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Old 02-09-2015, 13:02   #16
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

Don CL, no problem shipmate. It is a great resource. And Adlard was known for his modesty and understatement. I've got a rule, or, more a guideline that I try to follow: if you don't have FIRST HAND experience with something, you're really not entitled to an opinion on the thing.
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Old 02-09-2015, 13:08   #17
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

That's the thing. What works like a charm on one vessel, don't work for crap on another. What Is relevant is what works for your vessel.
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Old 02-09-2015, 13:39   #18
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

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May I respectfully suggest you and the other posters read HEAVY WEATHER SAILING by Adlard Coles before proceeding? Theoretical Sailing is all well and good but no way to prepare oneself for conditions that will manifest themselves in the future. That said,and having survived typhoons as well as whole gales, I feel a 3rd reef in the main AND a try sail are in order. They have different applications. A fifeteen foot hoist with a 10' foot describes a try sail for a fifty foot boat. You need to match the sail to the length and weight of the boat. This is the only time you can do this because you're doing it for YOUR boat, not one you're going to deliver. The idea that "if this happens, I'll just....." isn't wise planning, just theoretical sailing. Storm sails don't take up much room 'cause they're SMALL. Use them as pillows in the forecabin. Read Adlard Coles and you will have the benifit of real world experience.
Opps... you caught me out.. Damn.
Have to do some reading up on real world experience...
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:02   #19
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

I bought a trysail for my 25 foot Vertue but in ten years never used it in anger, mainly because I never met the conditions that warranted it.
However I did set it a few times in moderate conditions and it worked well enough. I had no dodger and could drop the end of the boom to the deck, secure it out of the way and then run the sheets right aft.
Most modern boats you can't get rid of the boom like that and I think that would compromise the usefulness of a trysail. I have even seen at least magazine article suggesting that the clew should be secured to the boom as shown in the attached pic - that I found on the net- .. what a waste of time.... the tack half way up the mast and the CofE up in the heavens.... would be far better off with a third reef.

I have used my 3rd reef in the main in quite hard conditions but not when 'clawing off a lee shore'... I try and avoid lee shores...

Likewise I have used all three of my 'storm' jibs in anger . The major benefit in using them is in keeping the CofE low and bring it nearer the mast thus keeping the boat balanced and 'flat'.
If you go beyond the third 'dot' in a roller furler like mine the sail you are left with is just too high and too far frd.

I'm sure I have told the story of my three storm jibs before but I'll tell it again just because I can....

The boat ( Built in 1986) came with a 150 square foot storm jib... first time I used it I found it a bit too big and powerful.... spoke to my sailmaker.... 'thats a pre Fastnet storm jib... you need 100 sq ft'..... first time I used it I thought.... 'hmmmm'.
Spoke to a Wellington, NZ sailmaker, 'round here we would have a 50 sq foot on your boat'....

So now, once the 3rd dot is too much, I just mix and match my little jibs to suit the conditions...
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:04   #20
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

What works in the real world for us (cutter rig) - all wind speeds are estimates and depend on apparent wind angle, crew preparedness, fatigue, etc.:

0-20k - all plain sail, with a variety of jibs depending on many variables
20-25k - about time to put in the first reef if upwind. Upwind also likely to be down to staysail as the only headsail
25-35ish - double-reefed main and staysail
35-45 - double-reefed main and storm jib (flown on the inner stay in place of the staysail, moves the center of effort aft and down compared with flying on the headstay).
>45 - storm jib and trysail (flown on a separate track, clew attached to boom, main sheet and traveler used for sail trim). Have used this combination up to ~85k either making way or hove-to.

Our storm jib has seen a fair amount of use, probably 3-4 events/year.

Our trysail has seen much less, probably ~0.5 events/year. Each event may be very short, or as long as several weeks depending on which nasty part of the ocean we are in.
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:44   #21
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

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Originally Posted by jreiter190 View Post
That's the thing. What works like a charm on one vessel, don't work for crap on another. What Is relevant is what works for your vessel.
Which is why reading Adlars's book is great, but it wont solve the problem for YOUR particular boat any more than taking lessons. Just one more tool in the toolbox.
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:56   #22
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

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A try sail is a storm main right? I basically want very tiny sails that are super thick and sturdy so that if I ever get caught out in a real blow, I can still put something up and have steerage instead of going bare poles, or reeding my main and risking ripping it up.
I crossed the atlantic on a swan 48. The owner had 13 spare sails below, several of them brand new, including small jibs, storm jibs, and a storm tris'l. When the forecast looked grim, I suggested we change to some smaller sails, which he refused. Aside from shredding a spinnaker, the other 12 sails remained in their bags the entire trip.

IMHO, they were all a waste of space. If we weren't going to use them in a storm, why did we have them? He prefered a mostly rolled up jib.

On my own boat, I have a main with 2 reef points, the second very deep. I also have a furling storm jib, which I keep at my house, under the stairs.
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Old 02-09-2015, 15:36   #23
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

All good info. In my current boat I can only lay claim to seeing how it did in gusts to 35, so not much I admit. And in my own case, gusts of 45 maybe 50 is all I have seen in my old boat many years ago. So I have a ways to go yet. But I have been pondering putting on a removable forestay and a storm jib, and northoceanbeach that may be something for you to consider on your Cape Dory if you don't have a forestay already. The boom and jib could be lashed out of the way.
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Old 02-09-2015, 16:02   #24
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

Early in the day after the passage of a SW'ly front over night.
#2 Jib unfurled, #1 storm jib still flying, #3 storm jib hanked on ready for use.

Not an entirely perfect settup as to hoist the #3 I will have to lash the #1 to the lee rail and un-hank it, hoist the #3 and then hank the #1 back on under the #3.... easier than it sounds and better than storm sails in bags in the focsle.... which you will not be inclined to break out when you really need them.
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Old 02-09-2015, 18:15   #25
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

We recently bought a Catalina 30 with lots of sail. There is a brand new Solent staysail (storm jib) and a brand new stormsail that typically slides up the second track on the main. We are in San Diego and would love to show them to you. The staysail is 20' tall and 8' on the base. I don't have the dimensions of the stormsail (in Idaho right now) but can get them this weekend. They will be very competitively priced ($250 each I think). You can reach me at nomondays48@gmail.com.
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Old 02-09-2015, 18:47   #26
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

The best options for your boat may be different than for other vessels. A small tri-sail may be great but without a storm track you will need to do a lot of work to switch to it. I suggest you might glean a few gems reading "Storm Tactics". This is the best, most straightforward evaluation of methods & equipment with discussion of plus & minus. This saved us a pile of $$$ and made crystal clear why our boat was rigged as it is. Discussion covers series drogues, heaving to, fore reaching, para-anchors, storm tri-sails, reefing, cutter storm sails, boat size and configuration.


Storm Tactics Handbook: Modern Methods of Heaving-to for Survival in Extreme Conditions by Lin Pardey http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Tactics-...=storm+tactics
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:12   #27
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Re: Storm jib and try sail for main

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Thanks for getting me back on course. I have to confess I hadn't looked at that book in years. It is really a great book. Being a fan of Olin Stephens, I especially like reading his thoughts on the subject. I am curious (and I think the OP is too, don't mean to hijack the thread!) what you and others have found that works best as wind speeds reach X knots and/or seas reach X, etc., for your particular boat.
For my particular boat, the worst conditions i have been in were 50 knots sustained. Swells were 20-feet and short, with some breaking. It was a good learning experience. I tested out several of the tactics described in 'Heavy Weather Sailing'. Having run downwind under triple-reefed main only and then bare poles overnight (it was too dangerous to go up to the foredeck to set the storm jib) we were too tired to continue with that tactic. Heaving-to did not work for me. Every now and then a large wave would hit the bow at an angle and push it away to leeward, then the next one would catch us broad-side and knock us right over. Stemming the waves under power was fine, although the prop was often out of the water and fully ventilated when we got chucked off a wave, and we were burning diesel and not going anywhere. The tactic that worked best for us was to deploy a drogue set off the stern from the cockpit on two lines coming back to the primary winches, towed 250 feet behind the boat. This kept the stern into the waves, and we were able to take up on one line or the other to keep the stern into the waves, to some extent independently of the wind (because the wind shifts around faster than the swells, but it's the swells that are dangerous). This worked well for us under those conditions and i suspect it would work well on a number of other boats as well. Fortunately, downwind was toward our destination and we had plenty of sea room (we were exactly half way between Bermuda and the Caribbean). If that hadn't been the case, i would have tried some other options. Personally, i can't envisage a situation where i would feel that i needed a trysail. If i were operating frequently in the North Atlantic in the winter time though, that might change.
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