I have a 32' Lazyjack schooner, and I previously owned a 23' Rob Roy yawl.
I don't have any firsthand experience yet, but I'd venture a guess that replacing my sails will be more expensive than replacing a comparable sail area ketch - partly because of the rig (Marconi main, gaff foresail), the rake of the masts and partly because of the low number of similar schooners out there. Whatever sail loft is going to build my new sails, will pretty much have to custom design them, as opposed to having readily available patterns for many of the larger production run sloops, ketches and even yawls out there. This will be particularly true of the fisherman staysail, a sail unique to schooners that hoists to the truck of each mast
, tacks at the base of the foremast and sheets
to the aft end of the cockpit
(this is a light-air sail that fills the empty space above the foresail gaff between the masts, and is the schooner's equivalent of a spinnaker).
As elsewhere discussed in this thread, because the sail area is spread out over more sails, sail handling is eased a bit. The main on my 32' boat is comparable in size to the main on a 27-28' boat; I find it easier to raise and handle than the main on my old Catalina 30
. In fact, the schooner doesn't have any main halyard
winches, but even so it's not too much of an effort to set it. Main and foresail sheet adjustments are by hand, as are traveler adjustment - no control lines.
One benefit to all the split rigs is reduction of sail area. On my sloop-rigged Catalina 30
I was limited to two reef points on the main and my roller furled genoa
. On the schooner, I have two reef points in both the main and foresail, and a 130 roller furled genoa
. I've sailed the boat with everything up; main and genoa; foresail and genoa; and foresail alone. The reefing points and roller furling
give me quite a few combinations for heavier winds.
With the Rob Roy yawl, we successfully sailed almost 30 miles back to home port when our rudder
post broke, flying jib
and mizzen and steering
with sail control - perhaps another advantage of having all that sail area aft.
Lazyjack 32 schooner "Mary'Lis"
Mobile Bay, Alabama