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Old 04-09-2011, 14:57   #1
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Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

G'day all,

Our boat is Solent rigged with the "staysail" -or whatever it should be called - on a furler. I've used it as an "almost storm" sail rolled to an appropriate sail area in circa 50 knot winds with reasonable success, but in all honesty, I would rather use a dedicated storm sail. I've looked at the adds for the "Gale Sail" and frankly am not convinced of their usefulness. Trying to bend one on in storm conditions looks problematical to me.

So, I'm wondering if any of you have actually succeeded in using one at sea under nasty conditions? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 04-09-2011, 15:12   #2
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

I've had a "gale sail" for years that has stayed packed away on three different boats. I used it a couple of times many years ago and it works fairly well as a storm sail, but I never could figure out how to get the thing rigged in storm conditions without flinging myself overboard. Hanking it on over the head sail is difficult in calm conditions much less in breezy conditions. I just used the staysail like you do.
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Old 04-09-2011, 15:28   #3
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

I have a 150% Genoa on a roller. I don't trust the furling mechanism to hold in a reefed position, and was also looking at the Gale Sail. My thought was to deploy it BEFORE the storm. Sort of like if you wait to reef, you're too late.
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Old 04-09-2011, 15:37   #4
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

Not an answer to your question Jim but I have a cutter rigged boat. When I am doing passages I have a hank on (what I call) storm staysail. I leave it hanked on and in a bag should the wind get too strong all I need to do is roll up the jib, and pull up the staysail. I have thought about getting a furling staysail but my need for it is so infrequent it is not anywhere near the top of the priority list.
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Old 04-09-2011, 15:43   #5
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

You're right about rigging it before the storm. And I think it works fine once it is deployed. But I sure was glad I had a staysail serveral different times in Papagayo winds along the west coast of Central America. Light and variable one minute and within three or four minutes 35 or 40.
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Old 04-09-2011, 15:50   #6
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

i went thru 60 kt winds without any special sales and did just fine with reefs to mizzen and jib, so far..i do have a storm sail jib, but is still in the bag. below decks.
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Old 04-09-2011, 15:57   #7
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

I also have a furling stysail. I have a storm sail for it if ever needed. The stysail being the safest place to work, and away from the bow. In my case bows.

I have seend the ads for gale sail, but for the life of me. I wouldn't want to juggle it around when it's blowing smoke on the water, when you need it!.......i2f
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:56   #8
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
....... I've looked at the adds for the "Gale Sail" and frankly am not convinced of their usefulness. Trying to bend one on in storm conditions looks problematical to me.

So, I'm wondering if any of you have actually succeeded in using one at sea under nasty conditions? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.

Cheers,

Jim
Sorry Jim, I am another who can't answer your question but thanks for posting it as I also await to hear from people who have used the "Gale Sail" in anger.

I share your concerns about this product but would like to have one if there was some positive feedback.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:31   #9
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

I'm waiting with interest to hear the usefulness as well. I don't trust my furled head sail to stay furled so the idea of a Gale Sail which slips over the appeals. I was just wondering how reliable it would be.
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Old 06-09-2011, 15:16   #10
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
So, I'm wondering if any of you have actually succeeded in using one at sea under nasty conditions? I'd be interested in hearing your experiences.
The silence in direct response to your question is deafening. I've spent more than my share of time on the foredeck of many boats in unpleasant conditions. There is no way I'd sign up to dragging a Gale Sail forward and trying to communicate with someone on the halyard to get the sail up. Interesting idea but not practical to my mind.
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Old 06-09-2011, 15:55   #11
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

G'Day all,

Isn't this interesting! A widely advertised safety product that appears to answer a common problem situation, two of them for sale currently in our CF classifieds, and NO ONE will admit to ever using one!

Fascinating, and perhaps indicative of something.

I won't give up the quest for a while, but my enthusiasm for the Gale Sail is somewhat underwhelming as of now.

Thanks for the responses, guys.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-09-2011, 19:06   #12
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

I have never seen a review of anyone using one of the Gale Sail... and I have searched.

I have a storm sail with a #6 luff tape to be used on my furling headsail.... again, I have seen a lot of these sold, but have never heard of anyone using a set-up like this. I have no idea how hard this would be to use in any real blow. Taking down the furling headsail will not be fun!

The storm sail with luff tape was only $250... this was part of the reason I chose this sail.
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Old 06-09-2011, 19:26   #13
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Re: Has anyone actually used a "Gale Sail" in anger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i went thru 60 kt winds without any special sales and did just fine with reefs to mizzen and jib, so far..i do have a storm sail jib, but is still in the bag. below decks.
The more you talk about bubba da cat's boat, the more I'm convinced I will be looking really hard for a ketch.
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Old 06-09-2011, 20:16   #14
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day all,

Isn't this interesting! A widely advertised safety product that appears to answer a common problem situation, two of them for sale currently in our CF classifieds, and NO ONE will admit to ever using one!

Fascinating, and perhaps indicative of something.

I won't give up the quest for a while, but my enthusiasm for the Gale Sail is somewhat underwhelming as of now.

Thanks for the responses, guys.

Cheers,

Jim

Maybe it depends on your perspective. I have a tender boat that always needs some sail because the freeboard is high enough for the boat to act as its own sail. At the same time I have a Hood 810 roller furler that can't be safely reefed.

I can see a Gale Sail as being important safety equipment on my boat. Maybe someone has ever used a drogue either, but that doesn't mean it's not a good thing to have on some boats.
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Old 06-09-2011, 20:38   #15
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Used a 'Gale Sail' in Anger ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day all,

Isn't this interesting! A widely advertised safety product that appears to answer a common problem situation, two of them for sale currently in our CF classifieds, and NO ONE will admit to ever using one!

Fascinating, and perhaps indicative of something.

I won't give up the quest for a while, but my enthusiasm for the Gale Sail is somewhat underwhelming as of now.

Thanks for the responses, guys.

Cheers,

Jim
Hi Jim

Well I was hoping that the Gale Sail might be useful on my new boat too as it will come with a furler on the staysail. The rig is a cutter / sloop not a solent rig so the staysail will be good to about 50 knots. If the Gale Sail is no good, I'm wondering if the solution might be to have storm jib with a boltrope onto the foil. I haven't seen this for storm jibs. Has anyone tried it? The stay is a couple of metres in from the pointy end so the admiral should be able to handle dropping a staysail and feeding in the storm jib. Or do storm jibs have to hank on?

Greg
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