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Old 04-01-2013, 15:52   #1
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Is an Innerforestay Necessary for Cruising

Here is my question. I have a center cockpit Coronado 41 which I am getting ready to cruise to St Martin and Dominica plus the BVI from Solomons Maryland her home port. I have talked with several riggers who tell me to do the mast tang, and deck mount it will add up to 5-10k. That is a lot of cash for a old salt who is retired. Here on the bay most people never use their inner stay. So my latest solution. Is to make sure my storm jib, 150 Genoa and 100 Glenoa are all compatible with my Schaefer roller furling and watch the weather and change sails when needed.
is it worth the expense to add a second jib? I have a storm trysail which mounts on a separate track on the mast?

What do people suggest.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:13   #2
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

5-10 k could buy a bunch of these,



or are you wanting it for added security in case you lose your forestay?
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:23   #3
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

Let's put it this way, ideally it would be great to have the inner forestay, but you also need some way to counteract the foward pull on that like running backstays. However, you will find that you never use it, or almost never, and 99% of cruisers just run off under a scrap of roller furling jib when things are really had. By the time you think you might need to switch jibs on a luff furler it is too late to be able to do so without great difficulty.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:24   #4
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

As I understand it a Coronado 41 is a basic sloop design. To convert it to a Cutter design in not a simple procedure.

Adding an inner forestay for a staysail also requires adding "running backstays" unless the inner stay is positioned at the masthead. Then there is the bottom end of the inner stay. It needs to be connected through to the keel. Just attaching it to the cabin top/deck doesn't work as you will simply pull up on the cabin top/deck and possibly rip it off the boat - or at least cause serious damage.

This is probably why you have the $5-10K estimates for the job. Also then you need to get a staysail and the running rigging and fairleads for it plus additional clutches and winches.

If you are only going to be sailing the coastal USA and the Bahamas and the Caribbean it is hardly likely you will ever need to reef down for storm conditions unless you are totally oblivious to weather reporting and planning. The islands are just not that far apart that you can get "caught out" unless you consciously ignore all the weather sources available via cruiser nets and in harbor/island wifi/internet access.

In a decade in the Caribbean I never got "caught out" where I had to to to "storm conditions" except when I ignored everything and everybody and just blasted out like a blind fool into harm's way. You learn real quick not to do that. And if you are smart you don't do it in the first place as it is not necessary. An extra few days or a week or so and you will have wonderful benign weather to sail from island to island.

So go with what you have and the only suggestion is to maybe have a two headsails, one a large genoa for off the wind and another a jib for when going hard to weather. Converting the mainsail to a full batten mainsail will be a better investment.

Get all your sails reworked by a good sail shop to redo the stitching and seams, and all the wear points so you don't have to worry about having a blown sail in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:24   #5
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

The problem with changing from your 100% jib to your storm jib is that it will be blowing something like 35 knots at the time. You'll be on your hands and knees on the foredeck, being plunged through waves. You'll have to unroll the jib all the way and then drop it on the deck. As it gets dropped (actually, you'll probably have to pull it down), you have to gather it up and tie it to the lifelines in stages so that it stays on board the boat (remember that the sail isn't hanked on, so it becomes free to roam as it gets dropped on a roller furler). The boarding waves will make this fun.

Once it's all down and tied off, you need to get the storm jib out of the bag, tie on the sheets, put it through the prefeed, and somehow keep it under control as it gets fed up the slot. It's thrashing around in 35 knots of wind, so if you're under it trying sort it out and control it, you're getting beat up as well as occasionally dunked by the waves.

I've done this a couple times in 25 knots going from 140% to 100%. I don't think I'd want to try it offshore, at night going from 100% to storm jib in 35 knots.

The advantage of the one that goes over the rolled up jib is that you don't have to deal with the bigger sail. Still not ideal (hanked onto a solent or inner stay is ideal), but much better and maybe a worthwhile compromise.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:44   #6
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

Wot Cwyckham said. Double.


OK triple.

Changing sails is for full race crews. Just furl them. Unlike e comment you hear that they don't set well when part furled I can tell you considering the alternative they set just fine



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Old 04-01-2013, 17:04   #7
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

I'll also add, that you're bobbing around in heavy seas (need to be head to wind, but the boat can't really make much headway, so you're dead in the water) and crawling around on your hands and knees staring at the deck.

Last time, I spent half an hour changing the sail and four hours puking afterwards.
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Old 04-01-2013, 17:15   #8
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

Don't bother. Not worth the money. I would just furl the headsail up and sail on a reefed main.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:19   #9
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

You cannot write the check on the way down.
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Old 04-01-2013, 19:47   #10
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

I have a cutter. If I had a sloop there's no way I'd bother to convert it to a cutter. A cutter is a great rig but my whole boat is designed as a cutter. The mast location, keel length, bowsprit, checkstays, and jib & yankee all work together. When I get the sails well balanced and there isn't too much swell she sails herself.
If you converted to a cutter rig you'd have more drive in the front of the boat and you'd probably need to sheet the main in way too far, stalling the sail, to get the boat to head up at all.
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Old 04-01-2013, 21:41   #11
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

I had an ATN gale sail. I sold it. You still have to go forward to attach it.

Rather than a cutter rig, does your mast have room for a solent staysail? No running backstays needed.

I went through the same dilemma a few years ago. When I furl my 130 down to 100 and start to lose shape (depends on the point of sail), and am still overpowered, what do I do? Furl the genoa away, and hoist the staysail that has been sitting on deck. I never have to leave the cockpit. To think I could wrestle a 865 sq ft genoa to the deck alone, secure it, and hoist a smaller sail is crazy.

Short of a staysail, I think the ATN is your most cost effective alternative. Just realize the conditions you will be in when you need it, and what it would be like on the bow. Cwyckham is correct.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
I have a cutter. If I had a sloop there's no way I'd bother to convert it to a cutter. A cutter is a great rig but my whole boat is designed as a cutter. The mast location, keel length, bowsprit, checkstays, and jib & yankee all work together. When I get the sails well balanced and there isn't too much swell she sails herself.
If you converted to a cutter rig you'd have more drive in the front of the boat and you'd probably need to sheet the main in way too far, stalling the sail, to get the boat to head up at all.
Generally, a slutter is only sailed with one headsail up at a time, especially upwind. Downwind, you don't have the balance issues. Addition of an inner forestay out solent stay can work great and many love it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:25   #13
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
Generally, a slutter is only sailed with one headsail up at a time, especially upwind. Downwind, you don't have the balance issues. Addition of an inner forestay out solent stay can work great and many love it.
Thanks, good to know that we've been sailing our SLUTTER wrong for the last 1500 miles down the coast. Weird that it sails so perfectly with both headsails out anywhere from close hauled to a beam reach when you say that it's wrong. Gosh I don't even need the autopilot with a fresh breeze and the wind at or ahead of the beam. How stupid of me!
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:33   #14
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

slutters rock best when they have mizzens......

is a decent idea to have a second place for a second headsail or headstay but not mandatory. so far, my adventures included one cutter, and the forestaysail was not used while we sailed that boat.
my ketch has no forestaysail. she has only 3 sails.

realistically a sloop will sail under jib alone while cruising --even in fair winds. in heavy winds the jib is reefed in some way--i reef mine via roller furling.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:42   #15
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Re: Is an innerforestay necessary for cruising

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Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
Thanks, good to know that we've been sailing our SLUTTER wrong for the last 1500 miles down the coast. Weird that it sails so perfectly with both headsails out anywhere from close hauled to a beam reach when you say that it's wrong. Gosh I don't even need the autopilot with a fresh breeze and the wind at or ahead of the beam. How stupid of me!
Our boat was built with a slutter rig, the only time I set sails on both stays is running wing to wing, which is really easy with this sort of rig.
I always assumed setting two jibs so close together on a slutter was pointless. How stupid of me!
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