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Old 24-10-2012, 10:53   #1
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Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

I have searched through various threads but cannot find any info on the pros/ cons of a staysail boom and pedestal as opposed to a loose footed staysail with two sheets.

I would appreciate some informative comments on both systems together with recommendations for short handed sailing related to this topic only. I am not looking for a general discourse on short handed sailing.

Thanks
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Old 24-10-2012, 10:59   #2
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

'Seems like there would be little debate with this question for the case of "short-handed". The club foot (boom & pedestle) would be self-tending while the two sheets would require handling at each tack.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:04   #3
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

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Originally Posted by Mexdon View Post
I have searched through various threads but cannot find any info on the pros/ cons of a staysail boom and pedestal as opposed to a loose footed staysail with two sheets.

I would appreciate some informative comments on both systems together with recommendations for short handed sailing related to this topic only. I am not looking for a general discourse on short handed sailing.

Thanks
Staysail on the boom is self tacking, Nice for cocktails on an evening sail up the channel. Boom can become an encumbrance, I'm thinking dinghy storage or life raft storage. So If your don't need the storage, you don't consider a boom an encumbrance, go for boom. Also, you can fly a true wing on a boom. Maximize sail area with with battens and mainsail type backend, this sail cut minimizes leech flutter and is awesome on reaches and sails just as nicely to weather. Reducing staysail area is as simple as reef or two.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:37   #4
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

After delivering two boats with a staysail boom, gave up any thought of having one. First thing, they are extremely dangerous. The boom will kite to head height as the sheets are eased. Sailing downwind, the boom cam thrash around and brain you. Have the scar to prove it.

As soon as you head off the wind and ease the sheets, the boom kites and sail shape goes to crap. There are ways to overcome it but they are either expensive, take up space, or in the case of a vang, cancel out the self tending.

The boom seems to be always in the way on the foredeck. Wouldn't have been able to use the manual windlass we had with a boom, hard dinghy stowage would have been impossible, it wipes out fore deck access on the side it's deployed or going from one side to the other on the fore deck if it's centered.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:43   #5
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

I have a staysail with a boom. People talk about them being bad and I've never had that experience. It's actually quite nice because you can reef it (properly). Regarding hard dinghies, mine fits fine between dodger and mast.

The boom on my boat stops maybe 3' before the mast. Plenty of room to move around up there. I've even been lazy with mine and launched a small drifter in a bad wing-and-wing move. Big drifter on the outer forestay (hanks), smaller drifter hanked on above the staysail which is still in its cover secured to the boom.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:48   #6
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

A boom without a vang is an accident waiting to happen. The one system that compensates for this is the Hoyt boom, currently used by Island Packet and Alerion Yachts. The drawback to that system is that it's always going to be in the way on the foredeck, not only making anchoring difficult but taking away a spot to store the dink on passages.
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:02   #7
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

Our Rafiki has a club-footed staysail. I've never sailed a non-boomed staysail, so can't compare directly, but my observations are:
  • It takes up space that would otherwise be available for walk/moving around, dingy storage, etc., but then so do other things on deck. There is space to move between the staysail boom and the main mast, and we've solved the dingy problem with a portabote. We have no problem using our manual windlass -- I guess it depends on how things are set up.
  • It's an easy sail to fly, easy to reef. Self-tacking (of course), and easy to manage.
  • It gives good sail-plan options, especially as the wind pipes up.
  • On our cutter we've had no issues with it "kiting," but then we don't use it down-wind. It blankets the yankee unless we're wing-and-wing, and in those cases we're flying the main and yankee. Perhaps other cutters are rigged differently.
The staysail boom gives plenty of control over the sail, but I would think the main advantage is the self-tacking.
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:15   #8
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

I'm with Rebel Heart: our staysail doesn't kite because we have a single sheet and it is always under control until we ease it on the other tack, we store a Genesis 340, an 11 foot dinghy on the foredeck under the boom. And I love having a self-tending foresail, I can sail this boat by myself with the self tending staysail and mizzen, a big safety factor in my book.
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:48   #9
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

The negatives listed above are valid, but contingent upon other factors. I have strong SS pipe davits and no interest in stowing things on my foredeck. I've never had difficullty with the "kiting", space, or risk of movement forward or anchoring. I should add that my club foot boom is fitted for a working jib that I fly when I'm not using my much larger genoa and not a second foresail or staysail. Another plus is that the boom makes a great beam for a shade or rain cover over my forward hatch. Most of the factors that are positive or negative regarding the club foot differ with different individuals and their boats.



You can see that my club foot boom is quite long. I did fail to mention that I have a couple of kayaks under it amidship. Also, downwind I'm far more often using my genoa instead of the working jib on the club.
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Old 24-10-2012, 13:14   #10
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

Purists, riggers, and sailmakers will tell you to lose the club boom and add sheet tracks / winches and sheet as you would the headstay. They make valid points regarding sail shape, getting "clubbed" etc. As mentioned however, there *are* valid practical reasons to keep the boom. If I were only concerned with performance or pointing angles, no question the boom goes. However when cruising, those concerns will sometimes take a back seat to cruising comfort. I'm keeping the club. I raise it (with the topping lift) when at anchor or at dock. I don't carry anything on deck. I'll probably add a boom-brake if it seems appropriate. The staysail is hanked on anyway, so rigging the brake would just be one more step on the foredeck when raising the staysl'.

BTW, A club boom can still have a loose footed staysl'
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Old 24-10-2012, 13:19   #11
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

I have no staysail boom on my boat and wished for one while sailing downwind in conditions that did not warrant using the jib/yankee. I'm thinking that I will have to get a pole for this purpose....this is a pain because I have an 18' pole for the spinnaker, and I'll need a shorter one for the staysail.
Anyone else gone this way?
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Old 24-10-2012, 13:29   #12
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

I have a self-tacking staysail with no boom. Self-tacking is good, especially in heavy weather using the staysail as a storm jib. But sail trim is total carp - you have no control without being able to control sheeting angle. So if that situation is better with a boom, then that's a big plus.
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Old 24-10-2012, 14:33   #13
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

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Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
'Seems like there would be little debate with this question for the case of "short-handed". The club foot (boom & pedestle) would be self-tending while the two sheets would require handling at each tack.
Yes! My previous boat was a cutter rigged mono with a boomed staysail. Sure was handy for single/short handed sailing and moderate to heavy weather use.
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Old 25-10-2012, 12:23   #14
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

A really appreciative thanks to everyone. Although there are some cons to the boom system the cons seems to far outweigh them. I shall evaluate my deck space needs but right now I think you have pointed me into going with the boom and pedestal. Thanks Again.
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Old 25-10-2012, 18:12   #15
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Re: Staysail. Boom and pedestal or loose footed

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a self-tacking staysail with no boom. Self-tacking is good, especially in heavy weather using the staysail as a storm jib. But sail trim is total carp - you have no control without being able to control sheeting angle. So if that situation is better with a boom, then that's a big plus.
My rigger and I are going back and forth concerning boom vs loose footed staysail. The points made here are well taken and my rigger is leaning toward a boomed configuration. However, he also mentioned that a single sheeted self tending staysail can be rigged but sail shape will be an issue.

You mentioned that you are using such a configuration. How do you maintain sufficient sale shape. Do you have a padded luff to help maintain better sail shape during reefing? My staysail rolls into a ProFurl NC-42. I assume your Moody is furling?

Stowage on the foredeck, dingy, etc is not a factor but I'd prefer no boom.

Any advice would be appreciate.

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