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Old 16-02-2016, 10:41   #1
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staysail boom; pros and cons

All:
We are rebuilding our DE 38 ketch and have finally gotten around to finishing the rig. We've replaced our outer roller furling on the 150% genny and added an inner roller furler to replace the tiny hanked on staysail. Moved the inner stay out at the suggestion of our sailmaker to give us a more robust, stand alone staysail. The choice we're not clear about is the club foot on the staysail. I just toured our boatyard and none of the million dollar sailboats that have staysails have a club foot but ours came with one. To add to the confusion, the two brothers we deal with at the sailmaker cant' agree on the need for a club foot. I'm going with the argument that the staysail will set much nicer on anything but close hauled with a club foot and I'm envisioning that the 150 will overpower us in anything over 15 knots so we'll have the staysail and the mizzen or reefed main most of the time, all of which are self tacking.
I'd appreciate experience based advice, thanks!
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Old 16-02-2016, 10:49   #2
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

a boom will allow you to adjust the staysail properly. With no boom it's pretty hard to get any good shape at all, (except on one point of sail that is related to where your car track is located.) . However, you can work around this with a "barber hauler" type of setup... block and tackle to the toerail or elsewhere to adjust the clew position.... still, that requires options of where to attach the "Barber hauler".
Of course the downside to a boom is that it's more stuff on the foredeck.


Think of it this way:
If you mainsail didn't have a boom, where would you put a track for the fairlead that would work for downwind as well as close hauled? Pretty hard to do.
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Old 16-02-2016, 11:05   #3
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

It is awfully nice to have the staysail self tacking on its own boom. Easy. And you can sail deeper with the staysail boom pulled out with a preventer instead of rigging a whisker pole.


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Old 16-02-2016, 11:21   #4
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

those were the two points of the argument that appealed the most to me: self tacking and broad reaching/running.
I'm assuming the people who aren't using a staysail boom are only using it for pointing.
thanks
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Old 16-02-2016, 11:47   #5
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

Having the same debate with myself. Just spoke with my sailmaker last week to get his take on getting rid of the boom.

He said, "with a boom the staysail is self tacking"

I reply, "there's no overlap, it's self tacking without the boom running the sheet to the athwartships track on the cabin top."

He said, "yes but the shape will be terrible as that sheet lead will be straight down from the clew, leaving a very loose foot and tight leach."

I reply, "true but I can run the sheet to new, fore and aft tracks like the ones for my genoa."

He said, "yes but then it won't be self tacking and the shape will still be wrong running downwind."

I say, "that's ok, I don't care, I hate the thing and don't really use it on a dead run anyway. It's in the way, clutters the foredeck, I trip on it when working at the mast, I can't stow my dinghy on the foredeck and did I mention I hate the thing."

Since it's already rigged and the sail is already cut for it I decided to keep it for a while and can always off it later.
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Old 16-02-2016, 12:07   #6
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

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Originally Posted by Rick Williams View Post
those were the two points of the argument that appealed the most to me: self tacking and broad reaching/running.
I'm assuming the people who aren't using a staysail boom are only using it for pointing.
thanks
I seldom used the staysail for pointing, although in a big blow it works very well for that. But short of that, it doesn't add anything going to weather if the Yankee is up.
I really like it on a reach though.
Think about how you want to use it:
-in 30-35 knots of wind with a double reef the boat sails flat and fast beating or close reach with only the staysail/main (2 of my boats) I love sailing like this.
- In a big blow reaching or downwind with staysail only, no main. This works well too.


Based on the above my staysail use is primarily a heavy weather sail. So it is heavy cloth, and not very good in lesser air anyway. If you can work out proper sheeting with the points of sail and weather you want, you may not need a boom. However, the boom is a more "universal" use setup.
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Old 16-02-2016, 12:37   #7
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

I had the same discussion with my sailmaker and he won the argument about shape. Even sitting at my computer I can imagine that anything other than sheeting tightly would look like a bag. My particular boat is heavy and our owner's website has had general to high praise for the amount of horsepower even a little staysail adds. I'm also really looking forward to splitting the rig as the wind gets up and have heard many good things about the use of the staysail in those conditions. I'm also looking forward to reduced sail handling when I'm alone on the night watch, no matter how infrequently that may be as we're going to be shorthanded as the kids all head off for their own lives.
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Old 16-02-2016, 12:42   #8
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

On the other hand, (I make my wife crazy when I do this) the staysail boom does get in the way if you want to stow anything on the foredeck. It limits the ability to put the dinghy on deck. So think through the trade offs. No right or wrong, just choices. I sail with the staysail up almost all the time, with or without the Yankee. My choice is to keep the staysail boom.


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Old 16-02-2016, 14:29   #9
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

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 to maintain.

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.
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Old 16-02-2016, 20:43   #10
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Williams View Post
those were the two points of the argument that appealed the most to me: self tacking and broad reaching/running.
I'm assuming the people who aren't using a staysail boom are only using it for pointing.
thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
On the other hand, (I make my wife crazy when I do this) the staysail boom does get in the way if you want to stow anything on the foredeck. It limits the ability to put the dinghy on deck. So think through the trade offs. No right or wrong, just choices. I sail with the staysail up almost all the time, with or without the Yankee. My choice is to keep the staysail boom.


S/V B'Shert
Two sides of the same coin, depends what you value more a clutter free foredeck or the benefits a staysail boom can bring. I personally love boomed staysails if they are set up right. And that means having some sort of permanently rigged preventer tackles lead aft port and starboard to control and vang the thing down as soon as you ease sheets. Plus some sort of jackstay lacing on the lower luff to let it drop all the way down without having to ease the outhaul.

They also need a separate topping lift. Rigged like this they can be docile, safe and give exceptional sail shape and control in strong winds. It also makes it very easy to set up a reefing system and add a few full length battens to the top of the sail.

A self taking headsail on a track really needs some sort of barber hauler or outside sheets to get it to set nicely on a reach, then they can work nicely, but you still have a few extra lines to play with as well.
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Old 16-02-2016, 22:10   #11
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

Love our boomed staysail. Self tacking, yes. Working to windward it improves our performance. Our jib is way out there 10' in front of the staysail on a bowsprit though, so a bit different than most setups. Reaching to running it's great as well. In the way? while sailing, not in the way, no. While not sailing, sometimes in the way, but we stow it over to the port side of the foredeck instead of down the middle.
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Old 16-02-2016, 23:57   #12
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

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Old 17-02-2016, 01:13   #13
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

Sounds like a lot of compromise to make a roller furling staysail work on boom. Sail is going to end up tiny. Agree with the above on barber haulers, our neighbor convinced of this you can trim pretty much anything with some purchase. A large angle single sheet point and tweeker to put it where you want it. The new old school Antal rings are great for this. Remember too that in most cases you will be able to sheet the sail by hand even 1 to 1. If its blowing hard enough for the jib to be gone you are still only dealing with one non-self tacking sail. Less hardware to worry about and easier to reef. With out the boom you can have more than one staysail too...
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Old 17-02-2016, 01:24   #14
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

Same dilemma. Have the boom, it is currently sitting in the shed. Years ago RoverHi remarked on the dangerous nature of the staysail boom and his words rang of wisdom. We have a lovely clear foredeck, plenty of room to get "clubbed" clean off the boat by a boom with lots of room to build up momentum.


So I put up with the crap sail shape, and play around a lot with little bits of rope with fancy names to try and tease a good shape out of the sail.


And I mainly fail.


But my shins are free of bruises, and I am still on board.


Matt
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Old 17-02-2016, 01:27   #15
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Re: staysail boom; pros and cons

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Staysail booms are the spawn of the devil...

...!

...!

...!

...!

etc...
:^) A bit of feeling in that post mate. I hear you, I feel your pain.

Well, figuratively anyway. I certainly took your advice years ago, and my shins thank you.

Matt
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