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Old 03-02-2011, 08:02   #31
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Originally Posted by nv5l View Post
I'm looking into buying new sails and wanted a triple reefed main, since I plan to sail offshore.

However, the guy at UK recommended I stick with two, but make the second one really deep, .
Thats exactly what I wanted when I was at the sailmakers in Thailand .

It is truly Wonderful!

I would thoroughly recommend a deep second reef and forget the 3rd reef. Too many lines and hassels when the wind is up. When its blwoing a storm you want to be as snug as a bug in a rug, not playing hero at the mast wet, cold and being used by the wind as a blow toy.


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Old 03-02-2011, 09:15   #32
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Storm Sails excerpted from Maximum Sail Power:
The Complete Guide to Sails, Sail Technology and Performance

Excerpt from Maximum Sail Power

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 03-02-2011, 09:33   #33
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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
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.
Thanks for a very informative answer. While I have a very strong staysail setup, and in fact will be making our staysail reefable, I think a separate trysail track has its advantages, and I would tend to agree with Beth, particularly because you had an actual event that disabled your main.

I realize that a trysail is commonly poorly cut, but considering the times one is going to be using it, I suspect "flat and strong" is the default.

I have been known also to put out my No. 4 on windy days when single-handing, even though it kills my pointing, but just because I don't want to fold up the No. 3 on windy days.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:59   #34
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Im a complete fan of three reefs, especially if you sail a modern production main driven boat.

2 reefs means that for safety the 2nd reef has to be very deep, which means that in a lot of caes in "normal " cruising " its too deep. Three reefs means that you have reef 1 and 2 for your normal reefing conditions and a "oh God" one for thoese nasties.

I also find that many new Bene, and jeanneaus in particular are so fast that in any big wind > 25knots you need a third reef to keep everyting on a fairly even keel.

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Old 03-02-2011, 13:15   #35
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Evans nailed it. I too have a 47 ft boat and have the identical set up - two reefs both deep and a trysail. If your mast will support the extra track I think this is the way to go. We have gone to two reefs a few times but not often [lucky] and never really reached for the trysail at this point but have not crossed oceans.

On a smaller boat with a mast section that can't support a separate track then I might look at a 3rd reef as a good option but for real offshore work I like the redundancy the trysail and separate track give.
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Old 03-02-2011, 15:36   #36
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There's always the "gate" version of the trysail's a "Y" shaped piece of track down low with a sort of pivoting switch that allows a trysail to be hoisted on the main's track.

It was common on cruisers back in the day.
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Old 03-02-2011, 17:17   #37
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Forget the cost and get the BETTER solution. Both ways are good but they apply differently to different styles / areas of sailing.

Our first main had two reefs and we added the third one (and never used it). Our second main has two reefs. But we also carry a trisail now.

Personally, I would opt for 3 reefs (the 3rd giving us roughly 1/4 of the full main SA for any sailing in rapidly changing conditions with high risk of a sudden storm. Especially if sailing solo or with just two onboard.

The actual SA that results from the 3rd reef varies pretty much as different hulls need different drive in storm conditions.


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