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Old 19-09-2018, 06:58   #1
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Inner forestay decision time

I am looking for some advice about which type of inner forestay to install on my Grand Soleil 50 with an aluminum mast. The goal would be to raise a small jib for sailing in high winds. I must preface this request by admitting that I am new to sailing.

The local refit guy says that a removable inner forestays are not suitable for ocean sailing and that if used with a small jib in heavy weather, the stay would need to be optimally tensioned which would be impossible given the conditions. He says a fixed inner forestay would be better. An experienced friend tells me that removable forestays are common on all types of boats, not just carbon fiber racing yachts, and would be fine for blue water cruising.

What way should I go?
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Old 19-09-2018, 07:44   #2
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

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Originally Posted by martinlawrence View Post
I am looking for some advice about which type of inner forestay to install on my Grand Soleil 50 with an aluminum mast. The goal would be to raise a small jib for sailing in high winds. I must preface this request by admitting that I am new to sailing.

The local refit guy says that a removable inner forestays are not suitable for ocean sailing and that if used with a small jib in heavy weather, the stay would need to be optimally tensioned which would be impossible given the conditions. He says a fixed inner forestay would be better. An experienced friend tells me that removable forestays are common on all types of boats, not just carbon fiber racing yachts, and would be fine for blue water cruising.

What way should I go?

If by "removable inner forestay" you mean a stainless steel cable permanently attached to the mast and you can attach/tension to the deck with a turnbuckle then that is indeed how many monohulls are setup and it works great. Ocean crossing or day sailor. Of course you need the attachment point on the mast and dedicated halyard.
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Old 19-09-2018, 08:16   #3
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

I think that the question should be less about whether or not the inner forestay should be fixed or removable (removable of course in my opinion, because normally you will not need it for daysailing), but more about whether or not the rig design can support it, especially for heavy weather sailing?

In simple terms, an inner forestay will exert a pull from the middle of the mast, and, what will resist this? It can cause the mast to 'pump', again, especially in strong wind and sea conditions.

In the past boats often had mid height running backstays to control this, but that is less common these days.

I would definitely check with Grand Soleil (or the rig builder) regarding whether or not an inner forestay is feasible for your rig design.

In addition, dont forget that there also needs to be a serious structural point at deck level too.

When you are caught offshore in 50kn+ and this is where your storm jib is attached to, then you definitely want to be sure that everything is structurally bullet proof.
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Old 20-09-2018, 09:44   #4
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

Install the inner forestay with a Hyfield lever so it can be stowed near the shrouds. Add running backs to counter the forestay's load.
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Old 20-09-2018, 10:15   #5
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

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Originally Posted by jmh2002 View Post

In simple terms, an inner forestay will exert a pull from the middle of the mast, and, what will resist this? It can cause the mast to 'pump', again, especially in strong wind and sea conditions.

When you are caught offshore in 50kn+ and this is where your storm jib is attached to, then you definitely want to be sure that everything is structurally bullet proof.
This is interesting. I always thought twin headstay setups meant these inners connected at the top of the mast a few feet below the main forestay. As such, I never considered the torque of the delta between the forestay support and the backstay.

Wasn't the general wisdom that while an inner forestay could be nice for storm jibs, the main forestay would always the taughtest and thus good luff tension on the inner forestay was near impossible for general sailing?
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Old 20-09-2018, 11:30   #6
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

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What way should I go?
Honestly, I love a cutter, but it is important to understand that there is a lot of difference between a cutter and a sloop above and beyond just adding an inner forestay.

Your boat is a very high aspect rig, with a finely tuned, very flexible, mast and a rather small foretriangle. Adding an inner forestay can have many, many complications, and is not a job to be undertaken because it "seems like a good idea."

You say you are new to sailing. This brand/model boat has crossed a lot of oceans without a bastardized inner forestay. Don't make this change until you really understand what you are doing and why.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:18   #7
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

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Originally Posted by martinlawrence View Post
I am looking for some advice about which type of inner forestay to install on my Grand Soleil 50 with an aluminum mast. The goal would be to raise a small jib for sailing in high winds. I must preface this request by admitting that I am new to sailing.

The local refit guy says that a removable inner forestays are not suitable for ocean sailing and that if used with a small jib in heavy weather, the stay would need to be optimally tensioned which would be impossible given the conditions.
Find another local refit guy! I got a GS 42, where I refitted both a removable forestay and a removable baby stay. Both installed for heavy weather sailing, both can be tensioned to whatever level you want in any condition.

I don't know the in and out of the rigging of the GS 50. I would do the following:
1) Contact your local GS reseller.
2) Contact Grand Soleil in Italy. I have found them really helpfull, both by email or phone.
3) Speak to your sailmaker. You need a good sailmaker, that means an old fashion one that offers to visit your boat, take a look, make some measurements and even that the boat for a spin with you. Yes these sailmakers do exist.

I did number 2) and 3). Then I got my local boat yard to do the work and fit the stainless steel stays. By boat could have been ordered with this from new. The fitting in the mast was there, but not the fittings needed on deck or wire. The solution was first recommended by my trusted sailmaker, then confirm by the yard in Italy.

#

After then years of ownership of my GS 42 - I find that I will not trust my " local refit guy". He comes from a very good company. I always do my research, speak to a few contacts, then I ask my local refit guy to do the work. Time-consuming, but by doing my homework I normally end up with the best solution.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:29   #8
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalas View Post
This is interesting. I always thought twin headstay setups meant these inners connected at the top of the mast a few feet below the main forestay. As such, I never considered the torque of the delta between the forestay support and the backstay.

Wasn't the general wisdom that while an inner forestay could be nice for storm jibs, the main forestay would always the taughtest and thus good luff tension on the inner forestay was near impossible for general sailing?
It is often done that way. The top can be just a little below the head of the mast and you don't need further support. It's removable so shouldn't interfere much with the permanent headstay.
However, your boat is 50 feet. That's a big boat to handle. My 44 and 47 had a cutter stay. I found it superb and easy. (I tried a removeable stay on one boat but it's a mess to deal with when not attached. You can't just move it to the side, you have extra length you need to deal with also.)
For the "cutter" rig I just had the staysail in a deck bag, hanked on, sheets lead back and ready to use: Remove bag, connect halyard and hoist it up! Both boats sailed fast and flat in 30-35 wind with reefed main and staysail alone. Faster than trying to use a partially furled headsail and being over heeled!
One I just had "running backstays " to support the staysail, 4 part tackle which was left just behind the aft lower chainplate on the side. The other had permanent stays at the same location.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:45   #9
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

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One I just had "running backstays " to support the staysail, 4 part tackle which was left just behind the aft lower chainplate on the side. The other had permanent stays at the same location.
The bloke got a GS 50.

It is a technical rig. Whatever modification he is doing need to be within the limits of the existing rig.

I got running backstays on my GS 42. The GS 50 I sailed some time back had them too. My removable forestay is attached at the top. Just a few inches below the genoa. The babystay is attached at the mast where the running backstay. When the main is reefed and or the baby forestay is in use the backstay is set. It just supports the mast. My mast will not bend, max bend on mine is 15cm. The GS 50 is fractional rigged, where the mast got more bend. I think some of them even comes without a running backstay.

Again, he need to speak to Grand Soleil, and his sailmaker/rigger. The local mr Fixit will sadly not have the needed knowledge.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:49   #10
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

Hi,
I have started to do a little research on this area in preparation for this winter and I found a couple of options that may help you.

I am also thinking about adding an inner stay on our sloop. In our case, the inner stay would be consider a 'solent stay' based on the fact that the attachment on the mast is close to the forestay so runners wouldn't be necessary. Initially, I thought may only options would be:
- Permanent stay with a permanent furler: Pros would be that you can keep the sail in place with no need of going forward to do sail changes, plus you can also reef that sail as wind increases. Cons would be that because the space of the fore stay and the solent stay are narrow, tacking the genoa would most likely require furl it first, making short tacking a PITA in such situations.
- Removable stay (in my case most likely synthetic) with hank-on sails. Pros: You can detach it when in light winds so tacking the genoa is not affected. You can have multiple sails for that stay (a working jib for upwind in mid-winds, but then a smaller storm sail). Cons: The need to go to the foredeck to exchange sails.

Removable stay with a continuous furler.I always saw the racing boats with detachable stays and continuous furlers going offshore, and I wondered whether that would be a possibility for a cruiser without breaking our pockets. I asked around a couple of years ago and I was always told that those furlers are not good for storm situations and/or that they are very expensive, but then I came across the profurl website and their furlers for 'flying sails' Flying sails furlers with spool

In their catalog https://www.profurl.com/images/info_...19-eng-268.pdf
they mention the use of their NEX series of furlers for staysails and storm jibs that can be removed (not reefed). Their models are specified for pretty large boats, so this may be an option for you. I haven't contacted them yet, but I may be going this route for our boat depending on whether we focus first on whether we expand the light wind inventory of sails, or the high wind inventory... We'll see.

Good luck on your search!

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Old 03-07-2019, 02:38   #11
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

The important thing is to be sure you have appropriate deck strength to allow an inner stay. When we made this addition to our previous boat, Jim did some glass work, glassing in a chain plate for the inner stay, and running a rod from the plate to the deck, to resist the upwards pull of tensioning the stay. It is a mistake to just assume the deck is strong enough, and failures tend to occur at the most awkward times. Check with an engineer if you doubt me.

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Old 03-07-2019, 03:38   #12
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

I have double stays. This works very well, but there are many things to consider. Except for everything said above, there is also the issue of luff tension. If you have a removable stay with a high field lever you can set it up to take basically all the tension off the headstay when applied. If you have 2 fixed stays, then they will share the tension about 50/50, meaning there is more luff sag. This requires the sail to be cut differently, with more luff hollow.
At least the staysail, which is used for beating.

Personally, in your situation, I would just sail for a while with the setup you have now, and see if it works for you.

I happily sail a cutter or sloop rig (or ketch, schooner, whatever), without much preference. If the boat is well designed, it will work as it is.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:59   #13
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

Have you tried talking to Grand Soleil? They may have had this question before.
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Old 16-09-2019, 07:41   #14
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Re: Inner forestay decision time

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Have you tried talking to Grand Soleil? They may have had this question before.
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When my GS 42 was new, a removable forestay was an optional extra. I think the same is the case for the GS 50.

I would:
- Speak to the boatyard. I have found them very helpful.
- Look at other GS '50s, speak to the owners, take pictures.

I got a few GS 42 friends. Where we share and discuss technical owner related issues. Very useful.
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