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Old 07-09-2011, 20:54   #31
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

If you knew in advance, you were going into sustained 40-70 knot winds, like entering the roaring 40's for a 2000 mile dash, then for sure, gail sails would make sense. But with reliable furlers and mainsail reefs, where you can reduce your windage by 2/3 or even 9/10, I don't think they are generally required for cruising.

"The nature of the universe is such that ends can never justify the means. On the contrary, the means always determine the end." ---Aldous Huxley
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Old 07-09-2011, 21:33   #32
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

If you are lucky enough to have a cutter rig the the way to go is with a hanked on storm jib (sheets attached) on the inner. Just remember that the sheeting position will be completely different from the gennie sheet leads. I suppose you all know how much thrashing and bashing the sheets have to go through before the sail is sheeted home so even with this simplest arrangement you need to practice a few times in te most robust weather you can find. Aim to go from sail bagged on deck (but hanked on) to hoisted and sheeted home within one minute. Then if you have a good third reef you should be okay up to 60 knots. I just came back from 64+ in the China Sea just off the Viet coast at Camh Ranh Bay.

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Old 08-09-2011, 00:09   #33
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

I've found this thread quite interesting. My decision to put a furler on the inner stay was because of the ease of rolling the staysail out. If it's a hank on job that has to be lugged from down below, well most of the time it will probably just stay there. My experience is that I can usually get an extra half a knot with the staysail set when going upwind (on a similar boat to what I'm building) and that when things get rough the staysail will be the only sail forward of the mast up until 50, maybe 60 knots. I would hope to not be out in anything stronger and so I am hoping that the storm jib would never be required. In a real blow, hopefully there would be a bit of warning and I could slip the staysail off the furler and run the storm jib up the foil.

Another option could be to partly furl the staysail. This would only be feasable if there was some way to lock the furling drum so the furling line was not under load. Has anyone heard of such a system?


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