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Old 17-08-2009, 19:13   #1
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Location: Manly. Queensland
Boat: Adams 35
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Is the Yankee a Necessity for a Cutter Rig?

Hi, I'm putting up the cutter rig on my Adams 35 and reading up on the sail plans for cutters. I presently have a genoa (150% or so) as the head sail so, given all the warnings about tacking an enormous headsail through a tiny's going to go.

Most of the stuff I've read says the foresail should be a high cut Yankee. Yankees are rare in the second hand sail market so, has anyone had any success with lower cut jibs as a foresail on a cutter rig, for example the clew being about 1 meter off the deck?

My inner forestay rig has a boom and is self tacking.

oh, an while I've got you, any ideas of the tension you need to put in the running backstays e.g. 100's of kg or 1000's of kgs?


Jimbo (Mystique)
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Old 17-08-2009, 22:30   #2
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I've was quite happy with my original low-cut 120% genoa on VALIS (a cutter). The clew was probably about a meter off the deck. The sail I have now was cut a couple of feet higher, but it is far from being a Yankee. I had it cut higher so I could see under it (for safety), and I probably gave up a little performance in doing so.

Running backstay tension is probably about one or two thousand pounds (this is a guess). I've got a 3:1 block and tackle that I run to a primary winch. I expect that the tension will depend on the rig particulars. I've got a very beefy mast and don't really need the runner unless the winds and seas are up. It does reduce inner forestay sag and gives me better staysail shape.
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 18-08-2009, 05:44   #3
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Boat: Stormwind 40 cutter rigged steel ketch - "Columba Livia"
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I think you will be just fine with your genoa. We use our 150% genoa and jib simultaneously. The slot between the stays is quite large (maybe 6 or 7 feet on the deck level). When hoisted, the jib actually helps when tacking. When the jib closes the slot between your inner forestay and mast, your genoa is less likely to try to go behind you inner forestay. Sure enough, it is a bit harder than with no inner forestay (we call it cutter stay) at all.

In terms of the running backstays, we just tension them tight. The harder the wind, the more pull we use. When the wind exceeds 30 knots, I use all the power I have to tension them. Our winches for running backstays are of moderate size, so at least I have never broken anything that way and we have well sustained sudden full gale winds with way too much canvas.
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