winch at the mast which acts directly on the crown wheel with no lines, blocks, or anything). There's not much to go wrong as long as you avoid a bad wrap of the sail itself. Since you can directly observe and control what the sail is doing in the mast slot, there's not much reason why you should have this problem if you are reasonably careful.

Despite all of that, I'd like to have a real storm trysail, and there is a track already built into our mast for it. The most robust and simple sail you can imagine, which is just what you want in tough going. Adds redundancy too.
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Old 30-03-2010, 10:00   #15
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A well read, but still a newbie, I've got a storm staysail, a heavy duty staysail, for 50+. I hope I never need it but it will be on early, and I'd consider dropping the genoa if the forecast is 50+. Under stay alone I expect to have steerage way or more with drogue to control speed. Cats, I'm told and I've read, are more comfortable on a reach, mono's eventually are better downwind. I'm not sure you'd want a small main unless you were going to sail across or into wind (and swell)? and then you'd need something forward for balance?
I'll be interested to see how this pans out, certainly worth some sea trials in 40kts to get a feel for balance and best heading available and for comfort. Keep us posted, please.
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