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Old 03-08-2015, 01:59   #31
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Re: Staysail Advice

Kenomac,
First, the hard truth: Yes, you're over-boated. AKA your wallet's bigger than your sailing expetise...
The good news: Such is fixable ;-)

As to stopping flogging of the clew so that you can adjust the line without getting clocked in the head - Crank on both sheets @ once, or have the cockpit crew do so when you get in the vicininity of the mast. That "should" stabilize, or full on immobilize the clew. Depending on where the leads are, & the sail's cut.

Question: Are your tracks far enough inboard? What happens if you try barber hauling the sail? Also, a 2nd set of tracks is FAR from unheard of... for use in tuning the sail, including full on mitigation of luffing. Often including running 2 sheets on a given tack.
That, & consulting a sailmaker on both ideas/questions will help on this.

Pics & Video of the sail, both when she's drawing properly, as well as when flogging would help immensely, diagnostically.

FYI, as long as your filming, which is often easiest from a helmet cam. It's not uncommon for short handers to have/wear helmets when doing foredeck chores. Especially when it's blowing. And ones with polycarbonate (lexan) face shields are popular with some folks (others go for the hockey mask metal grills). - Some even have comms gear built in... though, old school hand signals work too.
*Actually, they're in fashion on bigger crewed racing & performance cruisers also.

On tuning the cords. You can always start out with them a bit tight, & ease as necessary. It's easier from the perspective of how much grunt is required to get a/the job done.
And luffing up for 10 sec. does wonders to lower the loads on them.

Are your cords rigged to be adjusted @ the clew? If so, you might consider having your sailmaker put their purchase/adjustment bits, up near the tack fitting. Or even better, tuneable from both spots. Just like the leech cords on mains.

Which leads to my simplest & best info bit. Hire a pro (sailmaker) to go out with you on a day where you'll be having the problem, & then heed their diagnostic advice.
Also, if you really want to enjoy, get fuller & more enjoyable performance out of your boat. Plus not be intimidated by her. Hire an expert to give both you & the Mrs. (solo, each, as well as together) lessons on handling the boat.
It'll do wonders, seriously.

I say the above, as on one occassion:
Me, the autopilot, & a Severely sprained ankle, did the full change (setup to "cleanup") from the #2, to the #3 on a 68' Swan.
Handling big boats short handed is all about technique. Especially as those sails weighed far more than I (plus thanks to the ankle I weren't walking). Let alone the size factor on such sails, &... the wind speeds, sheet + halyard loads, & occassional greenies, etc., while I was doing said chore.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:28   #32
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Re: Staysail Advice

Uncivilized,

Thanks for your response. No we're not over boated, just learning something new to us. How to adjust the leech lines.

This morning I unfurled the staysail, and found both lines to be completely slack, so I gave them a pretty hard tug and could see the effect on the sail, so I backed it off a little I order to get a good sail shape. Did the same on the foot. We'll see how this works over the next week. Now I can also see how to adjust the staysail while underway up to 20 knots or so by first tightening both sheets. But with more wind than that, I won't be doing it because I can't work at chest height using both hands to tighten cords....unable to hold on and run the risk of the clue smacking me in teeth.

I also loosened the mainsail leech line to improve the sail shape. The jib is another story... I need to tighten each a little, but can only do this when there is no wind. The boat is a cutter rig, so the one line is quite high and out of my reach, the foot is easy to reach, as its up at the bow.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:09   #33
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Re: Staysail Advice

I hear what you're saying. And yep, learning new techniques rocks.

As to getting your sail's mod'd so that;
- You have more purchase on each line
- They're adjustable from 2 places, or an easier to reach spot
Knock on wood, that should be an easy one for a sailmaker. Or even anyone who's done a modicum of hand work on their own on sails.

This is a handy book to have around. Pretty much pays for itself after a job or two, or in helping a fella' get knowledgeable enough to know what he needs in a sail or a sail tuneup, & what he doesn't.
http://www.amazon.com/Sailmakers-App...27s+apprentice
Ditto on Dan Neri's book (assuming you find a non bend-over, full retail priced version, that is - ouch!) http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide...words=dan+neri

Plus, of course, there are a slew of others that are heaps of help as well.

FYI: Some of the other guys have suggested various high tech'ish lines to use for leech & foot cords, which isn't bad. Though, as may be ascertained by reading between the lines (no pun intended) on some of these posts. The line's cover, or rather it's durability (chafe and UV resistance) are as important as what the core's made of.
And there are various, specialty, blended jackets on/for high-tech lines, which excel @ resisting both.

This, in addition to the option of painting such lines at their wear points with coatings such as; Maxi-Jacket, Maxi-Jacket II, RP25, & others. Many of which are enhanced versions of the coatings which come on lines when they're new, to lengthen the useful life of modern cordage.
For example, the one which comes stock on most of Samson's ropes, "Samthane".

And finally, sometimes it's best just to upsize the line, or add an extra layer of cover to the line... in the crucial high wear areas. Like, say, where it gets cleated. Which has the added bonus of making it a larger diameter, & thus easier on the hands/to pull on.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:11   #34
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Re: Staysail Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Uncivilized,

Thanks for your response. No we're not over boated, just learning something new to us. How to adjust the leech lines.

This morning I unfurled the staysail, and found both lines to be completely slack, so I gave them a pretty hard tug and could see the effect on the sail, so I backed it off a little I order to get a good sail shape. Did the same on the foot. We'll see how this works over the next week. Now I can also see how to adjust the staysail while underway up to 20 knots or so by first tightening both sheets. But with more wind than that, I won't be doing it because I can't work at chest height using both hands to tighten cords....unable to hold on and run the risk of the clue smacking me in teeth.

I also loosened the mainsail leech line to improve the sail shape. The jib is another story... I need to tighten each a little, but can only do this when there is no wind. The boat is a cutter rig, so the one line is quite high and out of my reach, the foot is easy to reach, as its up at the bow.
Tie a bowline in the end of the leech line and adjust with a boathook. Obviously, keep your face well clear of the clew, which can rip your face right off. I know you know that, but for the sake of others reading this thread. Use the boathook instead of your bare hands to keep a safe distance, in any kind of wind -- what if the sheet comes off the winch, or the helmsman screws up, while you're right there?

Leech and foot lines work by killing resonance, so don't overtension them. You need to fiddle with them to find the right setting -- the lightest setting which will stop the resonance, if that's what your problem is (and I remain somewhat skeptical, but I agree with others that you should start here).
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:02   #35
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Re: Staysail Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I hear what you're saying. And yep, learning new techniques rocks.

As to getting your sail's mod'd so that;
- You have more purchase on each line
- They're adjustable from 2 places, or an easier to reach spot
Knock on wood, that should be an easy one for a sailmaker. Or even anyone who's done a modicum of hand work on their own on sails.

This is a handy book to have around. Pretty much pays for itself after a job or two, or in helping a fella' get knowledgeable enough to know what he needs in a sail or a sail tuneup, & what he doesn't.
Sailmaker's Apprentice: Emiliano Marino: 9780071376426: Amazon.com: Books
Ditto on Dan Neri's book (assuming you find a non bend-over, full retail priced version, that is - ouch!) The Complete Guide to Sail Care & Repair: Dan Neri: 9781930086050: Amazon.com: Books

Plus, of course, there are a slew of others that are heaps of help as well.

FYI: Some of the other guys have suggested various high tech'ish lines to use for leech & foot cords, which isn't bad. Though, as may be ascertained by reading between the lines (no pun intended) on some of these posts. The line's cover, or rather it's durability (chafe and UV resistance) are as important as what the core's made of.
And there are various, specialty, blended jackets on/for high-tech lines, which excel @ resisting both.

This, in addition to the option of painting such lines at their wear points with coatings such as; Maxi-Jacket, Maxi-Jacket II, RP25, & others. Many of which are enhanced versions of the coatings which come on lines when they're new, to lengthen the useful life of modern cordage.
For example, the one which comes stock on most of Samson's ropes, "Samthane".

And finally, sometimes it's best just to upsize the line, or add an extra layer of cover to the line... in the crucial high wear areas. Like, say, where it gets cleated. Which has the added bonus of making it a larger diameter, & thus easier on the hands/to pull on.
Thanks again. I'll look into buying the book

Made a temporary repair on the furling line which appears to be the good non-stretch Dyneema core stuff underneath the rotting cover. I wrapped the 2ft length of missing cover with that space age rubber tape which bonds to itself. The stuff recommended for fixing leaking heater hoses etc. The line is still able to travel through the blocks and pressure cleat without a problem.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:35   #36
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Re: Staysail Advice

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In my experience, the bigger the boat, the safer is the foredeck in any kind of weather. Because it's more stable, and more room to brace and hold on. A notable advantage of big boats.
In my experience, It Depends... ;-)

Sure, with increased size usually comes more stability... But often with the tradeoff of some Wide Open Spaces, and little to hold onto...





Ironically, it's hard to imagine a boat more ideally suited to the situation Ken faced, than an Oyster 53...





He didn't need to venture forward of the mast, after all - he basically only had to traverse a bit more than the length of those picture windows... alongside a deckhouse approaching hip height (though I don't know why Oyster doesn't extend that handrail 18-24" further forward) that gets him to the shrouds, on a wide side deck with a high bulwark, topped with extra high lifelines... All at the middle of the boat which will be seeing the absolute LEAST motion in a seaway... Stop the boat by tacking and heaving-to, everything goes quiet as the boat sits there riding like a duck, he's got the clew of the staysail stabilized and near the centerline, and can attend to it by going forward on the boat's high side...

Snowpetrel's right, the ability to safely and confidently venture out of the cockpit is rapidly becoming a Vestigial Skill among today's cruisers...

;-)
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:35   #37
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Re: Staysail Advice

Our staysail is cut high, with tack about 2 feet off the deck and the clew about 6-8 feet off. The clew just misses the mast on a tack change, so that the sheets don't chafe anything on the way through.

Sailing in windy conditions with a full staysail and 3/4 of main rolled out is fantastic, and even though we don't have a self tending staysail boom or boom athwart ships traveler, there is very little sheet trimming of it on either tack.

With the main traveler dead center, you can almost sail the boat either tack without much adjustment when close reaching.

Have you experimented with the placement of the staysail sheet fairlead block (fore and aft) ? I'm assuming it is on a track-car system like the head sail. If the lower third of the sail starts flogging, then I would bring the staysail car back about a foot, to tighten up the foot of the sail. Keep adjusting until you find the happy mid point, where the whole leach will luff when headed too high.

We don't need to tighten or adjust the leach chord.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:56   #38
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Re: Staysail Advice

Our Oyster 53 foredeck with all the safety gear and extra handholds. The Jacklines straps are put away. The staysail sheet cars are in view.

I look forward to trying out the new leech cord adjustments on Thursday or Friday. 'Will definitely report back with results.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:06   #39
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Re: Staysail Advice

Forward view of our Oyster 53 foredeck.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:07   #40
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Re: Staysail Advice

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Uncivilized,

I also loosened the mainsail leech line to improve the sail shape. The jib is another story... I need to tighten each a little, but can only do this when there is no wind. The boat is a cutter rig, so the one line is quite high and out of my reach, the foot is easy to reach, as its up at the bow.

Ken
If you ever have the jib ashore for any work, have a sailmaker put a small block at the head of the sail, and replace the leech line which will run from the clew, up the leech, over the block and back down to the tack.
This has been suggested to me by a sailmaker for my replacement genoa.

I'm not sure how this works if the sail is partially furled, it escaped my mind to ask the sailmaker at the time.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:10   #41
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Re: Staysail Advice

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Ken
If you ever have the jib ashore for any work, have a sailmaker put a small block at the head of the sail, and replace the leech line which will run from the clew, up the leech, over the block and back down to the tack.
This has been suggested to me by a sailmaker for my replacement genoa.

I'm not sure how this works if the sail is partially furled, it escaped my mind to ask the sailmaker at the time.
I have not had it in for work, but the sails are scheduled to go in for cleaning and repairs in mid October. I'll ask them to add your suggestion to the list.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:14   #42
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Re: Staysail Advice

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Originally Posted by Ericson38 View Post

Have you experimented with the placement of the staysail sheet fairlead block (fore and aft) ? I'm assuming it is on a track-car system like the head sail. If the lower third of the sail starts flogging, then I would bring the staysail car back about a foot, to tighten up the foot of the sail. Keep adjusting until you find the happy mid point, where the whole leach will luff when headed too high.

We don't need to tighten or adjust the leach chord.
I'd previously done this quite a bit and figured I had it just about perfect. I was completely surprised by the issue in higher wind velocities.

Learning something new today and yesterday about leech cords.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:25   #43
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Re: Staysail Advice

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In my experience, It Depends... ;-)

Sure, with increased size usually comes more stability... But often with the tradeoff of some Wide Open Spaces, and little to hold onto...





Ironically, it's hard to imagine a boat more ideally suited to the situation Ken faced, than an Oyster 53...





He didn't need to venture forward of the mast, after all - he basically only had to traverse a bit more than the length of those picture windows... alongside a deckhouse approaching hip height (though I don't know why Oyster doesn't extend that handrail 18-24" further forward) that gets him to the shrouds, on a wide side deck with a high bulwark, topped with extra high lifelines... All at the middle of the boat which will be seeing the absolute LEAST motion in a seaway... Stop the boat by tacking and heaving-to, everything goes quiet as the boat sits there riding like a duck, he's got the clew of the staysail stabilized and near the centerline, and can attend to it by going forward on the boat's high side.

;-)
Excellent suggestion Jon regarding the use of the heave to maneuver. We used to heave to on our Hunter all the time for a "time out." Haven't been doing it on the Oyster. Should have done it last weekend, but was probably the victim of a little tunnel vision at the time. The heave to would have worked well to stop and sort things out.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:59   #44
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Re: Staysail Advice

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Excellent suggestion Jon regarding the use of the heave to maneuver. We used to heave to on our Hunter all the time for a "time out." Haven't been doing it on the Oyster. Should have done it last weekend, but was probably the victim of a little tunnel vision at the time. The heave to would have worked well to stop and sort things out.
One more suggestion, if I may:





One of the unfortunate corollaries of aging and becoming less agile, is that many of us have pretty much forgotten how to CRAWL...

Having to resort to going forward on all fours should always remain an option, I see no shame in it, at all...

;-)
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:16   #45
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Re: Staysail Advice

Not constructive to tell the OP he's got too much boat when he is working out an issue with his sail. I would love to have a boat in that size range...clearly it's easier to run the boat with more hands but with due care and caution why not single hand? I would do it in a second. Maybe not well at first but progressively better and better. I prefer to keep my "oyster envy" on the positive side.
There are only so many variables affecting the problem and the solution will soon be evident. Solving the problem is part of the fun.
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