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Old 29-01-2013, 22:54   #1
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Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

I'm considering converting a Hylas 47 from a sloop rig to a cutter rig. Has anyone had any experience with making this type of rigging modification? Is it even possible? If it is possible, what are the risks and drawbacks of making this change?

Thank you in advance for all input. The help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 30-01-2013, 00:32   #2
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I assume that you are talking about just adding an inner forestry for a staysail. A true cutter would have the mast in a somewhat different position. If that is the case, it is no problem at all. In fact, pretty much every Hylas 47 is already rigged that way - including ours. You will probably want to rig some running backs for flying the staysail in strong weather.

The term I hear a lot for this type of arrangement is to call the boat a Slutter - half sloop, and half cutter.

Greg
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Old 30-01-2013, 01:30   #3
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

Mct,

I would highly suggest calling Hylas. It's a very common modification and they would probably have the best information on how best to do it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 16:15   #4
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

mctdog,

One of our reps who is currently cruising on his Hylas 47 has an inner stay rigged. I think he used Spectra. He's a bit tough to reach due to intermittent internet but I'd be happy to get the details for you if you send me your email address. He's sailed the boat about 20,000 miles so he knows the boat well.
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Old 01-02-2013, 18:25   #5
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

I'm going to jump in here, since we have a 47' cutter rigged boat. Different hull than the Hylas/Stevens, but still, very similar.

Why are you looking at a cutter option? Is there a better/more cost effective way to accomplish the same thing? We have a heavy staysail on ours, and yes, it's wonderful when it's blowing over 25kts. Can you instead use a heavily furled genoa?

See, the staysail is GREAT when you need it. But otherwise - like 90% of the time - it's a total pain in the butt. When we race - which isn't that often - we time our tacks with a calendar. We have friends with the same boat, and he removed the staysail furler, and went with a hanked on staysail and moved the staysail stay to the mast.

I mean, even here where we get 20-25kts ALL of the time (Corpus Christi is the windiest city in the US), we reef the main, and use full genoa. Only when it's windy AND we are in a situation where we have to tack a lot, do we use the staysail. Or, if we're just lazy. But it really doesn't buy anything EXCEPT in really heavy air.
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Old 02-02-2013, 13:13   #6
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

Bill,

A heavily furled genoa is a poor choice in my opinion. You're asking a sail to handle more load than it was designed for and it's a lousy performer even with a foam or rope luff. That's something we've discussed in previous threads. What we've concluded after a great deal of thought and real life extended bluewater testing is that the best all around combination is a smaller headsail, typically around 110% or so LP combined with a purpose built light air sail like our CLASS (Cruisers Light Air Sail Solution) flown from a foil-less furler. A furling genoa as seen on most cruising boats is a heavily compromised sail and a very poor performer on a boat like your Macintosh 47 or the Hylas.

For the genoa to survive routine use and be strong enough to be usable partly furled, it has to be heavily constructed. On most 47' ers the genoa will be constructed from 8-9.5 oz cloth and have a Sunbrella suncover on the foot and leech. The Sunbrella doubles the weight of the sail in the areas where it's installed. The CLASS and similar sails, often called a "cruising code zero" will be made with material closer to 2oz in weight and rather than having a power robbing hollowed leech, will actually have some "shoulder" near the top of the sail. It's strong enough to be flown to the point where the 110% can take over and keep the boat moving at or near hull speed.

The advantage of a smaller headsail is that it can be carried in higher wind speeds and reduces or eliminates the need for a staysail, although a staysail or ATN Gale Sail is highly advisable for many cruisers. While a staysail itself is inexpensive, the costs of rigging a proper staysail stay can be staggering. I refer to structural work often required and adding running backstays along with the rigging for the staysail itself. It can also complicate rig tuning, particularly on a boat for which a staysail stay was never part of the original design.

Here's what a client with a Catalina 42 had to say after sailing from San Francisco to Mexico with his 108% genoa and CLASS flown from a Facnor FX-2500:

"I really, really like the CLASS! It worked great and was super easy to handle. Furling and unfurling were total non events even when we left it up once into a mid 20's breeze. Most of the time we were nearly dead down wind so the sail spent a lot of time poled out and much of that with the main furled. Under that configuration we saw boat speeds equal 2/3 to 3/4 of the wind speed - 5 knots in 8 knots of wind and 6 to 7 knots in 10 knots. Combine that with the ease of handling and I couldn't have been happier. Mark was on board as crew and he was totally sold on it also. I will be surprised if he doesn't call you to get the same setup for (his boat)."
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Old 02-02-2013, 13:34   #7
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

For cruising, it's hard not to agree with the above. Well put.

As noted, the costs associated with a staysail can get up there - depends on the boat. I don't disagree that partly furled genoas stink - actually, really stink going to weather. It's just that I'm not real fond of tacking around a staysail. A smaller genoa might help. So, wild ass guess, what's a combo new headsail/CLASS combo gonna run? For either of our boats.
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Old 02-02-2013, 19:58   #8
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

Bill,

I totally agree with you about the hassle of tacking around a staysail. Great reason for the detachable stay. People that want the convenience of furling a staysail without a fixed stay can use a foil-less furler.

We've done a couple of recent Hylas 47 projects so I'll use that boat to give you some ideas of relative cost. Your rig is very similar in size. When considering a CLASS with furler, it's useful to compare it against other light air sail options.

Assym spinnaker with ATN sock will fall in the $3000-4200 range depending on customer requirements assuming we're not doing anything particularly exotic. For most cruising boats, our high tenacity 0.75oz nylon is appropriate.

CLASS and furler will vary depending on whether we go with an FX2500 or FX4500. I'd lean towards the 4500 as the 2500 would be a bit undersized.

A CLASS and FX-4500 package would be around $5700 with the 2500 package coming in closer to $5000.

There will be additional expense associated with the Facnor like a continuous line for furling and a tack line. Additionally, most customers will opt for some fairleads to route the lines cleanly. Colligo makes a nice stanchion mounted fairlead that opens up.

Genoa pricing is going to vary widely according to material. We see a lot of cruisers being quoted "economy cloth" like "Performance Cruise" and "Supercruise" rather than a good high modulus or premium product like Marblehead or Fiber 104.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:55   #9
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Mct,

I would highly suggest calling Hylas. It's a very common modification and they would probably have the best information on how best to do it.
+1. But don't ask about changing the boat into a cutter, because that's technically not what you'd be doing. Ask about adding a staysail to the existing rig.
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Old 02-02-2013, 22:02   #10
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Re: Converting a Hylas 47 sloop to a cutter???

If the rig is standard then an inner forestay will already be fitted to the boat. Even if the wire has gone, the top and bottom tangs should still be there. If there is a wire or steel strop going down from in front of the forward hatch then that is all you need.
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