We sailed many miles with all kinds of sail combinations. The only combination we never used was the double reef in the main and full jib. This is totally banned.
Crossing in the 2011 ARC
we would often drop the main and use the jib and asymmetrical alone. We would drop the boom on the cabin
top on a bumper and put the topping lift
to the aft T-cleat if the breeze was up over 15 true. Not sure we needed to do this with the swept back spreaders but did all the same. We ran for days with the Doyle APC and Asymetrical up making a steady 10-12 knots. I will try to post a picture of this combination.
No problems reefing or shaking the reef in the main or jib ever! The main was up and down like a toilet seat at a mixed party! We never went head to wind. It took a careful eye and patience (wait till you surf down a wave to hoist) but worked well for us. Having said that, I never use the APC or Asym without the main higher than 140 degrees.
On one occasion we were running in the late evening with only the APC up, got a puff up to 23 true, the boat hit a wave and the APC blew apart like a used tissue. If I had the main up it may have taken some load and saved the APC. A real bummer for me. I loved the sail and cost $800.00 to repair.
We would inspect the rig daily. I went aloft every three days. Not recommended unless you have an athletic cup in your shorts! No issues with vibration, inappropriate load, warping or inverting. We did have a rigging
inspector go over the boat before the ARC
and with his recommendation, tightened the main shrouds about four full turns. No real slack in the leeward shrouds after that, which is better in my opinion. I hate it when they snap back and you feel the tug through the whole boat!
The preventer, boom stop, brake, what ever it is called, we always had a “preventer” our term, on the boom when the main was up. Always!!! Not concerned about the crew due to the booms height, we just never wanted the “unexpected gybe.”
Although it did happen to us, wind shift, transom pushed by a wave, slow reaction from the helmsmen and wham! Over it came and the boom attachment was toast. We were using the spare toggle hanging down under the boom at the time. Same ones that the main blocks are attached to. Lucky it just blew apart or it could have been worse. At the time we had the preventer tied to the middle T- cleat with a strong line. After this experience, we put a nylon strap to the same middle t-cleat with a snatch block and would run a line from the boom through it to the spin block then up to the jib winch
. That way if it happened again we could get to the preventer line quickly and release it. Also easy to adjust from the safety
of the flybridge. We also used a small line tied to the boom itself that the preventer line was attached to thinking it would break before shock loading the boom. Never had to try this so only an idea!!
Scott Elektra I