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Old 08-03-2016, 04:17   #16
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

I fondly remember delivering a 28 footer across the Tasman rigged with twin forestays. The system worked well. It was easy to switch between the Genoa and the jib without unhanking sails. And downwind the jib would be poled out to windward and the Genoa to leeward and sheeted off the boom.

The only issue was gybing. Had to unhank both sails and swap them over, or else put up with massive chafe. I guess ideally both headsails would be the same, but then you have to change sails as well, and store another wet sail onboard.

I think these days a Solent stay and a good furler is easier and more versitile overall. But has the downside of much more permenent windage.

I don't think there is a perfect solution yet. All headsail options have big benefits and big drawbacks.

I'm not 100% sure why the bowsprit would need additional reinforcing? You'd back of the tensions slightly to reduce the static loads. And put up with a bit more slack. As soon as a sail is set the other stay will mostly unload due to the stretch. So overall loads should be only slightly higher, but you will have slightly more forstay sag.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:52   #17
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

I sail a masthead ketch at present but I intend to mount a staysail aft of the head stay for heavier weather. In the past I've owned and sailed a staysail ketch. In heavy weather I used the Jib and Jigger rig with great effect. The boat was fully balanced and neither under or over loaded.

This time I'm considering a Solent style setup I read about somewhere where the staysail is hanked on to a removable stay and bagged. The rig will then be tensioned by a four part tackle to a hard point about 24" aft of the head stay. When not required, the tackle will be long enough to allow the stay and the bagged sail to be held with some light string at the starboard shroud by easing the tackle. When required, The rig will be tensioned and the halyard already attached to the staysail will be raised. The sheets would have been already bent on the sail and lead aft. Theoretically, this can be accomplished from the cockpit using line clutches and a snubbing winch. I a know this all seem complicated but the rig can be set up in a standby mode on days and at evenings when the potential for weather is present, making the on watch much more comfortable with a rapid and safe sail change while not encumbering or chafing the sheets or the Genoa that resides on the head stay furler.

When weather becomes a bit stiff, drop the main, furl the Ginny and tension the staysail rig. You're good to go.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:10   #18
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

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Originally Posted by bobnlesley View Post
Perhaps when you were preparing for your second ocean crossing, you'd be refitting your furler so that you could stay safely esconced in the cockpit, rather than be heading up the side-deck during dark and squally night's when you're 1000 miles from land?
This thought might be boat-size related. When we had our 5 ton Rawson 30, I was so happy for the furling jib because neither my husband nor I wanted to be on the foredeck in weather. It always seemed an unwise place to be on that boat in weather. Now that we've got a 30 ton schooner (54' on deck 69' overall) we have hanked on jib and staysail and think it's not so bad going forward to deal with the sails during weather. The foredeck has nice tall bulwarks and overall OK in weather. Yes, it might be a bit wetter up there.

There are other ways to reduce your risk besides a furler: We do not have to go out on the 11' bowsprit to bring down the hanked on jib, we just bring it down with a downhaul into the netting. We can decide to leave it there (it's not going anywhere if we keep the sheet tight) further tie it into the net or bag it on the stay depending on conditions. Bowsprits are sometimes not where you want to be working, this is true. We sometimes rig a tricing line to the jib--this runs up the stay to the midpoint of the hanked on sail luff, through a ring there, back to the clew, around the other side of the sail back to the ring, etc. The point is that you can depower the jib by pulling the tricing line and the sail ends up bundled against the stay. This can be done from the cockpit if one wanted it--though our tricing line is rigged and managed at the pinrack on the starboard shrouds on the foredeck. Once the sail is depowered, the sail's downhaul can be used to turn the hanked on sail into a tiny bundle at the tip of the bowsprit that won't catch wind or waves.

Our staysail is boomed and tends to be in use no matter the conditions--full gale, etc. We do have to adjust the halyard tension as the winds increase and take some slack out of the jackline on the lower 1/3 of that sail. Typically in the low 30-some knots range and then again over 40 knots an adjustment means going to the foredeck to crank a bit on the halyard winch.

Having the other parallel stay allows us (if we wanted) to rig a storm staysail and just leave it sitting there at the ready. The boomed staysail could be dropped and the stormstaysail raised instead. We have not done that since even in gales (steady winds in the mid-40's and gusts into the mid-50's) our boomed staysail does fine in terms of size and strength.

Keeping both parallel stays with proper tension is difficult. Even stays that are in line/not parallel are hard to keep properly tensioned unless you're using running stays/running backstays/babystays, etc. When running our jib and staysail typically one or the other is a little loose unless we work with our running backstays and running bobstay (jib is only thing on bowsprit so the bobstay tensions it) to tighten up the jib while the fractionally rigged staysail is kept tight. Our foremast is stiff, the mainmast somewhat bendy so it works but can be...interesting. The spare forestay is fairly loose unless the boomed staysail is not in use.

A solent stay makes a lot of sense if the foredeck is laid out such that it can be employed. That means no dingy in the way, etc. A boat with a bowsprit has jib and staysail separated much as a solent stay is from a stem-head mounted jib. Depending on the CG of the solent sail location, it will provide more (or less) utility to the rig for use in heavy weather. That's pretty individual to each boat.

Fair winds,
Brenda
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Old 08-03-2016, 13:59   #19
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

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Originally Posted by Mainstreet View Post

This time I'm considering a Solent style setup I read about somewhere where the staysail is hanked on to a removable stay and bagged. The rig will then be tensioned by a four part tackle to a hard point about 24" aft of the head stay. When not required, the tackle will be long enough to allow the stay and the bagged sail to be held with some light string at the starboard shroud by easing the tackle. When required, The rig will be tensioned and the halyard already attached to the staysail will be raised. The sheets would have been already bent on the sail and lead aft. Theoretically, this can be accomplished from the cockpit using line clutches and a snubbing winch. I a know this all seem complicated but the rig can be set up in a standby mode on days and at evenings when the potential for weather is present, making the on watch much more comfortable with a rapid and safe sail change while not encumbering or chafing the sheets or the Genoa that resides on the head stay furler.

When weather becomes a bit stiff, drop the main, furl the Ginny and tension the staysail rig. You're good to go.
I've used this kind of setup before. You are not going to be able to avoid needing to go forward to set up the stay. At the least you will need to release the lashings or the cover on the sail. It may be possible to do most of the work from near the mast.

Dropping the sail will mean a trip to the bow unless you rig a downhaul and an inhaul.
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Old 08-03-2016, 14:37   #20
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

You're probably right but at least it will minimize the work there. I had been thinking of a bag that would open using "velco" with the bag tied to the toenail in some way. I've got to admit it's in the design stage at present. This thread got me thinking about it in more concrete terms.
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:46   #21
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

A furling headsail will never set well from 150% genoa to storm jib size.

That said, a well designed triradial sail constructed out of decent cloth, ie; Hydranet, laminates etc, with a rope, not foam, padded luff is pretty good. Especially when compared to the 10 year old dacron rags most cruising boats use.
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:50   #22
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

By accident rather than design we have a Solent rig - it wasn't until the second time we visited/inspected the boat that we noticed it had two headsails; doh! - with both of the sails on rollers. It took us a while to learn how to best utilise the sail options, but having done so and now renewed one sail, it's proving to be a great choice for short-handed, long distance cruising; it'd be a poor choice if you fancied racing around the buoys on a Sunday morning though.
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Old 10-03-2016, 17:05   #23
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

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Originally Posted by Mainstreet View Post
You're probably right but at least it will minimize the work there. I had been thinking of a bag that would open using "velco" with the bag tied to the toenail in some way. I've got to admit it's in the design stage at present. This thread got me thinking about it in more concrete terms.
It's really not so bad to go to the foredeck and work if you're well tied in with your jackline and harness and have on proper attire for the conditions. I say this is easier if you're not solo (e.g. you've got a spouse or someone else at the helm, just in case your autopilot isn't up to the conditions you're changing sails in).

I find it SO much easier to get a properly tight halyard if I'm working on the foredeck rather than running all back to the cockpit. I speak from the experience of my 30' boat which had everything running to the cockpit for solo sailing. In the conditions you'd be worried about going to the foredeck, winds will be such that you MUST have that halyard nice and tight. Again, a trip to the foredeck makes most sense.

Alternatively, I do know a fellow who had his solent staysail rolled onto a wire luff furler (soft furler, no foil) and he had it set up so when he pulled it out from down below, he'd hoist it and leave it furled until needed. Then he'd furl in his regular headsail, unfurl this staysail and he'd do it all from the cockpit. I do know you cannot readily furl a wire luff (considered the same as sail set flying...) furling sail in a blow. I suppose one just has to lower it like a regular sail into a bundle if winds are so high that you'd not continue using the staysail.

Now--having said all that--you COULD also investigate using different sails set flying on wire luff to do your twin headsail bit as well. Another sailor I know has three jibs all set flying on wire luff (well these days its dyneema luff...) and he changes them out depending on need of sail size. He, like me, has a bowsprit for the jib and has a footed staysail at the stemhead. That gets you around the entire issue of poor sail shape with the wrong sail hoisted. The wire luff sits behind your regular forestay in those situations. Only a couple inches behind it. All these rely upon an open furler of the sort you see people setting Code 0 and such on.

Food for thought.
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Old 10-03-2016, 22:30   #24
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnlesley View Post
Perhaps when you were preparing for your second ocean crossing, you'd be refitting your furler so that you could stay safely esconced in the cockpit, rather than be heading up the side-deck during dark and squally night's when you're 1000 miles from land?
Two sails, hanked onto twin headstays with bow shackles, downhaul lines threaded up through the bow shackles. Same as I do now with the inner staysail and I don't go up forward in the dark or rough weather to work it.
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Old 10-03-2016, 23:21   #25
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

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Two sails, hanked onto twin headstays with bow shackles, downhaul lines threaded up through the bow shackles. Same as I do now with the inner staysail and I don't go up forward in the dark or rough weather to work it.

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Old 11-03-2016, 01:28   #26
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Re: Twin parallel headstays

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Two sails, hanked onto twin headstays with bow shackles, downhaul lines threaded up through the bow shackles. Same as I do now with the inner staysail and I don't go up forward in the dark or rough weather to work it.
Surely you would have to go forward to lash them or they would flog to death or waves would wash them overboard.
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Old 11-03-2016, 07:08   #27
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Twin parallel headstays

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Surely you would have to go forward to lash them or they would flog to death or waves would wash them overboard.

If you both trice and downhaul it makes a small tight bundle. Both could be done from the cockpit by one person. During the trice alone the sail will flog until it is then down hauled.

If only using a downhaul you must manage the sheet keeping the tension just so as the sail comes down so you have a chance to leave a jib in the net or staysail along the deck without flogging. That takes 3 hands and I can't see a solo sailor consistently doing it properly alone.


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