Originally Posted by meharvey71
I have been looking at Hanse yachts and they come with a self tacking headsail. I can see the advantages for short handed sailing, but are there any major disadvantages?
Not if the hull
and rig were originally designed for it, ie. tall mast
set a bit forward, very large main and fractional headsail. SA/D has to be pretty big to start with in order to have sufficient sail area for light air performance. The APHRODITE 101
is another example of this. One downside I can see is that to make the tall mast
work you need a pretty deep keel
for stability, the Hanse boats bear this out. Another downside is the inability to have double lowers or even a babystay, which is a problem if you want to go cruising and the mast is not significantly overbuilt.
Retrofitting to a masthead rig which is shorter and more balanced fore and aft doesn't work well because you wind
up being limited to a 95% jib when the boat was designed for a large overlapping headsail be used in light air. Using drifter or CodeZero in light air is only a partial solution because the boat is under canvassed in moderate winds when there is too much wind
for the Drifter/C0 but not enough for the self-tender to work effectively. That range of wind strength where neither setup works well may be fairly small for many boats and non-existent for a few boats, but for most boats designed as a masthead from 12 or 15kt when the drifter comes down until about 18-20kt when a 100% is the correct headsail you will be undercanvassed.
The one place I could see a self-tender work in a retrofit is for a stay-sail.