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Old 18-09-2017, 10:32   #1
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Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

I’m planning to add a Solent stay to my Gulfstar 37 (mast head sloop). The intent is to add a ~90% working jib that I will use regularly for heavier air and upwind work. I currently have a 130% genoa that has two major drawbacks… first, when reefed the shape suffers and second, the sheeting angle is wide as sheets go outside of the stays (chainplates are on the hull).



I’m having trouble deciding whether or not to put the new jib on a furler or simply to have a removable inner stay installed with a hanked on jib.


Pros of furler
  • No sail on deck (otherwise I would keep the jib hanked on the stay in a bag on deck)
  • Easier to control (no need to go to bow to drop)


Pros of hank on
  • Simpler (no risk of jamming)
  • Cheaper
  • Can use inner stay for storm jib (already have) too
  • Stay can be removed for easier tacking of genoa in light air
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Old 18-09-2017, 11:09   #2
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

As you outlined, the principal concern is the balance between ease of set-up / dropping and ease of tacking your genoa. How comfortable are you on your foredeck? If you had to go up in a developing squall at sea, would you bother with your solent stay, or just go bare headed? As an alternative thought, the removable solent stay will require largely the same deck and mast work as the roller-furl, at a fraction of the cost. You could do this in two steps, and see how you like it.
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Old 18-09-2017, 11:51   #3
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

Note that there are furlers which let you use jibs with hanks or soft shackles, thus allowing you to change headsails when needed or remove them entirely. Though most of the ones I'm familiar with only allow you to sail with the jib either fully furled, or fully unfurled.
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Old 18-09-2017, 15:40   #4
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

FWIW: We started with a removable Solent stay and hank on sails. Did as you have posited and removed it when not in use, making tacking our (120% fractional) genoa practical. But as we sailed the boat more, and as we slowly degenerated into old fartism, found that we didn't make the change sometimes when should have, and used the genoa rolled up a bit instead.

So, we put a roller on that stay, but kept the Highfield lever at the bottom s that we could still remove it at times. With the roller, we never used the genoa reefed when going upwind. Meant that when we replaced that sail, we bought a lighter one, knowing that it would never need to withstand heavy conditions and thus improved its light air performance.

That worked well, until one day when the Highfield opened up at sea and the stay detached from the deck. A very awkward (and scary) condition that eventually lead to the destruction of both sail and furler. DAMN! When we replaced the lot, we discarded the Highfield (imagine that!) and resigned ourselves to rolling up the genoa every time we tacked or gybed. This has lead to use of the Solent just about any time we know we will be throwing frequent tacks. In winds of >15 or so apparent, no terrible performance loss, but in light airs it's kinda slow.

The good thing is that now we have no hesitation in going to the Solent whenever we reach the upper limit of the genoa, 'cause it's effortless. The genoa has maintained its shape and we've had pretty good performance.

Like so many things in boats, it's a compromise, and one needs to consider where in the ease vs performance spectrum one lies. Good luck with your decision.

Jim
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Old 18-09-2017, 16:46   #5
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

I'm not so happy with having to roll up the genoa to switch sides and I really hate it when I don't have the genoa rolled all the way up and something wraps around the the jib. By the time it's almost rolled up, the clew and the sheets are pretty close to the jib and stuff seems to happen.
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Old 18-09-2017, 17:42   #6
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
The good thing is that now we have no hesitation in going to the Solent whenever we reach the upper limit of the genoa, 'cause it's effortless. The genoa has maintained its shape and we've had pretty good performance.
....
Jim
I am with Jim, having a solent rig on my current boat, both genoa and solent sail on furlers, never using the genoa partly furled. My cutoff is around 20 knots: time to switch to solent furler.
As far as rolling the genoa for tacking or gybing, that is OK it only when one does that once or a few times a day. When you are racing, well that is another scenario.

Maybe follow John Trusty's suggestion: try it out with the cheaper solution first: hank-on sail on the solent stay. If you like that, stay with that. If you think that a furler is a further improvement, invest a few more dollars.
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Old 19-09-2017, 04:04   #7
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

"Note that there are furlers which let you use jibs with hanks or soft shackles" - do you mean furlers that are set flying from a halyard with a "multiplication?
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Old 19-09-2017, 06:00   #8
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

There's a third alternative: a stay'sl that sets flying with it's vectran (or dyneema: no matter if it's covered) as a stay. Slightly complicated to describe, but here goes: halyard attaches to head of sail, goes up through a block on the mast, then returns to the deck along the luff of the sail, going through a round thimble where hanks would normally be. At the deck, the tack of the sail is seized to the becket of a block, through which the halyard turns. The block has a shackle for easy release from the deck fitting. When not in use, the whole circus can store out of the way at the base of the mast. To deploy, attach the shackle, then pull on the halyard where it exits the turning block. You are now hoisting with your feet planted firmly on deck (you could even lie on your back and still hoist). If extra tension is desired, I lead the fall to the rope drum on my manual windlass, but a small winch could be installed. Easy-peasy, no highfield levers or unruly wire stays, and best of all, no furlers, which were invented by Satan to make sailors cuss.
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Old 19-09-2017, 06:31   #9
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

One downside of the two permanent furlers is the extra windage at anchor or when maneuvering. But its a mighty handy rig at sea.

Another approach might be a 100% jib on the existing furler and a removable cruising code zero type sail for light air stuff instead of the genoa.
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Old 19-09-2017, 07:10   #10
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

Does anyone (paging Unciv!) know whether hanked-on headsails are aerodynamically superior to ones on furlers?

I have read conflicting things and don't know what to believe. One version is that the fat bit of the furler foil is actually good for the air flow around the sail, although that doesn't "feel" right to me.

I am intrigued by hanked-on headsails as I settle more and more into a hard line position against reefing headsails. I managed to get through 3000 miles of sailing this summer in all kinds of conditions, including two North Sea crossings, and only reefed my jib ONE time. The secret is being able to change the sail plan to "shift gears" instead of rolling up a sail.

So it kind of begs the question of whether a hanked-on sail would perform better. Anyone know?
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Old 19-09-2017, 07:19   #11
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

Out of curiosity, is your alternative a series of soft luff headsails that are either fully deployed or fully furled, vs running on aluminum extrusions with the ability to roller reef? e.g. from bow back: code zero/Yankee, blade jib, staysail for sail plan changes rather than sail changes.

Or true hank-on requiring some foredeck work?

I ask because I'm considering a similar question/setup on my next boat, though doubtless I have the terminology wrong above (and I think there are some blurred words in the industry as well), hopefully the question is clear.
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Old 19-09-2017, 08:19   #12
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by double u View Post
"Note that there are furlers which let you use jibs with hanks or soft shackles" - do you mean furlers that are set flying from a halyard with a "multiplication?
No I meant exactly what I said, which is that there are furlers which let you use either soft shackles or hanks (one or the other) to attach the jib to the furler. So that it's possible to use standard jibs sans luff bolt rope attachment, & change the sail when it's not furled. I'm not sure who makes them for hanks at the moment, as demand for them is down. But Colligo Marine makes one which works with soft shackles, & it uses a Dux headstay. Extra Light Headsail Furling Sytem — Colligo Marine®

There is the option to put sails on structural furlers instead of regular furlers. A big advantage being much less weight aloft, & a smaller diameter package when the sail is rolled up. But to my knowledge, with them, once the sail & furler are up, they stay up. Unless you're up for doing some at sea rigging work. Which IS possible, albeit quite a pain in the rear.

Plus of course you can set them up to be flown in a manner akin to a Code 0, with a multi part purchase on the halyard, or at the tack, while using a furling drum & swivel.


Dockhead I don't have a 100% factual answer for you on the foils vs. hanks sail efficiency question. A huge amount of the answer to this will depend on the foil diameter, & it's shape. Since a round foil or piece of rigging wire disturbs the air vastly disproportionally to it's size. Meaning that the drag coefficent of a cylinder sucks as compared to various airfoil shapes. And if you look at various furler manufacturer's websites, you'll see that they offer units with both round & oval'ish/faux airfoil shaped foils. With the round ones being aimed at the more cruisy market.

My gut tells me that using something like a Tuff Luff foil for a bolt rope type sail on the headstay will give you better efficiency, as said foils have something of an airfoil shape. Thus smoothing the flow onto the sail behind them. Instead of the wind getting greatly disturbed by a wire cylinder that is a headstay, & then having to attach itself to the sail. And hanks probably don't do air flow any favors in the smoothness department either.

EDIT: You can build a huge airfoil section, which when pointed into the wind, or at low angles of attack, has much less drag than even a tiny cylinder. Ergo my statements. But I don't have my racing library handy to confirm this. Though it should be pretty easy to look up the various drag coefficients for various foil shapes & sizes, ditto cylinder diameters.
Also, with foil headstays, there's the obvious advantage that a boat is never without a headsail up, even when changing them. And on some cruising roller furling units there is but one luff groove, since to some cruisers this feature is less useful than one's appendix.

It's kind of an exaggerated case, but if you compare a rotating short chord wing mast to a standard mast, the former makes the main perform much, much better than a fixed mast. Be it round, oval, or semi-rectangular. And I think that foils like Tuff Luffs are much the same as compared to bare wire with hanks. As with a standard, fixed mast, much of the luff of the main provides literally 0 drive upwind. And when a non full battened main is trimmed perfectly, the luff actually has a slight reverse curve to windward a good percentage of the time.

Taken to extremes, in the '92 America's Cup, the French snipped out a good portion of the luff from the middle of the mainsail & tacked it onto the roach, where in theory it would be more effective. As it kept the measured area of the sail the same.
Admittedly they were doing poorly by that stage of the round robbins, & this trick didn't alter their fate of getting bumped out of competition. And the rule makers quickly sealed up this "new" loophole.

PS: If you guys want me to offer up comment on something, you can always PM me. I do this from time to time when seeking knowledge from members with more expertise on something than me. And usually they'll make an appearance in the thread I queried them about. Not that they, nor I am an oracle by any means.
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Old 19-09-2017, 08:33   #13
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
No I meant exactly what I said, which is that there are furlers which let you use either soft shackles or hanks (one or the other) to attach the jib to the furler. So that it's possible to use standard jibs sans luff bolt rope attachment, & change the sail when it's not furled. I'm not sure who makes them for hanks at the moment, as demand for them is down. But Colligo Marine makes one which works with soft shackles, & it uses a Dux headstay. Extra Light Headsail Furling Sytem — Colligo Marine®

There is the option to put sails on structural furlers instead of regular furlers. A big advantage being much less weight aloft, & a smaller diameter package when the sail is rolled up. But to my knowledge, with them, once the sail & furler are up, they stay up. Unless you're up for doing some at sea rigging work. Which IS possible, albeit quite a pain in the rear.

Plus of course you can set them up to be flown in a manner akin to a Code 0, with a multi part purchase on the halyard, or at the tack, while using a furling drum & swivel.


Dockhead I don't have a 100% factual answer for you on the foils vs. hanks sail efficiency question. A huge amount of the answer to this will depend on the foil diameter, & it's shape. Since a round foil or piece of rigging wire disturbs the air vastly disproportionally to it's size. Meaning that the drag coefficent of a cylinder sucks as compared to various airfoil shapes. And if you look at various furler manufacturer's websites, you'll see that they offer units with both round & oval'ish/faux airfoil shaped foils. With the round ones being aimed at the more cruisy market.

My gut tells me that using something like a Tuff Luff foil for a bolt rope type sail on the headstay will give you better efficiency, as said foils have something of an airfoil shape. Thus smoothing the flow onto the sail behind them. Instead of the wind getting greatly disturbed by a wire cylinder that is a headstay, & then having to attach itself to the sail. And hanks probably don't do air flow any favors in the smoothness department either.

EDIT: You can build a huge airfoil section, which when pointed into the wind, or at low angles of attack, has much less drag than even a tiny cylinder. Ergo my statements. But I don't have my racing library handy to confirm this. Though it should be pretty easy to look up the various drag coefficients for various foil shapes & sizes, ditto cylinder diameters.
Also, with foil headstays, there's the obvious advantage that a boat is never without a headsail up, even when changing them. And on some cruising roller furling units there is but one luff groove, since to some cruisers this feature is less useful than one's appendix.

It's kind of an exaggerated case, but if you compare a rotating short chord wing mast to a standard mast, the former makes the main perform much, much better than a fixed mast. Be it round, oval, or semi-rectangular. And I think that foils like Tuff Luffs are much the same as compared to bare wire with hanks. As with a standard, fixed mast, much of the luff of the main provides literally 0 drive upwind. And when a non full battened main is trimmed perfectly, the luff actually has a slight reverse curve to windward a good percentage of the time.

Taken to extremes, in the '92 America's Cup, the French snipped out a good portion of the luff from the middle of the mainsail & tacked it onto the roach, where in theory it would be more effective. As it kept the measured area of the sail the same.
Admittedly they were doing poorly by that stage of the round robbins, & this trick didn't alter their fate of getting bumped out of competition. And the rule makers quickly sealed up this "new" loophole.

PS: If you guys want me to offer up comment on something, you can always PM me. I do this from time to time when seeking knowledge from members with more expertise on something than me. And usually they'll make an appearance in the thread I queried them about. Not that they, nor I am an oracle by any means.
OK, but what do racers say? Do they think that using a hanked-on sail gives an advantage? Or just as good to put the sail on a furler? Or furler better?

My Selden Furlex furlers are not cylindrical -- they are elongated oval shapes. I guess for this reason.
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Old 19-09-2017, 08:44   #14
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

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OK, but what do racers say? Do they think that using a hanked-on sail gives an advantage? Or just as good to put the sail on a furler? Or furler better?

My Selden Furlex furlers are not cylindrical -- they are elongated oval shapes. I guess for this reason.
Boltrope in a foil = advantage over hanks, aerodynamically.

Hanks were used on the VO 70's because; to some degree keeping the sails in the luff grooves was problematic, & working the foredecks on those boats was a nightmare, given the large positive & negative G forces up near the bows. That & they were incredibly wet boats, with walls of water coming over the bows at speed causing it to be difficult enough for the crew to hold on, even tethered. Let alone do sail changes... while avoiding having sails washed away.

Which is why now, newer gen high performance mono's have more of their headsails on furlers, including structural furlers, & "downwind" sails.

But at the end of the day I think hanks are less aerodynamic.
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Old 19-09-2017, 08:56   #15
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Re: Hank on vs. furler for Solent stay

Dang, I wanted to edit the bad grammar in my post (#8), but can't find the edit function. Oh well, I'm sorry to make readers suffer.

To the issue of efficiency of hanks VS furlers: the OP has a Gulfstar--he should probably worry more about ease of use, expense of setup, and how to tack the jib rather than squeezing an extra fraction of a knot out of a not high-performance rig.
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