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Old 17-04-2011, 01:22   #16
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Re: sloops vs. cutter

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Originally Posted by bdurham View Post
ya ive looked into a slutter. they are hard to find on the market. also looked into making a sloop into a slutter, but that usually involve a fair amount of structural work.
....
Slutter's are really sloops with an added inner forstay. They can never be cutters because the mast position is too far forward. They therfore have all the advantages of a sloop and when the going gets tough you furl the headsail and run under staysail with very good mast support with running backstays. Don't know if there are any production boats being built this way but I'm having a semi-custom built that way at bluewatercruisingyachts.com and I know that there are other builders that will do it.

Greg
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Old 17-04-2011, 01:38   #17
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Re: sloops vs. cutter

for a Coconut Milk Run across the pacific that will involve alot of downwind running, twin forestays with two furlers make a lot of sense as it allows wing and wing sail arrangment without having to use main
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Old 17-04-2011, 09:20   #18
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Re: sloops vs. cutter

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Thebiggest benefit of a cutter I see is redundancy of mast support. On most sloops the double lowers are the only redundant standing rigging and some don't even have that. Rarely you will see a double backstay. With a cutter rig there are redudant stays in all directions going most of the way up the mast. In lights air you may not have them all set but you are a lot less likely to have a failure in those conditions.

I feel that a cutter rig allows you to carry fewer sails compared to a sloop and most of those are bagged or rolled in place rather than brought below. Instead of changing the head sail as the wind increases, you furl the staysail, then reset it and furl the headsail. Finally you change the staysail for a storm staysail. In really light air a drifter or code Zero is set. The only sails stored below are the storm staysail (small) and light air sail (packs small because of very light fabric).

Finally as wind increases the center of effort doesn't move forward as sail area decreases so the boat stays more balanced.
These paragraphs reflect very closely our experience going from sloop to cutter. Suitable for framing!
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Old 17-04-2011, 10:54   #19
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Re: Sloop vs. Cutter

Alchemy:
My experience is that you WANT the center of pressure to move forward as the wind increases. But I'll tell you that one of the sweetest rides is a Valiant 40 in 30 knots with reefed main and staysail. I think it depends a great deal on the hull shape.
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Old 17-04-2011, 11:06   #20
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Re: sloops vs. cutter

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I feel that a cutter rig allows you to carry fewer sails compared to a sloop and most of those are bagged or rolled in place rather than brought below. Instead of changing the head sail as the wind increases, you furl the staysail, then reset it and furl the headsail. Finally you change the staysail for a storm staysail. In really light air a drifter or code Zero is set. The only sails stored below are the storm staysail (small) and light air sail (packs small because of very light fabric).

Finally as wind increases the center of effort doesn't move forward as sail area decreases so the boat stays more balanced.
I'd really agree with all these points. On my old sloop I had a lot more sails stored below and on my cutter it isn't necessary because there's enough flexibility up there to keep from needing to change out a lot.

Having the center of effort come athwart/amid is really important and makes the boat a lot more balanced. Big difference between working on a sail at the edge of a bow (or bowsprit) vs working on a sail with a foot of deck left forward of the tack.

Similar to a ketch, at a certain point it just gets silly to have that much stuff going on a small boat. Under ~30 or so I'd stick with a sloop unless you really know what you're doing and have personal preferences.
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Old 18-04-2011, 09:48   #21
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Re: Sloop vs. Cutter

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Originally Posted by bob perry View Post
Alchemy:
My experience is that you WANT the center of pressure to move forward as the wind increases. But I'll tell you that one of the sweetest rides is a Valiant 40 in 30 knots with reefed main and staysail. I think it depends a great deal on the hull shape.
Good to see you posting, Bob.

I would agree with this. My steel boat is bluff bowed (dry but not a speed demon), the deck is heavily cambered compared to most designs, and the stern is high and the rudder is transom hung. Learning to sail her has been a schooling. If I sail the cutter-rigged steel ketch of my friend (about the same dimensionals, but his rudder's skeg-hung and his bilges are radiused), it's a very different experience to me.

Not better or worse, but different.

Neither boat bears a close relation to my IOR spade-ruddered, tiller-helmed sloop, which has a sail called a wire-luffed "genoa staysail" that is huge and scary and tacks to the rail and sucks the boat forward at impressive speeds. Staysail, my backside. It's just another 1970s rule-beater that few remember how to use, like "bananas", "bloopers" and "windseekers".

So I concur that "basics" are only going to give you ground assumptions with cutters, because the sail rig is only one element of the sailing equation.
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