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Old 01-02-2019, 01:39   #1
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Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Two questions in one thread, because they are kinda related.

Back story:

My boat has a slightly unusual dual forestay setup. The two stays are parallel the whole way up, and separated by a gap of about a foot. (See photo)

The boat is also a true cutter rig, not a slutter (a name given to a solent style cutter by some creative minds on this forum).

My sail wardrobe consists of a new main, yankee and staysail that all work tremendously well together for a balanced and easily managed sail plan. (I sail solo).

I also have a high cut reacher, in very good condition.

I intend to purchase a new MPS at some stage soon, my original wore out, mainly because it was a really useful sail and got used a lot.

There is a furler on the aft forestay, and both the yankee and reacher are fitted with luff tapes for the furler.

I have been generously gifted another furler which I intend to fit to the staysail stay, but the current staysail has hanks and so will need a luff tape.

Still with me...?

I have recently replaced the deck, and in doing so had to lift the mast so all of the rigging tensions are waaay out of whack. (Loose)


So... I’m thinking like this...

My reading on rigging tensions got me thinking I should have more tension than I had on the aft of the two forestays, to minimise wear problems with the furler. No big deal, I can easily dial down the forward forestay tension.

Then I thought, with a furler on the staysail, I am never going to use the reacher, except maybe wing on wing with the yankee for downwind work.

So maybe, when I get a luff tape fitted to the staysail, change the reacher over to hanks so that it can be fitted to the forward forestay. (I’ve got PLENTY of spare halyards, too many really, the mast looks like a bloody maypole dance gone wrong).

Is this the way you’d tackle it and how would the lower tension on the forward forestay affect things? (I guess pointing would go to crap for a start)

Over to the brains trust.

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Old 01-02-2019, 04:18   #2
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

"...There is a furler on the aft forestay ... but the current staysail ...."


???hereabouts we call the sail on the "aft forestay" the "staysail"...
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:22   #3
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by double u View Post
"...There is a furler on the aft forestay ... but the current staysail ...."


???hereabouts we call the sail on the "aft forestay" the "staysail"...


The staysail is a separate beast altogether. I have dual forestays INDEPENDENT of the staysail. That’s three “wires” in total.

I suppose I could be like the olden day cutters and have multiple staysails but the one foot separation between the two forestays wouldn’t produce a very good slot effect.
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Old 01-02-2019, 13:43   #4
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Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

If it were my boat, I would pick unambiguous or distinctive names for the sails and stays.
Headsail
Solent or solentsail
Staysail.

My take is that the headstay and solentstay are going to need to be equally tensioned which means really cranking on the backstay with lots of preloading of the mast which is not the greatest but OK if you have a beefy mast section.

Another thought is to tension one or the other with a highfield level or cascading block system and let the other be a bit slack when not in use.

The staysailstay should be tensioned by runners unless you have a really stiff mast section.

Some threads that might help:
Forestay Tension for Cutters
Tensioning a staysail stay
https://www.sailmagazine.com/diy/con...e-headsail-rig
https://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-.../topics/300689
http://www.seldenmast.com/files/595-540-E.pdf
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Old 01-02-2019, 14:42   #5
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Yeah, I actually started one of those threads.

I’m not sure people understand my forestay setup, it really is totally independent of the staysail system.

It is my understanding, the second stay on my boat is not a solent stay as the stays are parallel. Every Solent setup I have seen has the forestays meeting at the top and diverging at the bottom.

Staysail tension is fine, that’s managed by the running backstays, but not relevant to my problem so can be disregarded for now.

Originally I had the same tension on both forestays and the rig can cope (it’s mostly 12 mm wire) but I keep running into references to higher tension on furlers equating to less wear and less chance of failure.

Then there’s the whole reacher/yankee combo idea to critique.
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Old 01-02-2019, 14:51   #6
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Didn’t notice that.

With 3 stays I’d have the solentstay set up hard and carry a 125-140 yankee apparently on a furler.
Staysailstay would be set up normally with an overlapping staysail.
Headstay set up a bit soft and it would only be there for a drifter which doesn’t mind a saggy stay.

Sail progression would be:
Drifter
Yankee & staysail
Yankee
90-100% rolled Yankee
Staysail
Storm staysail
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Old 01-02-2019, 15:45   #7
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

On our solent rig we put a little more tension on the staysail as this is the sail we'll be using when we need to beat to weather in high winds.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:09   #8
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Sorta similar to what I am thinking.

Never had a Solent rig so not totally sure how they compare to a traditional cutter but I assume some of the same principals apply?
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Old 02-02-2019, 13:21   #9
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

If you can fly to the Wooden Boat Festival, Carol Haase is giving a long talk about sails for cruising boats.....

I'm thinking your lightest air sail could go on the forwardmost head stay, your working jib on the inner one, set up the tighter of the two. If your stays'l is going to do double duty as a storm jib, rolled up, then it's all fairly simple.

If you're going to be trying to change from a working jib down to a storm jib, you're going to need to consider how/when the change to the storm jib will take place. Perhaps you'll just put the storm jib on it for passage making, and change up to the larger sail as needed. However, this is a real issue, with a luff rope, you are dropping the sail onto the deck with nothing whatsoever to contain it; you must be pretty much head to wind to effect hoisting the new sail, whereupon it will flog till you get it sheeted in. [We always kept the storm jib with its own sheets, so we didn't have to transfer sheets, too, but it was a hank on sail, not piston hanks, but the Witchard hook ones, so you could hold on to the stay with one hand, and bang the hooks on with the other. And with a furler on it, you obviously cannot do that. The sail you dropped stayed hanked on, you lose that with the furler, that connection to the boat that allows you to retrieve the sail when a wave tries to wash it overboard. The storm jib was on a pennant, so it set above the nested hanks. And we had a loose fitting sail bag to drop it into, and zip, to secure it. Imho, you're giving up a lot of flexibility if you put a furler on your staysail stay. And again, just as a matter of opinion, I think the sail on that stay should be able to be used as the storm jib, as well as a staysail, because when the sea surprises you, you really need a storm jib, and you want to spend as little time as possible on the foredeck.] Just my opinion, and everyone will have one.

Ann
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:20   #10
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Nice try Ann but I’m not making it to Tassie this summer.

Hadn’t thought of the storm jib, darn it. It currently hanks onto the staysail stay which is a very good arrangement.

Hmmmm.... I’d rather not have it on the forward forestay, too unbalanced for my boat. Maybe a stronger bolt-rope on the storm jib and haul it up direct using the spare staysail stay?
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Old 03-02-2019, 13:15   #11
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

^^^^

Yes, I understand the trip to Tasmania is off. Any passage, when you're getting ready to leave, you will "know" (think you know) what wind strengths you expect. Say it's a brief passage from Oz to New Caledonia. If you leave from Sydney, Newcastle, or Coff's, you might just catch a trough or even a frontal passage on the trip. You do not want to have to deal with a loose sail if it is weather forcing you to change down, especially at night, while it's raining and everything is all slippery, and your hands waterlogged. Little to do with a quick trip from Melbourne to King Is., for instance, but ANY passage, you need to have flexibility, and a loose sail will be a lost sail, possibly endangering you. Just keep trying to poke holes in your plan, and see what parts have flaws.

If you put a furler on the staysail stay, that sail will either be rolled up and on the furler, or the storm jib will be on it. If you do not put the furler on it, you will be able to figure out a way to have flexibility, and we can talk about an on-deck sailbag to accommodate the larger sail (and the smaller).



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Old 03-02-2019, 14:02   #12
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post

If you put a furler on the staysail stay, that sail will either be rolled up and on the furler, or the storm jib will be on it. If you do not put the furler on it, you will be able to figure out a way to have flexibility, and we can talk about an on-deck sailbag to accommodate the larger sail (and the smaller).
Well, the current arrangement has hanks on both the staysail and the storm jib. The storm jib is, of course, much better off being flown from the staysail stay, at least on my boat, can't speak for other boats.

But I really like the idea of a furler on the staysail so I need to solve this one.

I don't like the thought of trying to thread the storm jib onto a furler under pressure, as you suggest the system needs to be something pretty fool proof.

I think I've got some reading to do on stayless sails in my near future.
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Old 20-06-2019, 12:59   #13
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

GILow...an idea I am considering too.
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Old 20-06-2019, 14:29   #14
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

Since this chat started in February, and it is now June, how're you thinking about this now?

If I understood correctly, you have parallel forestays at the stem, and a staysail on the furler.

Since you do need the flexibility of the staysail stay to carry both the storm jib (rarely) and the staysail most often, you do not need that furler, and will be well served by a deck bag the larger sail fits easily in.

As to the question of a forward furler, if those two headstays are parallel to each other, how far apart are they? Big enough to accommodate the drum of a furler on one of them? Usually such boats were intended to fly downwind twins from the parallel headstays, and sometimes the hanks would get caught on each other.

Had you considered a code 0 instead of a new MPS, or does the MPS really meet your needs? Is it in a sock?



Good luck with this one, I'm thinking it will mean that you will have to undo some work that has been done, hope I'm wrong.

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Old 20-06-2019, 14:38   #15
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Re: Dual forestays, tension and sailplan.

My current thinking is still to fit the furler for the staysail.

I am looking at some kind of synthetic high strength bolt rope for the storm jib so that it can be used stayless, but before I do that I actually want to look further into the practicality of using a partially furled staysail as a storm jib.

The whole asym vs code zero question is still unanswered in my mind. I can see the benefits of each. Without some deciding factor becoming apparent, I figure I will end up with an asym simply because I know it works very well with the boat and I would not have to change anything.
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