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Old 06-05-2011, 12:04   #1
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Self Tacking Head Sails

I was just looking over self tacking head sails for the first time (perhaps I'm slow) but it looked to me that there is no way to hove to using this type of sys. This seems to be a big disadvantage. However, in light air, the spring loaded boom would help keep the sail inflated like a whisker pole. What all am I missing?
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Old 06-05-2011, 15:03   #2
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Re: Self Tacking Head Sails

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Originally Posted by twoblocktom View Post
I was just looking over self tacking head sails for the first time (perhaps I'm slow) but it looked to me that there is no way to hove to using this type of sys. This seems to be a big disadvantage. However, in light air, the spring loaded boom would help keep the sail inflated like a whisker pole. What all am I missing?
I love the self tacking idea for inland waterways and yes it would make it a bit tough to heave to. Most self tacking tracks are limited in their travel meaning that it's difficult or impossible to sheet the sail out wide enough when going downwind anyway. To solve this problem I would think that you would have to work out a way to re-sheet the sail further outboard as in the traditional manner, running the sheets back to the cockpit instead of to the track. If you are set up like this, then it also solves your heave to problem. It means that you can keep the advantages of the self tacker, but have to go forward and attatch a couple of sheets to the headsail before unhitching it from the self tacker when running downwind or wanting to heave to. I have no personal experinece of this. Hopefully someone who knows what they're talking about will contribute.

Greg
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Old 06-05-2011, 16:24   #3
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Re: Self Tacking Head Sails

My boat is cutter rigged, this isn't quite the same as a staysail rigged sloop. Since my staysail is club footed, it's self tacking but the yankee headsail is not. When I require or desire self tacking I just use the staysail and roll up the yankee.

As far as heaving to, my full keel cutter will heave to with just the main sheeted in flat and a touch of helm. I don't have to back a head sail. As far as downwind is concerned, I can either fly the yankee or the staysail but would not try to fly both unless conditions were such that I could fly both wing and wing. In that situation it would probably mean the main was down.

I do like cutters,

Rich

Edit: I'm not really sure what you are referring to as a "spring loaded" boom.
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