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Old 13-10-2014, 05:11   #1
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Second Forestay on a Catamaran?

Hello everybody, I'm quite new to this, so excuse any mistakes I might make.

So far I have done a lot of monohull sailing, but eventually I want to own a cat for long distance cruising (the admiral insists). I have sailed a lot with a friend who owns a mono. He has 2 forestays with furler each, one with a smaller foresail and one with a genoa. He claims that a partly reefed genoa is not working as efficient as the smaller foresail and using the genoa partly reefed will put too much strain on the sail and therefore life expectancy will be much lower.

But all the modern production cats have one forestay only (except Privilege) and a have never seen a modified rigging so far.

So my questions are:
- does anybody of you cat sailors have an opinion about the issue? (I'm sure you do)
- has anybody of you extended your rigg with a second forestay?

Thanks for your comments
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Old 13-10-2014, 05:40   #2
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

The St Francis 50 has an inner forestay, it's setup to fly a storm jib though.


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Old 13-10-2014, 06:13   #3
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

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The St Francis 50 has an inner forestay,...
Thanks for your reply. I was thinking more in the 44' range
And the inner forestay for a storm jib would be more like a cutter rig. What I have in mind is really a second forestay which would be quite close to the first one.
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Old 13-10-2014, 06:37   #4
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

The majority of production cats are set up for a genoa on a furler (permanent) on the forestay and a screecher/gennaker furled on a prodder (most will not be permanent as their cloth weight will be light without sun protection strips - not all setups). Also, most will not need to "reef" the genoa under 25-30 kts. Furling to the first set of tell tails will generally still have good sail shape for up wind efficient work in the 30-35kt range. So, it is beyond 35kts with 2 reefs in the main and the need for 50% or less genoa that an issue starts to arise with good sail shape, high centre of effort and poor windward efficiency. The problem with a removable inner forstay (no one wants a permanent inner forstay due to interferrence with tacking the 140% genoa) is that there is often no adequate point of attachment with sufficient strength for the loads. The formed GRP from near the mast base to the centre of the cross beam at the bows simply appears inadequately engineered on most boats and I suspect would require a dregee of modification should one go this path. Also, the usual genoa tracks on the coach roof almost certainly will be inadequately positionsed for the smaller storm gib. For these reasons, most compromise and go without hoping they never need to beat off a lea shore in 40-50kts. So they rely on the 3rd reef in the main, and the "iron sail" for that eventuality. Well, I do.
All this being said, I do see that Lagoon have previously offered a removable inner forstay as an option of the larger L500+ range.
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:13   #5
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

Thank you 2wind, that clears up some of my issues. On the monos I'm used to reef the genoa around 20 kts

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Also, most will not need to "reef" the genoa under 25-30 kts.
What do you think of a code zero and a smaller genoa?

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So they rely on the 3rd reef in the main, and the "iron sail" for that eventuality. Well, I do.
You lost me here, what is an "iron sail"?
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:19   #6
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

I like the idea of a second forestay or inner stay. Firstly, it gaveme a bit of peace of mind that if the genoa or main forestay broke the should keep the rigging up without it all collapsing on the deck. Secondly, I had a small storm jib made that could be attached to the inner forestay.
I agree with the hassle of tacking and it getting in the way at times.
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:24   #7
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

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You lost me here, what is an "iron sail"?
Sorry, but that means "the engine".

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Old 13-10-2014, 08:57   #8
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

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Sorry, but that means "the engine".

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Old 13-10-2014, 09:01   #9
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

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I like the idea of a second forestay or inner stay. Firstly, it gaveme a bit of peace of mind that if the genoa or main forestay broke the should keep the rigging up without it all collapsing on the deck. Secondly, I had a small storm jib made that could be attached to the inner forestay.
I agree with the hassle of tacking and it getting in the way at times.
What kind of boat? Were you able to do it with the existing mast?
So I suppose you didn't put a furler system on that, right?
Well, the hassle of tacking is not an issue when you jibe instead, right?
Questions, questions, questions
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Old 13-10-2014, 09:35   #10
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

It's mostly a structural issue.
- On a mono, the pointy part where the hull sides comes together is the strongest part of the boat. It generally doesn't take much to make is strong enough to support both stays.
- On a cat, the attachement is several feet away from the pointy part. Unless you get into some kind of tension release mechanism (unnesseccary complication is not good for cruising boats), you have to add a lot of reinforcement to the bridge deck to support a second stay, so most don't bother.

Not to mention, when there is enough wind that you want to roll up part of the genny, you can usually make good speed anyway. It's when the wind is barely ghosting you along that a cruiser will want something extra in terms of sails (code zero sails and similar).
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Old 13-10-2014, 10:25   #11
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

Both my Iroquois and Prout cats are rigged for a staysail. Many who run the rig have a second furler there. To the point, SOme cats at least are set up for this. I have seen the Brit Cats with 140 gen, Staysail, main and Spinnaker all flying....probably not in 25knts. No complaints with tacking that I have heard, but it really depends on what that boat was designed for.
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Old 13-10-2014, 14:02   #12
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

0n my 10.2m cat I have a Solent jib on a furler attached to the stay which is connected to the forward crossbeam.

1.8m further forward on a bowsprit I have a lightweight genoa on a furler which I use until about 10kts of windspeed. The gap between the genoa and jib stay is big enough for tacking without the need to go forward to shift the genoa to its new side.
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Old 13-10-2014, 14:29   #13
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

My Switch 51 has 3 roller furling headsails. At the end of the sprit is a gennaker which furls on a very tight halyard. After that is a 150 genoa at the cross beam. A bit further aft is a heavy staysail on a permanent stay. All are on profurl furlers. This setup is 10 years old. I keep the genoa and staysail up all the time. The gennaker I rig before setting off. It provides quite a bit of flexibility for different windspeeds. Occasionaly, in light wind the genoa needs a little coaxing to pass between its stay and the staysail on tacking.

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Old 13-10-2014, 14:45   #14
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

You do not need one as most modern cats are set up for jib and kite. The kite is dropped and replaced with another for another wind angle. When not in use the kite halyard serves as a backup fore-stay.

Simple elegant efficient.

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Old 13-10-2014, 16:44   #15
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Re: Second forestay on a catamaran?

Swiss Mocha, I too am an old Monohull man, new to this, let me help..

It is easy to be confused by this, as I for one with 11 major yachts have never had a "Fractional Rig". As a monohull man from Old School it has been hard to get my head around it with any kind of confidence, but please let me try and explain it with those terms:

The main issue is if you have a "Fractional Rig" like a lot of Cats... If you don't then forget this Post and stop reading now.. That is VERY important, as if you do have a fractional rig, the ONLY thing holding the stick up is (in monohull terms) the one sort of canted back upper shroud that serves as a backstay and upper shroud all in one, each side. That is strong enough from the aft end but: Your furling head stays on the front, is the the only thing holding the mast up from foreward, and for me I definitely want two of them... Beating to windward in 20 knots, wow I definitely do not want just one furler holding up the rig..

With a Fractional Rig, like on the Helia, as I said, I would not be comfortable with only one furling headstay holding the rig up beating to windward, as any minor failure and the whole rig comes down on you.. Like most I have a working sail on the inner fore stay, and most have a "Gennaker" or "Screacher" more light air sail on the outer fore stay. Mine is set up with a solid working sail on the inner fore stay, like in old terms maybe 6-7 ounce working jib maybe even 8 ounce, and out on the end is what is more like a 150 Genoa about 5 ounce, in monohull terms..

I hope this has been a help. I have huge triangulation, very strong triangulation strut system that stiffens the mast incredibly well and puts a curve in it, but I am uncomfortable with the rest with no inner shrouds and intermediate shrouds and upper shrouds and backstays... Uncomfortable, but I understand it is a good design, it just takes getting used to...

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