Staysail booms are the spawn of the devil. They are dangerous, have the scar to prove it; they are in the way; they result in a poor setting sail when the sheet is loosened unless you have one of those ugly Hoyt Booms or vang the boom and then you lose the self tacking convenience; they limit the size of the staysail, and it's another piece of hardware
Made two deliveries of Westsail 32s with staysail booms and found them totally useless as well as dangerous. It was a no brainer to go with a loose footed staysail sheeted to tracks on the cabin
top for our W32. Sail set just like any jib
and sail shape was easy to control with sheet tension and/or block location just like a jib
. Almost never moved the blocks as the sail set so well once the best location was found. Had a 100% staysail designed to fully fill the fore triangle picking up a extra square feet of needed sail area. Even had an overlapping genoa
staysail made but had sheeting conflicts with the forward lower shroud
so didn't take it with us on the cruise
. A boat without forward lowers could use this type of sail which worked well in lieu of a big overlapping genoa
on the forestay. Tacking the staysail was super simple short tacking. Release the jib and staysail, then pull in the staysail on the other tack quickly by hand and then sheet in the jib. Added virtually no time or effort to taking as the sail was small and easily handed. With a little practice, usually hauled it in so it was perfectly set on the new tack and didn't require retrimming.
The boomed StaySail had to be undersized to fit on the boom. The boomed staysails made for miserable setting sails
. As soon as the sheet was eased to run off a bit, the boom kited and the sail got a huge belly in it. Only way to prevent it was to vang the boom down. That required going forward to set the vang and had to be redone constantly if the winds varied much. The vang also negated self tacking as you had to go forward and release the vang to be able to tack. Without the vang, the boom would kite to head
banging height and sweep the foredeck without constant vigilance at the helm
on a reach. Damn thing hit me in the head
requiring stitches when the boat slewed from a following sea and the sail flogged. The staysail boom had to be lashed out of the way to work the windlass
. It was also constantly impeding progress when going forward or working on the foredeck. It was diabolical as which ever side it was on, it was always where I needed to be. Also couldn't store the hard dinghy
on the foredeck with a staysail boom.