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Old 30-06-2008, 15:39   #1
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Beginer staysail question

Hello,

A beginer question....

I have a 1985 Hunter 40 and it's got an iner forestay. The boat did not come with a staysail but it's rigged for it. Are there advantages of having a staysail other than in a strong wind? Also, what is the difference between a cutter rigged boat and one like mine? (A sloop with an inner forestay). I assume there must be a difference in design allowing the cutter to fly both sails at once.

I have to replace the sails in the near future and I was thinking of puting up a bigger genoa on the furler (110 on there now) and having a smaller sail on that inner forestay, mabe even get a furling unit for it.

Any Info you can pass on would be good

Thanks
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Old 30-06-2008, 16:30   #2
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The difference with a cutter is that all three sails are intended to be flown at once, the advantage being that the sail sizes are smaller and so more manageable. This applies less with modern reliable roller furling.
To achieve sail balance the mast is moved back, and to maintain an adequate flow between the sails ie slot normally a bowsprit is required. This 4-6 ' may add to marina costs.
The advantage of an inner forestay on a sloop is to maintain sail shape with roller furling is difficult reefing beyond around 25%.
It allows a smaller sail to be set with proper shape in higher winds.
The difficulty is that in putting it forard to maintain a slot it interferes with tacking to some degree particularly with the larger genoas. While this is overcomeable it depends how often you tack and the prevailing wind strengths as to how big a genoa you need. 130% seems a reasonable compromise.
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Old 30-06-2008, 16:48   #3
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Quote:
Are there advantages of having a staysail other than in a strong wind? Also, what is the difference between a cutter rigged boat and one like mine? (A sloop with an inner forestay). I assume there must be a difference in design allowing the cutter to fly both sails at once.
A true cutter has the mast in the center of the boat where a sloop will be forward. It sets up the idea of more than one head sail since you need room to get the forward sail through the slot between the stays. The boats handles differently. For a cutter the idea is to fly smaller sails to make them easier to handle. This is also the idea of the ketch as well just done in a different fashion. Adding a large genoa to a cutter is trying to make it like a sloop. Adding an inner forestay to a sloop is trying to make a sloop into a cutter. Neither direction works well but might serve some situations.

Using the inner forestay for storm conditions may be the better bet for you if you add a big genoa. It could help in that case but probably not otherwise. If you can get better than 6 ft of slot then you can backwind the genoa through the slot with some practice in anything but very light air. If you can remove the inner forestay then you can be a sloop most of the time. There just gets to be a limit on what you can do with a huge genoa when it blows hard. You can only reef a furler so far before the shape goes bad on you. I guess I wouldn't try to make a Hunter into a cutter.

I have the staysail on a furler now and my last boat was a cutter and had a club footed boom. With a cutter, a double reefed main and a reefed staysail it did great in gale force winds to the extent being in a gale can be great (it's not).
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Old 30-06-2008, 17:07   #4
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Thanks for the replies,

I managed to find other posts on this topic and it seems that most people find the extra stay a bit of a bother with a bigger genoa. I have not experienced that yet because my headsail is small. So I might have to re-evaluate what kind of genoa size I should get.

I would like to get a much bigger genoa for those light wind days, but as you said, you can only furl them so far.

About Genoa size...I assume that every boat would behave differently but in light air, how much more would you get out of a 150% to say a !30% or a 100%


Thanks again
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Old 30-06-2008, 17:54   #5
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In light air the big 150 is going to be desired. Offshore you need to worry about a wave hitting a low clew. You have tpo choose a compromise based on where you sail. It would be nice to carry multiple sails but a big genoa takes a lot of space.
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