Yes, we have used it. We have forereached with it for several days, and we used it when sailing from Freo to Tasi when our mainsail
track busted, and we have used it on windy daysails when we were lazy and did not want to go to the work of uncovering and hoisting and then at the end of the day reflaking and recovering the mainsail
Beth and I disagree on this. She thinks an offshore
boat should have a trysail (with a separate track) period full stop. Because #1 it gives you and option if the mainsail or track breaks (which has happened to us - one of our harken
batt cars came apart up the mast
and chewed up the track), and #2 you can use it when hove to or forereaching and save the mainsail from a lot of wear and tear, and #3 if its breezy (say 25-30kts) and we are going for a day sail and no-one is watching
we will sometimes use the jib
and trysail just to save the effort of having to reflake the mainsail at the end of the day.
I certainly don't mind having a trysail and did appreciate its extra push when our mainsail track when tits up, but I don't think its essential if you have a good staysail setup. We have used the trysail but not all that much. Usually when one might use a trysail we drop the main entirely and sail with the #4 on the inner stay - the boat moves well with that and its bullet proof. We are not racing
, so I have no problem moving very comfortably at 6kts in gale conditions.
I find the cut and shape of all trysails I have ever seen so bad they are almost offensive. It's adequate on a close reach, but not great for pointing and not great for running. We sheet it to the quarters - would be better for running if we sheeted it to the boom - but we just normally use a headsail for that anyway.
So you have the two of us with the exact same experience but a different answer to your question. I do agree with Beth that people planning to go offshore think too much about gadgets and too little about sail inventory and sail condition/shape/material.