Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-12-2015, 10:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SF Bay Area/Baja California
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 32
Modify headsail into staysail?

The 37ft cutter we just bought is missing its staysail. I have 4 or 5 different headsails from a 30ft sloop I used to own. I am thinking about trying to use one of the headsails, possibly modified, as a temporary staysail until I can figure out the correct measurements and get a proper one made. Is this a crazy idea?
__________________

__________________
coolboat30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2015, 12:33   #2
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

No problem for fair weather but I wouldn't count on it for a storm sail. And to me having a storm sail on an inner stay is a major advantage to a cutter.
__________________

__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-12-2015, 15:04   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,455
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Does your Rafiki have a club-footed staysail? If so, less likely that a jib from a smaller boat would fit without major recutting, if at all.

Otherwise, I'd suggest starting with the heaviest of the jibs and seeing if it fits and can be sheeted to t he existing fairleads. You may luck out! Hope so...

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2015, 15:27   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SF Bay Area/Baja California
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 32
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Thanks for the thoughtful response. It was designed for a club footed staysail but previous owners have not used one and I don't intend to use one. They seem very dangerous to me. Maybe I should re think that.
__________________
coolboat30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2015, 15:31   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SF Bay Area/Baja California
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 32
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Thank you, Sparrowhawk1. Sorry for my ignorance about cutter rigs. So, do I need two staysails?
__________________
coolboat30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2015, 17:52   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,455
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboat30 View Post
Thanks for the thoughtful response. It was designed for a club footed staysail but previous owners have not used one and I don't intend to use one. They seem very dangerous to me. Maybe I should re think that.
I endorse the idea of not using a club-footed sail, and for two reasons: the danger that you sense is real, and in general the club-footed sails don't set all that well in practice. And FWIW, our friends with a RAfiki ditched the club long ago and have never regretted it.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2015, 18:03   #7
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

I think that is a great idea. I have had headsails re-cut twice now. The first one fit perfect but the second is another matter. I let the sailmaker do what he wanted and it doesn't fit to my liking at all. Great thing to know because it only cost $250. not $1500.
__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-12-2015, 18:58   #8
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

In doing a recut, usually the toughest part is getting the draft cut; where you want it, & to the best possible shape. So it pays to work with an experienced loft.
To the degree that, where once you pick out the best 3 candidates, you have the sailmaker go for a sail with you & give them a good looking over. And then let him work his magic from there.

That, & or, set the top 3 candidates flying, both on your primary headstay, & your cutter stay, trimmed in as best you can manage (including using Barber Haulers/Twings, needs be). And then take a bunch of pictures from the angles/positions requested by the sailmaker (or a couple of good racers).
Given that, someone with a good eye for (sail) shape will be able to tell you which one(s) are viable.

Heck, if you want to post pics on here, some of us can offer up our $0.02. If so, say as much, & we can suggest what shots of the sails to take. Though you may have to put them into an album, as we'll probably need a good half a dozen pics per sail in order to evaluate them. Along with the specs & info on each one.

Also, you do know that there are a good number of chandleries which specialize in pre-loved sails, right? The good ones even having return policies if you don't like the sail/it doesn't fit.

Plus, there are a Huge number of staysails out there with wire, or Kevlar/Spectra luffs, which are set free flying. Mostly for reaching, to off of the wind work. But they can and do, add a lot of horsepower, when done right (SIC). And since you have free sails to work with...
And too, you could always optimize one or two of your surplus sails for reaching, when set on your staysail stay. - An extra 3/4 of a knot's good where ever you can get it The Dashew's have some good, explanatory video footage on this. Including stuff on free flying mizzen staysails, plus mizzen spinnakers. Both of which your surplus sails could be morphed into. Only, flow in front of your main mast, of course.

One other resource. Over the years, there have been some great articles in Seahorse, a UK based, racing magazine. About some of the testing done with staysails on various classes of high end racing yachts. Even to inclued the Volvo boats (of some generations). And how they experimented with staysail tack positions & sail shape to optimize how much power they generated, & it was a LOT.

PS: If you find the Dashew video footage, would you please be kind enough to let me know where you found it. As I don't think that I have their old, circa late 80's video tape anymore.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 09:46   #9
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
No problem for fair weather but I wouldn't count on it for a storm sail. And to me having a storm sail on an inner stay is a major advantage to a cutter.
This. My 41 foot cutter can take the No. 2 from my 33 foot sloop as a staysail, but it's no more robust than when it was a No. 2 on the smaller boat. This means after 18 knots I would want it down. I also run a No. 1 genoa on my forestay, but it's strictly "light air" compared to the heavier Yankee-cut jib I would customarily fly into the high 20-knot range before rolling it up.

Having said that, if I knew I was going to see at best a 12-knot day, a recycled genoa of the right size would make an excellent staysail for the extra sail area it would offer, assuming you pay attention to how you rig the cars.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 09:57   #10
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
I think that is a great idea. I have had headsails re-cut twice now. The first one fit perfect but the second is another matter. I let the sailmaker do what he wanted and it doesn't fit to my liking at all. Great thing to know because it only cost $250. not $1500.


In the shot above of a 41 foot steel cutter, the jib (ahead of the staysail) is a recycled Kevlar number 2 recut from a C&C 34 chucked after two seasons as "not good enough". I got it for free by asking. It was intended for conversion to hank-ons for a Viking 33, which has a quite long J-measurement, and which would have cost $200, but I only "converted" the No. 1, as I don't race and had blown up my light genoa in a squall. So this came out of the garage and onto the boat and did quite well in light air last August.

The staysail is fit to the steel cutter. To go "storm staysail", you have three choices: get a heavier-cut, smaller storm staysail made; have reef points put in an existing staysail; or have reef points put in the new storm staysail. I have some further tests to conduct (it's hard to find 50 knots in Lake Ontario), but I'm leaning toward reef points in the storm staysail, the idea being that it's going to be heavy and that "even a scrap" of sail to drive the boat, with, if necessary, drogues to slow it, given more control to run off or to heave to in a really heavy weather situation. Bare poles are not a good option with the windage of stern and pilothouse...I'd rather keep moving or heave to, a different form of keeping moving than bare poles.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 11:45   #11
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboat30 View Post
Thank you, Sparrowhawk1. Sorry for my ignorance about cutter rigs. So, do I need two staysails?
First don't apologize, the best part of sailing is you can never know everything. Everyday even the most experienced sailor can learn something. Today I learned procrastination pays, you got better answers from other members than I could have given you, both more eloquent and with more experience
__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 15:00   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 935
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

I have successfully recut several headsails with few problems but found the following a good guide;
1 Only cut down the width minimally (max 10%), you can do radical cuts to the foot to shorten it or raise the clew.
2 Cutting the luff will flatten the sail, cutting the leach will deepen it.
3 You need to start with a sail designed for a similar wind range, you can't turn a ghoster into a storm sail. But a No 2 jib will make good No 3 for a smaller boat
4 If you need to re-cut the seam you are building a new sail from old cloth. Worth it if it is in near new condition but literally cut all the panels out and use them as material don't attempt to change the shape by re-cutting a couple of seams
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 15:03   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 935
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

PS, well worth if you do it yourself, much less so if you pay a sailmaker as labour cost is about half the value of a new sail and you will be paying for them to dismantle the old sail as well as build the new one
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 17:28   #14
Registered User
 
sparrowhawk1's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Miami Beach Fl
Boat: Colombia Cc 11.8
Posts: 1,252
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
I have successfully recut several headsails with few problems but found the following a good guide;
1 Only cut down the width minimally (max 10%), you can do radical cuts to the foot to shorten it or raise the clew.
2 Cutting the luff will flatten the sail, cutting the leach will deepen it.
3 You need to start with a sail designed for a similar wind range, you can't turn a ghoster into a storm sail. But a No 2 jib will make good No 3 for a smaller boat
4 If you need to re-cut the seam you are building a new sail from old cloth. Worth it if it is in near new condition but literally cut all the panels out and use them as material don't attempt to change the shape by re-cutting a couple of seams
Golden information.
__________________
sparrowhawk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-12-2015, 17:28   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44' Steel Mauritius
Posts: 578
Re: Modify headsail into staysail?

Used to love the club footed on my Passport 43. Could beat without touching a sheet. Very nice when blowing and not in a hurry. Drop the jib and set other sail up to self-tack. Don't understand the danger aspect unless working the foredeck maybe.
__________________

__________________
Mithril Bham is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head, sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Repair and Modify Windlass Base ... reiner Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 11-08-2012 19:08
Owners Version - or Modify Eight Berths ? Summersail Multihull Sailboats 3 21-07-2011 16:27
Modify Car A/C for Use on Sailboat - Thoughts? Fishman_Tx Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 49 16-08-2009 15:55
Modify Mast Step? palagic456 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 12-05-2009 12:00
Modify ferro cockpit hooked on water Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 15-02-2008 01:28



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:04.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.