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Old 21-01-2014, 13:24   #31
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I do not pretend to be an expert but it seems to me that some folks are describing a staysail rigged sloop rather than a classic cutter. As I understand it the main difference is in the placement of the mainmast which affects the CE.

My boat is a "true" cutter but as I said I am not sure how this affects the original question.

When I first got my boat it had a club footed staysail with one reef point hanked on plus a 130 genny on a roller furler. It was such a pain to tack that 130 that I ended up motoring more than I liked. When the time came to replace it, I bought a high clew 110 yankee. I love it. It tacks with no problems and although I suppose I lose a little speed it is well worth it to me.

The 110 does leave a something to be desired in light air so I bought an asymetrical spinnaker which I use with the ATN tacker. To me it seems like having a large genny.

To those with more knowledge and experience, chime right in, this is only my 2 cents worth.

Rich
That's the kind of info I was looking for, especially since the potential boat is a CR38...! pete
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Old 22-01-2014, 15:35   #32
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

Our is a true cutter (Crealock 34) but with the big genoa on the furler we sail it as a sloop most of the time because it is easy and we are lazy. Unfurling the big genoa is easier than dealing with a 110% jib and staysail. Not quite as efficient, especially on a reach, but easier. We have a 110% jib for the roller furler but do not use it.

I think the concerns about the inner forestay are overblown for cruisers in the low latitudes. The inner forestay is more of a pain for daysailers than for cruisers because daysailers tack more. It is also more of a pain for those in high latitudes because they tack more too.

When we were in the high latitudes, the inner forestay was a bit of a pain because the wind changed speed and direction frequently. But we also found it much more useful because we found ourselves in 20-30kts plus more frequently. On our boat 25kts is a sweet spot for the staysail.

In the lower latitudes, say below 35 degrees, the wind speed and direction tends to be more stable. We find ourselves on the same tack with the same sail plan for much longer periods. On the last overnighter we only tacked once in 135 miles, for example. In the lower latitudes the inner forestay is less of a pain because we don't need to furl the genoa to tack very often.
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Old 22-01-2014, 16:22   #33
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

Using about a 115% Genoa most of the time I found you could learn to tack quite trouble free with the staysail stay in position. Three key things; let the headsail backwind just a little before releasing, let the wind help push it thru the slot, and do not have knots on the sheets... use one continuous sheet looped thru the cringle/clew. bowlines hang up every time.
Unless you have a boomed staysail, I find the sail worthless until the wind pipes up and you need it. Then it is wonderful. There just aren't good enough clew adjustments available without a boom, and to weather in less than strong winds the Staysail doesnt help. JMHO
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Old 22-01-2014, 16:46   #34
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

The other issue is the weight of your Yankee. Ours is damned heavy and won't even fill sufficiently until maybe 12 knots, just hangs like a drape.

I just bought a new for us lighter genoa (about 120%) but haven't had an opportunity to try it out yet. Won't for a while, I will be 4 tonight. I'm listening to the gentle sounds of ice scrapping crud off our hull.
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Old 22-01-2014, 16:52   #35
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

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Originally Posted by sailr69 View Post
although my boat is cutter rigged, I use a 140 genoa for most sailing on and off the wind. the staysail is rollered furled and self-tacking and used instead of reefing down the 140. there are times I use both head sails but not too often. tacking the big sail is a pain, I have a electric battery powered 90 degree drill motor that I can quickly roll up the 140 and pull it back out after the tack. pole out the 140 and the boat sails great downwind. all seems to work fine with me.
one more thing, I single hand almost all the time. you need a good autohelm.
exactly our experience. !35 Genoa; 100% 2/3 fractional cutter. We sail as noted above including the Milwaukee drill motor. We are Cutter-Ketch so there are even more options. Sails are so large that they stay up and on the furlers.
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Old 23-01-2014, 07:13   #36
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

"Cutter ketch"?
Do we really need to invent new terms for things that have been around for over 100 years?
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Old 23-01-2014, 07:19   #37
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

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"Cutter ketch"?
Do we really need to invent new terms for things that have been around for over 100 years?
I'm not sure I understand the objection to Nicholson58's description of his boat as a "cutter ketch." I've heard this name used many times, and certainly you can find ketches that are not cutter rigged. So I'm just curious how you would refer to his boat? Pete
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Old 23-01-2014, 07:50   #38
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

My boat is a 48' steel true cutter with a permanent inner forestay. I've had her since I built her 90-93, and I've been from Norfolk to Guam via the Panama Canal and back to Florida. When I was younger I'd put up a 130 genoa during summer and in lighter conditions, and switch to a high-clew yankee jib for winter and offshore tradewind sailing. Now, I just use the yankee exclusively, along with the staysail. The yankee is on a Profurl, the staysail is hanked on with no club. For me at age 56, it's a very easy setup to handle in all conditions. Lets face it, if you get the wind aback your 120-130 and draped across your inner forestay, it can get a bit too sporty to be called fun. Sometimes getting the big genoa in was a giant hassle if the wind came up suddenly while another crew was on watch, etc.

Not so with the yankee, that sucker always rolls up when you want it gone. It's not hard to pole out, the clew is level with my pole winged out. The hanked-on staysail just drops to the deck when you want it gone. Right in the middle of the foredeck, easy peasy. Nothing trying to drag overboard.

I'll put up the cruising chute in its ATN sock if the wind is really light, otherwise if I'm not happy with my speed over the ground I'll crank up the diesel. 180 gallons in the integral tank gives me 2+ weeks of motoring non-stop, if you add all the hours up. (Proved that on a windless trip from San Diego to Panama.)

One of the hardest jobs I ever did on a boat was solo from Panama to Hawaii, changing that 130 genoa for my yankee. A week out of Panama in the trades, waves getting sporty, it was no fun getting that 130 down by myself and the yankee up. And I was younger then. Now, a yankee, a staysail, an easy chute and a diesel give me all the options I need for most conditions.

But I do still carry a storm staysail and trysail on its own track. Leaving Colon for Key West, we decided to poke out into the Carib under storm sails since it was blowing 25 and we thought we'd be conservative. We never put up a scrap more of cloth all the way to the Yucatan Passage rounding Cuba. I'm a strong believer in storm sails. They save a lot of wear and tear compared to reefing your main if you expect a long period of wind. (My hanked-on staysail also has a set of reef points, BTW.)

I have no further desire at age 56 pushing 57 to wrestle a giant 130 down to the deck in a seaway to switch to the yankee. Nor do I wish to un-FUBAR and furl a 130 when it's blowing 30+ with little warning. I'm too old for that much fun. The yankee now lives full time on the profurl. When I want it gone, it's gone fast and easy. I'm more into easy now than I was 20 years ago.
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Old 23-01-2014, 08:19   #39
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

That beautiful Nicholson is a ketch. It happens to be a ketch that flies a staysail inside the jib. Kind of like a sloop that flies a staysail is called a "sloop" and not a "sloop-cutter". As has been pointed out here several times by other posters just adding a staysail to a sloop does not make it a cutter. It's still a sloop. Adding a staysail to a ketch does not alter the fact that the name of that rig is still a "ketch".

Not sure this is very important to anyone but me. I'm just a stickler for correct terminology.
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Old 23-01-2014, 09:06   #40
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Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

Our Tayana V42 is a true cutter, permanent inner forstay, staysail on a boom. We sail with the Yankee, staysail, and main in most conditions. We are not racers and we find this sail configuration very versatile, great up wind and reaching. Yankee is on a furler, staysail is hanked on and heavy enough to serve when we reef the main and furl the Yankee. In really nasty stuff the boat does surprisingly well under staysail alone. Sometimes I wish for a big light air sail for downwind but have not been driven to spend the boat bucks on it, just head up a little and tack down wind. The many advantages of the Yankee and staysail have been mentioned. You can tell, I am happy without a big genoa.
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Old 23-01-2014, 09:20   #41
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We have a smallish genoa on our cutter. The genoa is on a furler and the forestaysail in on a self-tacking boom. The forestaysail usually needs about 12 knots of wind to be useful and overcome the boom's weight. For our particular rig, the genoa works quite well on many points of sail, but we have a gap going to windward in about 22-27 knots where we have to be overpowered to make good progress against a steep chop.

Another disadvantage comes when tacking. The sail needs to be pushed through the slot in light winds or partially furled. The amount of chafe we get near the clew is substantial, too.

Once we have some more boat bucks, the plan is to switch to a yankee which should fix these issues at the expense of light air performance and improve forward visibility slightly. A light air sail will be next on our list as some of my favorite sailing happens below 4 knots...
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Old 23-01-2014, 10:26   #42
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Hi all: been searching for a new boat for a while now. I've been considering a cutter because I am frequently single-handed, and found the prospect of easy furling of a smaller headsail to be appealing. However, as I've been looking at boats I notice that virtually all of the cutters I've seen have large genoas, 125%, 130%, even 140%. I understand that large genoas improve performance in light wind and upwind. However, if a large genoa is so important for performance that most owners simply choose to forgo use of a jib or yankee entirely, it kind of defeats the purpose of looking at a cutter. So I thought I would seek input from cutter owners and experienced cutter sailors (which I am not). How much difference does it really make, given the downside of much larger foresails to deal with single-handed? I understand that every boat is different, etc, etc, I'm just looking for generalities here.

Thanks as always for your input. Best, Pete
Just IMHO but there's actually two differen types of rigging:
A cutter with two working headsails used together. In light wind the other one can be substituted with other larger sail or reefed all together when blows more.
A sloop with two (usually) furling headsails, a genoa >120% and other close to 100%, used separately. Most boats you describe fall into this category.
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Old 23-01-2014, 11:24   #43
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

Oh, I get it. So all those old schooners I see with multiple headsails are really "cutter-schooners". There will be some old guys surprised that they had it wrong for so long.
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Old 23-01-2014, 12:17   #44
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

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Oh, I get it. So all those old schooners I see with multiple headsails are really "cutter-schooners". There will be some old guys surprised that they had it wrong for so long.
Cutter headsails were just the norm of the era with rigs more than two sails. The most distinctive feature in a boat determinates the name, thus 'schooner' is a 'schooner'. Some other than mainstream rigging can be mentioned with more specified name like 'staysail schooner'
BR Teddy
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Old 23-01-2014, 12:27   #45
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Re: Large genoa on cutter: what does it mean?

One of the nice things about a smaller, high clew headsail is that with foam or rope luff pads it retains a pretty good shape when partially furled. My prefered combo when close reaching in 45-50 kts was triple reefed main, staysail and 110% yankee rolled up to where it slightly overlapped the staysail. Some call that a "spitfire" rig.
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