Originally Posted by Cheechako
Having tried to use mine in heavy conditions, I can tell you , you need to work it out ahead of time to a T.
My experience . . . You need to hank the tri sail on, and have it bagged at the base of the mast (with the sheets
attached), before you leave the dock
. If you do that it is dead easy to hoist and because it is so easy you will actually do it. If you don't do that, you will convince yourself that the triple reef is fine, and not go to the effort to set the tri.
A lot of spar makers and riggers don't understand this. And stop the tri track near the gooseneck, which sucks both because it is then difficult to hank the sail on in bad conditions (you have to stand on deck
working with both hands with the sail flogging around) and you cannot put in on ahead of time and let it sit on deck
. The track must come down to near the deck (stopping say about 6" above it). If it is down there, and you forgot to hank it on ahead of time you can still do it in a gale, sitting down on top of the sail as you put it on.
A bolt rope
"track" also does not allow you to put it on ahead of time, and can be quite fiddly in a strong breeze (probably a 2 person operation) and is IMHO a poor idea.
And yes, you need to have worked out the halyard
hoist (with a nice highly visible mark on the halyard when it is hoisted to the right height) and the sheet locations (I actually have two halyard and sheet settings, one for upwind and another for downwind).
IMHO the reason people do not use these sails is simply because they have not given any thought to how to make it safe and easy, and the riggers and spar makers generally have also not.
Personally I see no reason NOT to have a tri setup. It is relatively inexpensive and small to store and will save your expensive main from a lot of wear and tear. And gives you something to work with if the main self-destructs (we have had harken
batt cars blow up) . I rate it way ahead of a lot of the other gizmos people install. But, no, it is not "necessary".
We also use ours for day sailing
on breezy days . . . Just easier than re flaking the main at the end of the day. Nice if you sail someplace like the UK or chile
where "nice days" can be quite breezy. It is a real "high comfort/low stress" sail, which is nice for cruising.