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Old 03-04-2013, 11:25   #1
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Staysail Definition?

When posters on the forum reference a "staysail" is it implied that they are talking about a cutter rigged sailboat or can it mean a standard sloop with jib or genoa as well?
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:29   #2
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Re: Staysail definition?

Staysail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Generally they mean a second smaller triangular sail (jib) behind the forward genoa or jib. Very common on cutter rigged vessels but some sloops rig a temporary baby stay to fly this as well.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:44   #3
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A stay sail to me is a very small triangle sail that is used to make haed way in very heavy weather when the storm sail is too big. In the off shore races it is a mandatory sail to have. It is the last sail you will fly before you are made to heave to.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:51   #4
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Re: Staysail definition?

A staysail is not "very small", which would be a storm jib. Is is simply a sail that is put onto the cutter stay. The cutter stay goes up to where the 2nd spreaders are attached to the mast. Not higher. This is also about where running backstays attach which should be added too is not already there.

There are boats with multiple forestays where one is mounted a bit lower onto the mast and a bit aft of the forward one; those are not cutter stays or stay sails.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:52   #5
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Re: Staysail definition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The cutter stay goes up to where the 2nd spreaders are attached to the mast. Not higher.
And if a boat only has one set of spreaders....
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:57   #6
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pirate Re: Staysail definition?

Quote:
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And if a boat only has one set of spreaders....
Buy a bigger boat.... Sigh
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:20   #7
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Re: Staysail definition?

Yes, a staysail can mean different things on different boats, but generally Jedi is correct.
I have a pretty large staysail on my cutter (true cutter, not a double headsail sloop), which is there pretty much all the time except in a few scenarios. This is hanked on, so I can replace it with my stormsail.
I can also rig a free-flying staysail on my Capri 25, but typcially in a fashion known in some circles as a daisy staysail, used under the spinnaker.
There are probably 10 more examples of how a staysail can be used, but generally to repeat Target9000, it's behind the primary jib/genoa, generally for the benefit of the slot...that is accelerating air on the suction side of the main.

In other circles: "A staysail in a sail that gets you an extra 1/2 knot when you put it up, and then an extra 1/2 knot after you take it back down...".
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:31   #8
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[QUOTE="s/v Jedi;1201756"]A staysail is not "very small", which would be a storm jib. Is is simply a sail that is put onto the cutter stay. The cutter stay goes up to where the 2nd spreaders.

You are right, I was thinking TRYSAIL
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Old 03-04-2013, 13:12   #9
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Re: Staysail definition?

A staysail hanks to any stay other than the headstay. The exception to this is the mizzen staysail, which is basically a free-flying spinnaker flown from the mizzen.
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Old 03-04-2013, 13:25   #10
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Re: Staysail definition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
There are boats with multiple forestays where one is mounted a bit lower onto the mast and a bit aft of the forward one; those are not cutter stays or stay sails.
So a sloop with multiple forestays is not a cutter? And if the second sail in the foretriangle is not a staysail, what is it called?
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Old 03-04-2013, 13:59   #11
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In many modern designs for cruising the inner stay can be just behind and just below the forestay allowing the staysail to be almost as big as the headsail, allowing a low maintenance downwind method for shorthand boats.

Regardless of sail size, my understanding of a staysail is one that hanks on to an inner forestay. The definition of an inner forestay would be one whose deck level attachment point is aft of the forestay and mast level attachment point is lower than the forestay. This makes it inherently smaller but does not implicently mean it is "vastly" smaller.

There is also a variation known as a solent stay...google it, my fingers are tired...

On my boat we have an inner stay that is very close to the head stay, so close that if we are feeling adventerous and actually want to sail versus motor in a short tacking situation, which as my wife says is more often than not, we only hoist the staysail as we cant tack the ginormous headsail through the inner stay without partial furling.

An additional advantage, for those that choose it, is to leave the innerstay a bare stay. No furler. So you can hank on sails as needs demand. This may be old school, but it is nice to have a sail on the inner when the wind is blowing that is cut for the weather and also goes to weather, versus a partially furled sail that is a pile of comprimises - none of which equal upwind ability...
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Old 03-04-2013, 14:17   #12
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Re: Staysail definition?

Chapman says "A cutter is similar to a sloop in that she has only one mast, but she has it stepped further aft, and can carry two headsails at once: a forestaysail and jib. She often carries a bowsprit to enlarge the foretriangle." pg 180 in 1983 edition of Piloting

Chapman also says: "A modern cutter is a variation of a sloop rig in which the mast is stepped further aft, resulting in larger area for headsails. A cutter normally has two headsails - a forestaysail with a jib ahead of it." pg 29-30 in 1983 edition of Piloting.

He says nothing about the number of spreaders or distance between forestays or where the outer and inner forestay attach to the mast.

Our Caliber 40 is 42' 6" LOA (transom to forward edge of bowsprit).

jib/genoa forestay 8" AFT of foreward edge of bow sprit
inner forestay 8' AFT of the foreward edge of bow sprit
leading edge of mast 17' 6" AFT of the foreward edge of bow sprit

and we attach the spinnaker downhaul or drifter downhaul 6" FORWARD of the foreward edge of bow sprit

We normally sail as a masthead sloop with just the 120% genoa, drifter, or spinnaker and the inner forestay is not rigged to make it easier to tack and work on the foredeck.

When going to weather in more than 22 knots apparent we use the inner forestay and, I guess, we become a cutter.

The inner forestay attaches to the mast 8' above the single spreader.

When folks talk about a cutter mast being a certain percentage aft of the boat length it is a little confusing. Our boat is 42' 6" LOA, 39' 5" on deck, and 32' 6" LWL. So our inner forestay attaches at 42% aft, 44% aft, or 54% aft. I suspect the original old ratios were dependent on centers of resistance and lift so the LWL % is relevant.

I will continue to call our three sails that hank onto the inner forestay - "stay sails" no matter how the rig on my boat is described or characterized.
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Old 03-04-2013, 14:20   #13
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Re: Staysail definition?

In a cutter there's no staysail, it's only jib and foresail. Of course anyone can call sails in his boat whatever name happens to please but anyways.. just IMHO
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Old 03-04-2013, 14:35   #14
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Re: Staysail definition?

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Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
In a cutter there's no staysail, it's only jib and foresail. Of course anyone can call sails in his boat whatever name happens to please but anyways.. just IMHO
And the authority upon which you base your humble opinion is...?

In my HO, any sail set before the mast in a single masted yacht is a "foresail", and the above quoted definitions from Chapmans seem to agree with all the others that I have seen.

But, as you say, you can call 'em what you please, and let folks figger out what you mean!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-04-2013, 14:40   #15
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Re: Staysail definition?

The OP asked what people were referring to when they said "staysail" so no matter what the perfect technical definition is, the usage in our current vernacular is most useful to him. I believe that is what is what I tried to state above.
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