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Old 20-07-2011, 22:30   #151
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Re: Storm in a Ketch Rigged Vessel

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Every boat handles differently; a trysail is still the best option for almost every boat out there but for some reason it's being ignored It gives you a main without the boom...
ciao!
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Yes trysails are a good option. I didn't have one.

Come to think of it you might creatively allow a mast-furling mainsail to sustitute for a trysail arrangement.
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Old 20-07-2011, 23:40   #152
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Re: Reducing Mainsail Area Downwind

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You have it backwards? In big conditions I'd only have a reefed main up. No headsail at all, or a very small one perhaps. Sailing on headsail alone is never a good idea...except possibly in drifting conditions. Shall I list the reasons?
Please do. I sail with headsail alone if downwind in heavy weather. It moves the center of effort forward thus reducing tendency to broach. It eliminates necessity to keep boom under control (preventers can break). It eliminates risk of getting boom in the water on a roll. It's easier to reef and unreel a headsail than a main (even a furling main), so controlling precisely sail area up.

Now other than downwind, I do of course use the main. Above about 28 - 30 knots, I take in my Yankee jib and use just the staysail and reefed main.

So why do you think it's a bad idea to sail downwind under headsail alone?




So why do you think
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Old 20-07-2011, 23:53   #153
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Re: Reducing Mainsail Area Downwind

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So why do you think
See #131 above.

Certainly you can do it. That's one great thing about sailing. We can do pretty much whatever we want. But I wouldn't do it on the typical sloop-rigged cruising boat for all the reason's above.
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Old 21-07-2011, 00:03   #154
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Re: Reducing Mainsail Area Downwind

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See #131 above.

Certainly you can do it. That's one great thing about sailing. We can do pretty much whatever we want. But I wouldn't do it on the typical sloop-rigged cruising boat for all the reason's above.
If you're sailing in a confined area with need to maneuver, then I agree with you. But in the ocean (which is where I sail) with no need to maneuver, headsail alone is much better downwind.

Main alone will give you helm balance issues. I would always have at least staysail up if I'm using the main.
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Old 21-07-2011, 00:30   #155
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Re: Reducing Mainsail Area Downwind

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Main alone will gives me helm balance issues. I would always have at least staysail up if I'm using the main.
Fixed it for you Don't get me started on fascination of cruisers with staysails. I took my staysail, furler and stay off the boat and tossed them into the dumpster a year ago. Haven't missed them a bit. Tacking is so easy now... And the backstay adjustment works... If it's blowing hard enough for me to have to roll up the genoa, then it's blowing hard enough for me to sail just fine on main alone.
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Old 21-07-2011, 01:26   #156
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Stays'l : You lose half a knot when you take it down, and lose half a knot when you put it up!

That said, I love my staysail. When punching into strong tradewinds, or strong winds in general, the staysail and deeply-reefed main make a great, well balanced, combo. When the wind gets stronger, the boat balances nicely under staysail alone.

My roller-furling 120% genoa does well at the lower ranges, and on some points of sail the staysail does add some drive. As things pick up, various combinations of roller-reefed genoa and staysail give me several "gears" to use.

Tacking the genoa around the staysail stay is a minor pain, but with practice we've got that pretty much under control.

Other boats will behave differently, but on mine the staysail is a useful sail.
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Old 21-07-2011, 02:07   #157
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Staysails

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Fixed it for you Don't get me started on fascination of cruisers with staysails. I took my staysail, furler and stay off the boat and tossed them into the dumpster a year ago. Haven't missed them a bit. Tacking is so easy now... And the backstay adjustment works... If it's blowing hard enough for me to have to roll up the genoa, then it's blowing hard enough for me to sail just fine on main alone.
I guess every boat is different. My boat will not balance without a headsail up -- too much weather helm.

My staysail has a couple of benefits:

1. Does add some drive on a reach. A minor benefit.

2. Built-in, ready-rigged storm jib. A MAJOR benefit. On my boat, the staysail is designed for this purpose -- it's made of heavier sailcloth, has the same massive 400 Selden furler as the 3x bigger yankee, has an immensely strong 12mm dyneema sheet. It's self-tacking. That means you can never trim it very well, but how sweet that is in a blow. Reef the main way down, and with that and the staysail you can sail in any weather (as long as there is enough wind to drive the boat with so little sail area -- that it, 30+ knots) with hardly any effort, almost no heeling moment, and excellent balance due to the fact that CE of both sails has been brought close to the mast. You tack by just putting the helm over. You can send your crew below to make coffee. Other than trimming sheets, and possibly rigging a preventer, you don't have to touch a single rope.

3. Looks cool when all the canvas is up.

And a drawback:

1. Running backstays, a PITA to rig, unrig, tack. BUT -- when the mainsail is reefed well down in a blow, the running backs clear everything and you can leave them both set up hard and forget about them.


Tacking the yankee around the staysail stay is not an issue on our boat. It's probably less and less a problem the bigger the boat, as the space between the forestay and staysail stay increases. Our boat is the easiest tacking boat I've ever sailed. Probably because of the efficient hull form -- in good conditions we don't lose even a knot when coming through the wind to tack.
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Old 21-07-2011, 07:53   #158
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Remember that unbalanced helm (weather helm) is largely caused by heel. Often heel is a bigger factor than sail plan.

To bring us back on topic a bit: using only mainsail during heavy weather works better if that main is not an in-mast system

ciao!
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Old 21-07-2011, 14:24   #159
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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I've read the negative comments in this thread, and wonder if the posters are mostly talking theory, or have they personally experienced all the problems they outline.
From personal experience: jammed, in mast, 4 times on 4 different boats, 3 different systems.

But not all sailing is done in extreme drama conditions, neither all crews are a team of gym developed hunks. And so it is a good thing the in-mast furling is around.

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Old 21-07-2011, 18:02   #160
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Originally Posted by Hud3
I've read the negative comments in this thread, and wonder if the posters are mostly talking theory, or have they personally experienced all the problems they outline.

My in mast furler was reasonably good in good conditions. Unfortunately, furling in nasty conditions, with the boom bouncing around etc etc, it had a tendency to fold over it self and jam in the mast... and of course this was the worst time for it to do so. I had fancy stoppers and an extra selftailing winch to help alleviate the problem. Now if I had just had 4 arms I could have furled perfectly! I spent a real ugly few hours trying to heave to in large seas in a blow southeast of Hatteras once. The boat just would not heave to properly and the main was jammed to the point of I couldnt get it unjammed in that situation....

My next boat? Traditional slab reefing, with everything done at the mast. (except the mainsheet of course) At least I knew what I needed to do, it works every time, simple and not much friction in the lines etc....
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Old 22-07-2011, 03:17   #161
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

@ barnakiel & Cheechako.

Operator error?







(just kidding!)
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Old 22-07-2011, 11:03   #162
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

I think it could be said that it is operator error.... if you believe the world and the water are always perfect with no variables! Unfortunately it's not a perfect world, there are a lot of variables and the in-mast design I had is not robust enough in the "user friendly" department. Having said that, it was a Forespar design, recently rebuilt (including reinforcing the mast where it was stress cracking around the furling spool), it was mid 80's. Today's furlers may be much better, i dont know. It's not that I'm a traditionalist, I love furling headsails. Just found it to be more trouble than value and felt the boat should have performed better also for a 47 with a long waterline. Baysailing etc...great! BTW, the original owner of the boat, who had it about 12 years had recently put a brand new North Main on it before I bought it. It already had a tear/patch on it. I bought another main!
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Old 22-07-2011, 15:32   #163
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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@ barnakiel & Cheechako.

Operator error?

(just kidding!)
May be.

(Just kidding!)

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Old 23-07-2011, 01:00   #164
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

My girl has a twirl, and her mains'l it does furl
From her boom on up to her masth'd.
And when she is good, she is very very good.
But when she is bad, she's a basth'd.
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Old 19-08-2012, 05:45   #165
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Re: Furling mainsail or not ?

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I love mine. For singlehanding, nothing beats it. I service it every year and its never left me hanging. Try dealing with a sticky main on a traditional, in a blow, with waves, alone! Not me... pop a couple of jammers, throw a few loops in a self tail'r, a crank here and there... volla! not a drop of the rum punch spilled. Yes, I give up .000009% in SOG for sail shape, but the fact is, I'm out cruising... not racing. Set it and forget it.

OH... thanks be to all who have welcomed me to the site!
Hi, I'm new to this forum and this is my first post

Excuse me if this might sound like a stupid question but what did you mean by 'a couple of jammers and loops'. What are they?
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