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Old 02-09-2013, 16:26   #1
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Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

I'm sure this is a pretty common issue among sailors since many of us are taking production boats and making them sea going vessels.

What is the best way to take a normal sloop with roller furling convert it to an offshore/heavy weather capable sail plan?

Do you add an inner forestay and go with a cutter/solent rig or just add additional sails and use the additional slots on the current roller furler to feed genny/working jib/storm sails? Or do you do away with the furler altogether and go with a hanked on Jib with reef points?

I am curious to hear from people who have actually taken production sloops and fitted them out for offshore work so please indicate your experience with your sail plan with your response. I would like to parse out armchair folks from people who have done it (no offense to armchair folks, I am currently sitting in one).
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Old 02-09-2013, 16:38   #2
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

There's other posts about this.
IMHO an inner forestay is essential.
In big winds there is no way you're going to get a genoa out of a foil on a furler and hoist a smaller sail in the slot.
A properly installed innerforestay anchored to the stem with running backstays and either a manual furler or hank on staysail / storm jib is the way to go. If u=you have a hank on storm jib already hanked on the stay and in a bag with a Velcro opening and the halyard already attached, sheets run...you can put away the headsail and hoist and sheet in the storm jib from the cockpit.
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Old 02-09-2013, 16:43   #3
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You could turn her into a "slutter" rig. ;-) Thats a sloop converted to a cutter rig by adding a stay sail stay, etc. The exact details will depend upon the make & model of boat.

That said there are also plenty of roller furling sloop rigged cruising boats out there...actually the majority I think.
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Old 02-09-2013, 16:43   #4
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

From the arm chair:

I have a "true" cutter rig including a staysail on a boom. I removed the outer furler (so now there are no furlers). The adage that there are three types of wind "not enough, too much, and perfect in the wrong direction" seems entirely accurate. With the Hydrovane I've had to focus a lot more on balance so sloppy crap I used to be able to get away with requires way too much rudder. But anyway the sail configurations I generally use:

- Main single reefed, staysail up, nothing on the outer stay. That's 75% of my sailing time. Works well for downwind, reaching, and I can handle wind up to about 25k steady before I need to consider reefing the main or staysail.

- Main single reefed, nothing else. For downwind, because our main is so big (19' foot, 42' luff), it works.

- Only the hanked drifter on the outer stay. Works terrific on a light air reach in non-huge swells. Not enough stabilizing force to keep the roll period down.

I have a yankee I can put on hanks if I really want to squeeze out the performance on an upwind run but I am a gentleman afterall so I don't find myself on that point of sail too often.

I've double reefed the staysail and main during a gail (steady 35, gusting low 40's) and it worked quite well.

The only thing I never really appreciated was preventers. For longer passages the points of sail tend to be the same for hours or days so you can really lock the boom(s) down in position which beyond preventing accidental jibes just quiets things down a lot. I even run preventers when close reaching in settled weather. Even motorsailing I'll yank the main boom to one side via a jib cleat just to shut down the noise.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:02   #5
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albro359 View Post
There's other posts about this.
I probably started them. I play around with this a lot in my head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albro359 View Post
IMHO an inner forestay is essential.
In big winds there is no way you're going to get a genoa out of a foil on a furler and hoist a smaller sail in the slot.
A properly installed innerforestay anchored to the stem with running backstays and either a manual furler or hank on staysail / storm jib is the way to go. If u=you have a hank on storm jib already hanked on the stay and in a bag with a Velcro opening and the halyard already attached, sheets run...you can put away the headsail and hoist and sheet in the storm jib from the cockpit.
I should mention that I have cruised on a Vagabond 38 cutter pretty extensively and that I am not a fan of the inner forestay set up on that boat. It makes tacking the genny, without sending someone onto the for deck to push it through the slot, next to impossible and brings the center of effort in too close to do much beating into anything, which for me is sort of the only reason to fly jib and main in anything above 25/30 knots for short periods of time.

I am also not really a fan of adding running back stays to anything...ever. too much complication and clutter. Add to that, the compression post or stay under the deck that then gets in the way of your v berth and you've got yourself an expensive, weird modification. I guess I should have labeled this thread, "Alternatives Options To The Solent/Cutter Rig."

Oddly the Vagabond 38 does not have running back-stays. Something I guess the designer took into consideration.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albro359 View Post
There's other posts about this.
IMHO an inner forestay is essential.
In big winds there is no way you're going to get a genoa out of a foil on a furler and hoist a smaller sail in the slot.
A properly installed innerforestay anchored to the stem with running backstays and either a manual furler or hank on staysail / storm jib is the way to go. If u=you have a hank on storm jib already hanked on the stay and in a bag with a Velcro opening and the halyard already attached, sheets run...you can put away the headsail and hoist and sheet in the storm jib from the cockpit.
Adding inner forestays to a modern sloop can be a vanity project. Its looks " bluewater" but adds little in reality. I did it to my 393, yet rarely used it. I used the standard foam luffed roller Jenny all the time. Adding backstays ( which I didn't need to do) further adds clutter. Then the masts in the wrong place for a cutter anyway.

I've delivered boats through f9 f10s without storm jibs using standard roller furling. I've sailed the atlantic several times without a down wind rig ie just a roller furling headsail and in one case also a furling main.

I would not suggest adding anything unless you really can justify it.

Equally getting a good strong point for the stay is also quite difficult.

Don't do it cause its received wisdom.

Dave
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:36   #7
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pirate Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

Ifall in with GBN... go with the design.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:42   #8
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Adding inner forestays to a modern sloop can be a vanity project. Its looks " bluewater" but adds little in reality. I did it to my 393, yet rarely used it. I used the standard foam luffed roller Jenny all the time. Adding backstays ( which I didn't need to do) further adds clutter. Then the masts in the wrong place for a cutter anyway.

I've delivered boats through f9 f10s without storm jibs using standard roller furling. I've sailed the atlantic several times without a down wind rig ie just a roller furling headsail and in one case also a furling main.

I would not suggest adding anything unless you really can justify it.

Equally getting a good strong point for the stay is also quite difficult.

Don't do it cause its received wisdom.

Dave
Preach on!

I guess I just get stressed thinking of having to claw upwind, like on a lee shore, with a big baggy genny that won't roll up right, in big wind. I had to do that once doing the Baja bash, it was actually on the Vagabond 38 but the staysail had blown out and I just couldn't get the thing to go upwind with the genny half furled. Stressful. Sailing is stressful.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:48   #9
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

Get a 135% roller genoa with foam luff made out of triple stitched sturdy weight cloth. You'll use that sail for almost all conditions. Get a Code Zero for light air sailing and reaching. Not ideal poled out for DDW sailing but good enough for a cruiser. If you need more speed, get a spinnaker off eBay or an Asym.. Have three points on your main or buy a storm trisail. Voila, your sail plan is compleat.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:56   #10
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

Alot of people have lost sleep over this decison for a sloop for sure. Those who make a removeable Solent Stay seem to dislike the loose stay hanging around and etc. But it does work if setup well. For my money, when the wind blows hard there's nothing like a true cutter stay and staysail. Some of my best sailing has been under staysail and double reefed main at hull speed and not too much heel!
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Old 02-09-2013, 19:26   #11
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It I may... The 135 is is my favorite head sail (vs 150). But getting a good shape/trim when partially furled is a challenge. Do you guys have genoa cars that can be adjusted from the cockpit? Or is there another trick?
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Old 02-09-2013, 19:31   #12
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
It I may... The 135 is is my favorite head sail (vs 150). But getting a good shape/trim when partially furled is a challenge. Do you guys have genoa cars that can be adjusted from the cockpit? Or is there another trick?
I do have cars that can be adjusted from the cockpit. I think a big part of it is having the foam in the luff of the genny.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:33   #13
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

I tossed my roller furling right off. I now carry 4 headsails for varying conditions. I have a very light large genoa, a beat up working sail. a small stout jib for winds to around 35 and a storm jib. I recently changed my main from the original to a main that is cut very flat that i had laying around. I found it much better upwind when it starts blowing hard. In winds that would require a reef in the original sail, the flat sail with a shorter foot starts working well. Ive never been a fan of roller furling. I may be a glutton for punishment but Id rather get up there on the deck and change sails instead. I repair leech lines on roller furling sails regularly from the sails getting jammed and flogging to failure because they couldnt be brought in when they should.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:42   #14
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

We have a 8oz 115% headsail on our 35fter we use for almost everything, we don't have a inner stay and have cruised around NZ to 47 south, south pacific and SE Asia. We have a 165% code zero on a furler we use for light airs. This can be poled out downwind and sailed up to a tight reach. We have a Storm jib with a dynex luff that can be hoisted independently of the furler but have not used it.

When using the furling sail as a storm sail there are some things to consider. 1. The furling line, use something stronger and better quality than comes with the furler i.e. Dyneema. 2. Make sure there is no chance if the furling line chafing. 3. Foam or rope luff on the sail, a sail cut flatter than normal will be less deep when partly furled. 4 Don't overload the furler, or the furled tack and head of the sail. Be very conservative with how much sail you have unfurled in storm conditions. 5. Having decent forestay tension goes a long way to keeping your sail flat when partly furled. 6. The smaller % overlap the sail the better it will look when partly furled.

I wouldn't change a boat already setup with a inner stay. But when you don't have it, its not essential to cruise.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:51   #15
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Re: Off Shore Sail Plan Conversion

I've done it both ways. My first boat had a 135 headsail and I carried a 100 that could be put on the furler. I had a couple of days that were too windy to change sails and I got by with putting up a scrap of headsail and no main, got me by. Later enroute back from Hawaii I had a day of strong winds that I wasn't set up for and I put up a scrap and ran with the wind, added time to my journey but no adventure.
My next 2 boats I added a staysail and running backs, first one was on hanks, I never used it. and the second boat I set up as a slutter with running backs and furling. I used the staysail sailing from Tonga to New Zealand. It was marginal as most staysails that are added later are not big enough and you end up with quite a gap that is too much for a furled headsail going to weather and yet not enough for a dinky staysail. It got me by but my boatspeed was down to 3-4 knots.
I'm at it again and this time I have a standard rig with no staysail, I'm looking at a solent rig but I'm not crazy about loosing pointing with the 130% that is the headsail.
I might just say screw it and go with a standard headsail.
I will give you a little advice though, make sure you have good light air sails, bring along another headsail that you can put in the second luff grove and go with a double head sail rig..you can even furl them together when the wind comes up. I often triple reef the main and sheet it midships to reduce the rolling if going down wind. Just take some good light air sails with you because thats likely to be a bigger problem than heavy weather. Cheers
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