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Old 26-01-2009, 21:54   #1
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Cutter Stay Issue

My family and I sail our 38 ft Westwind Vagabond in San Diego Bay but find it really hard to tack the Genny through the slot between the headstay and inner forestay. The Genny always seems to get caught up during the tack and either takes forever to back fill and suck through the slot or gets completely hung up and requires someone to go up and wrestle it through the slot. This makes for slow tacking in the harbor and a definite safety hazard out at sea.

The inner forestay is structurally necessary so we can't just take it down and open the slot. Do other people have this problem? What are some of the things you do to remedy it? We have talked of rigging a line to somewhere on the genny to pull it forward into the slot when tacking, we have also talked about getting a lighter or smaller sail. Any thoughts?
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Old 26-01-2009, 23:03   #2
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If you leave your staysail sheeted while tacking the genny it will help it slide through the slot, then let the staysail go. This works well on our boat, without it the genoa gets hung up everytime especially in light air. I've read that some people partially furl the genoa in prior to tacking, never tried that but seems like it would help too.
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Old 27-01-2009, 00:23   #3
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IMO



If your just out for day sails it would be better to pull in your second forestay and sail by genoa alone. All your doing is putting excess wear on your system/rig.

Sure cutter rigs are perdy but they are more user friendly on long tacks, light air out at sea or heavy weather. In the old days the foresails were smaller to accommodate tacking and ease of managing sails.
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Old 27-01-2009, 01:37   #4
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Old 27-01-2009, 06:19   #5
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Quote:
The inner forestay is structurally necessary so we can't just take it down and open the slot. Do other people have this problem? What are some of the things you do to remedy it? We have talked of rigging a line to somewhere on the genny to pull it forward into the slot when tacking, we have also talked about getting a lighter or smaller sail. Any thoughts?
You have already conjured up the solution, above. It's called a "tacking line". A light line attached to the clew of the sail and led through a block near the tack thence back to the cockpit. It needn't be very heavy as it isn't subject to much load and can be led back to the cockpit near the helm through furling lead blocks along the bases of the life-line stanchions to keep it from under foot.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 27-01-2009, 10:27   #6
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
You have already conjured up the solution, above. It's called a "tacking line". A light line attached to the clew of the sail and led through a block near the tack thence back to the cockpit. It needn't be very heavy as it isn't subject to much load and can be led back to the cockpit near the helm through furling lead blocks along the bases of the life-line stanchions to keep it from under foot.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
Has anyone tried this? I am curious to hear anyone’s experience with it. It sounds good but doesn’t it wrap the clew around the Genny?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post

If your just out for day sails it would be better to pull in your second forestay and sail by genoa alone. All your doing is putting excess wear on your system/rig.
I would love to do that but we’ve talked to a marine architect and he told us that the inner forestay is structural and that it can’t be removed. Indeed it looks structural as it is reinforced under the deck by a heavy ss backing plate and turnbuckle.

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If you leave your staysail sheeted while tacking the genny it will help it slide through the slot, then let the staysail go. This works well on our boat, without it the genoa gets hung up everytime especially in light air. I've read that some people partially furl the genoa in prior to tacking, never tried that but seems like it would help too.
How does this help? Are you backing the staysail to bring the bow around, is that what you are talking about? I am a little confused. We are not currently flying our staysail because it is ratty and bulky and the clew of the genny gets hung up on the roller furler that the staysail is on.

Thanks for your collective help.
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Old 27-01-2009, 11:56   #7
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Is the problem confined to light wind conditions? You should be able to tack the genoa easily in anything over 6 knots or so.

Here's what works for me. Come up to close-hauled before tacking. Just as you come through the eye of the wind, let out about three feet of the sheet and then backwind the genny. It should form a "bubble", or bulge through the slot with the extra slack that you gave it. Release the sheet and keep coming around smoothly, further than your intended course on the new tack. Don't horse it through with the sheet, just let it come on it's own, and it will.

Under 6 knots, you might just have to walk it through the slot.
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Old 27-01-2009, 23:35   #8
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It seems to be in both light and medium winds. We haven't really sailed it in anything over 20 knots yet. Jibing the Genny seems to create similar issue without the benefits of backwinding.

Does anyone have any experience with a Genny with a high clew like you would see on a more traditional cutter? What are some benefits/drawbacks from having a sail like this?
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Old 28-01-2009, 03:54   #9
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When gybing, come around quite a bit further than your new course. That will let the wind put more pressure on the genny to push it through.

I should mention that my genny is a 110% with a fairly high-cut clew. If you have a 150 deck sweeper, you have a lot more fabric to deal with than I do!
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Old 28-01-2009, 05:47   #10
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Tacking Pendants

If Hud's suggestions don't work for you try the tacking pendant previously described. They have been in use on fore'n aft rigged ships with multiple forestays since the early 1800's. The clew is hauled fw'd of the rear forestay and the wind blows the bunt between the stay's while the lee sheet is taken up, tacking or gybing.
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Old 28-01-2009, 06:01   #11
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Having a cutter rig on each of my last three boats I can echo Hud's comments. Exept in light air, you should be able to tack the headsail without too much difficulty.

If your clew is set low, it will not only add to the sail area that must be fed through the slot, it will put a larger portion of it behind the staysail stay and at a location where the sheets are more apt to get caught up on the turnbuckle. I would try having your heaadsail recut with the clew set up four to five feet off the deck. You willl lose very little sail area and, what you do lose will be at the foot of the sail where it would typically be less efficient. And as svHyLyte says, if that doesn't work, a tacking pendant is probably the only answer.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 28-01-2009, 08:12   #12
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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
through.

I should mention that my genny is a 100% with a fairly high-cut clew. If you have a 150 deck sweeper, you have a lot more fabric to deal with than I do!
Not to be pedantic, but it sounds to me like what you are calling a "genny" is really a working jib! Genoas are usually foresails with considerable overlap, and can be a real bugger to get through the slot... just like he says!

Jim
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Old 28-01-2009, 08:14   #13
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Some have called it a "Yankee", but seeing as the boat is named The Belle of Virginia, I rejected that appelation.
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Old 28-01-2009, 08:29   #14
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Good line, Hud!

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Old 28-01-2009, 08:29   #15
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How does this help? Are you backing the staysail to bring the bow around, is that what you are talking about? I am a little confused. We are not currently flying our staysail because it is ratty and bulky and the clew of the genny gets hung up on the roller furler that the staysail is on.


Unbusted- Sorry, I assusmed you were flying the staysail. What I was trying to explain is that if you have both genoa and staysail up, when you tack you leave the staysail sheeted and release the genoa sheet after you have it backwinded. The sheeted staysail acts as a guide and lets the genoa slide over it through the slot, works very well. Without the staysail up the methods described above work, usually. A large genoa with a low clew is going to be a problem though, that's why a lot of cutters use a 100 - 120 with a high clew.

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