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Old 22-04-2009, 23:47   #16
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Yes - I would replace the whole rig - something like a 5/6th 0r 7/8th - with swept back spreaders, no runners and adjustable backstay but my current boom is very short - I might just be able to get better drive from a longer footed main without alll the worry of changing the rig. Thanks
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Old 23-04-2009, 09:51   #17
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"Higher shroud tensions" for frac rigs?
Where does that information or mis-information come from?
It sounds like you are a bit confused on where rig loads come from.
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Old 23-04-2009, 10:14   #18
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I don't understand why one would want to take away heads'l area for main area in a cruising rig design. With a masthead rig and a solent stay one can have a convenient roller furling heads'l for wind under 25 kts and a hanked on stays'll for winds higher.

Having cruised two boats with a solent stay it is obvious to me that pointing in heavy wind and seas can be done with the stays'l. In fact, my latest stays'l has battens in it with a roach and it pulls from 12kts of apparent wind up to over 40kts right into the wind. To me this is a safety and convenience factor. I notice that with a good fully battened loos-footed main the sail performs well over a wide wind range before having to reef yet because of the mast the sail is on the verge of stalling when the stays'l is pulling well in heavy winds.

Would a fractional rig do that? Maybe I'm naive. Help me to understand. Downwind in large seas it is easier to "fix in place" with a downwind pole the heads'l and more difficult to prevent the main. If one increases the main size and decreases the heads'l size the problem is worse. Wouldn't that make a fractional rig less desirable?
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Old 23-04-2009, 18:47   #19
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Rig advantages/disadvantages

Was hoping Bob Perry would weigh in on this question!
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Old 23-04-2009, 19:10   #20
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Rick:
I can see advantages to both rigs. For an offshore cruising boat I think a masthead rig offers some options that you lose with a frac rig. For a bay sailer the frac rig with it's smaller headsails might have advantages. It becomes a sailing style issue.
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Old 23-04-2009, 19:56   #21
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I suppose I have been spoiled by sailing some extended (racing and delivery) miles on a fractional Beneteau and have seen how much sail can be reduced by reefing the relatively large main or when hit by a gust - dumping it. A lot of our sailing is done in blustery westerlies where gusts can be twice or more the prevailing winds - it seems so easy to dump a main to de power and the relatively smaller headsail can be coped with. In my boat it is not unusual when sailing in say 20 knots of breeze to be hit by 35 knot gusts - too much for my headsail, un necessary to furl because it would be over in a few seconds/minutes and the tiny main when dumped makes no difference!
It probably is a preference thing in the end. I do like the structural integrity offered by a swept fractional say 9/10 rig. Interesting conversation!
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Old 23-04-2009, 20:22   #22
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Port:
Yes, I have to agree with you. The modern frac rig is a nice rig and that's why you see it being used almost 99.623% of the time on today's new boats. It's also cheaper to build in that it used only one chainpate. But hell, who's counting. Unless you are installing the knees. In the "old days" we had forward lowers ( one knee) cap shrouds ( another knee) and then aft lower ( yet another knee). That is expensive and forward lowers always buggerred up the jib leads. We have come a long way. I am still waiting for a few of you to catch up.

Put the big sail on a stick ( the boom).
Make that flappy thing ( the jib) small.

Another day I'll argue the other side.
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Old 23-04-2009, 21:35   #23
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...and another day I'll buy a modern fractional rig boat!
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Old 16-04-2013, 21:28   #24
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Re: Replacing mast head rig to fractional swept back

Bit of a follow up to this old thread. I have kept the masthead rig but fitted a new fully battened main with a 600mm longer foot. This has exceeded my expectations in improving the performance of the boat. It now drives out of tacks better, is considerably better downwind and does not flap and flog in when overpowered in gusts. Did it introduce more weather helm? NO!! Which surprised me - it actually seems to drive the boat forward better rather than dragging it over - mind you, the 'old' short footed main was very full in the top half which just seemed to hook the boat over in gusts. All in all a very pleasing outcome and considerably cheaper than a replacement rig!
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Old 16-04-2013, 21:44   #25
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Re: Replacing mast head rig to fractional swept back

I should point out that Portobello single-hands his boat, happily flies a spinnaker and a blooper! Go Porto!
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Old 03-09-2013, 21:55   #26
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Re: Replacing mast head rig to fractional swept back

A follow up to this old thread. I ended up extending the boom by 600mm (2ft) to 3600mm and purchasing a fully battened main on the same hoist in spite of horror stories about what it would do to the balance of the boat. I could not be more please with the outcome - the boat I, if anything, better balanced. The longer footed main seems to drive the boat forward in gusts rather than hooking it over. The overlapping headsail and main seem to work better together under this new arrangement. I'd love to know the aerodynamic principles involved! There is clearly more involved in the balance of a boat than simply the amount of sail fore and aft of the keel? Thoughts anyone?
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