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Old 15-02-2012, 07:47   #1
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Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

Good day. I have owned a Pacific Seacraft '34 for almost a year, and love the boat. In the process of upgrading her sail inventory, I'm faced with a decision of whether or not to convert to a cutter rig from the current sloop rig. I currently have no heavy-weather sails and want to have on hand a storm jib and trysail. The storm jib could be used on either the headstay or an inner forestay, and I understand that moving the center of effort back is a good idea. Any opinions or experiences from anyone here to help me make this decision will be very much appreciated. John Enders S/V Victoria
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Old 15-02-2012, 08:00   #2
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

John:

A removable inner forestay for the PSC 34 would be a great way to get the benefits of a staysail without having to deal with it in less than heavy weather, particularly since you are not planning to add a roller furler for the inner stay.

But if your current forestay has a roller furler then stick with it and only use the small headsail on the inner forestay.

Do it. I don't see any downsides.

David
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Old 15-02-2012, 08:44   #3
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

Howdy, what kind of sailing are you going to do? We have a cutter and use the extra sail all the time. In light winds it tends to give us an extra knot, and more sail plan configurations. It definitely shines in heavy weather (we don't have roller furling or reef points in our jib) But it can be a real pain when in a multiple tacking situation, and it gets in the way of my hammock hanging at anchor .
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Old 15-02-2012, 09:28   #4
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

DeMarchand, Oceangirl: thanks for that input. I would use removable stays with running backstays and they'd be out of the way when not in a blow. I like the idea of having the flexibility of using various sails. And I too hope to have a hammock aboard once I reach warmer climes.
So far, I've sailed all around the San Juans and Bellingham to Port Townsend to Victoria BC etc. in all sorts of conditions, including one day last week when I was in 25-30 knots of wind and wish I'd had the storm sails.
I am almost entirely convinced that the cutter conversion with removable stay is a great way to go, and won't cost much in hardware expenses. The other big question I have is the headsail: I have two old, blown out genoas (120 and 130) on a roller furler, and should really replace them. I really need a new genny and a new working jib (100 to 110 percent) but cannot afford that outlay right now AND buy storm sails AND invest in some remedial stitching to get a few more years out of my very solid but very old fully-battened main. So, do I go with the working jib on the head stay, or bite that bullet too and buy a new genny on the furler?
Thanks again, all. I'm a sailor, but this is my first bluewater boat and it's all uphill as far as the learning curve.
BTW: My plans include another summer sailing north of Anacortes, into the Canadian Gulf Islands and perhaps, perhaps, around Vancouver Island. That last would be the boat's first open-ocean sail, and certainly the most challenging.
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Old 15-02-2012, 09:29   #5
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

If you have roller furling on the headstay, then it's a pretty good idea. either a solent stay or cutter stay. We used our staysail in heavy wind and the boat balanced out real nice with 2 reefs and staysail. I never had much trouble tacking the headsail through the slot. It's a matter of timing. Our furling sail was about 120% high cut though. The staysail stayed in a special bag, hanked onto the permanent staysail stay. Not sure I would invest in a storm jib... unless you are rounding the world...
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Old 15-02-2012, 10:47   #6
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

Jenders, you might want to talk to a sail maker about getting your staysail cut with reef points to knock it down to storm jib size. See if they can design it so that you dont have to change your sheet leads (or at least not much) when reefed. You will find that the combination of the staysail and a 110 or 120 will give you about the same area as your 130 does now. Sail the boat with that combo before you start replacing headsails, and you may find that you only need a new working jib or maybe a 110. Keep the old baggy 130 for down wind. If it were up to me (very few things are) I would go with a somewhat high cut working jib (not a high cut yankee), a reefable staysail with enough of a tack penant to keep visibility reasonable, and a main with a third deep reef. With this setup ,going to weather in light conditions would be working jib, staysail, full main, wind kicks up, drop the staysail , kicks up more , 1st reef, more wind, 2nd reef and decide on keeping working jib up or roll it and rehoist staysail, really nasty wind, reef staysail and put in 3rd reef. With this set up you go from light /moderate wind to OH SH@# conditions without actually changing a sail . I would not bother to have a trysail made for anything less than a Cape Horn sort of trip. My limited use of a trysail was a pain in the tail and I consider the third reef much more practical. I hope this helps._____Grant.
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Old 15-02-2012, 12:12   #7
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

I'd go with a 135% roller furled genoa with a foam luff on the headstay. That sail can handle almost all conditions right up to when you need a storm jib. With a foam luff, the sail will furl to a 100% and still maintain decent shape and even smaller without getting too terribly baggy. For open ocean sailing, a 135% is about as large as you'll want for most conditions. An Asymetric spinnaker can handle the really light stuff should you be a die hard and not use the iron genny.

You might think about having a staysail made with it's own dyneema luff wire. Use a two part tackle on the staysail halyard and set it flying. You won't have to worry about a removable staysail stay. Suppose it could also be made with reef points to double as a storm staysail in really nasty conditions

If you don't have roller furling, a double headsail rig really makes sense. You can set sails for almost any conditions with only one sail change. A light air Genoa/Drifter is the one sail you'll sail you have to bag and remove. A yankee and staysail will handle the bulk of moderate to strong wind conditions. As Grant suggested, put reef points in the staysail and you've got your entire head sail inventory in three sails. I really like the double headsail setup for reaching conditions. The slot between the jib and staysail adds a lot of drive without resorting to overly large jib.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:55   #8
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Re: Pacific Seacraft '34 - Sloop or Cutter Rig?

My experience with cutters is on Island Packets with a little bit of experience on PSCs. I agree with Roverhi and Cheechako. A new 135% genny with a foam luff will furl to 100% or a bit less and retain decent shape. In winds of less than 15 kts, the full genny alone will take you to weather about as fast as with a staysail. Take one mainsail reef and the genny furled to 100% will get you to about 25 kts or so. More than that, furl the genny and set up the stay sail.

My experience is that a full cutter rig with staysail adds at most a 1/2 kt of boat speed versus no staysail and virtually nil in light air. So whether you fly the staysail depends on what kind of sailing you are doing. With a removable inner forestay, you have a choice.

Unless you are going round the world or doing sanctioned blue water racing, I wouldn't worry about storm sails.

David
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