Our 10 year boat project Searunner
, was designed as a true cutter with a removable staysail stay and running backs to oppose the force of the staysail. In later conversations with co designer
John Marples, he suggested some changes.
We went 4' taller on the mast, and rather than have the conventional Genoa
, I went with a roller furling
high clewed "Lapper". This sail is about as large, and of very heavy fabric
. (We are going back 15 years and well over 20,000 sea miles ago)...
(This compromise does mean that if we want to sail in 6 or less knots of wind
, we need to use the cruising spinnaker
"in a sock", as the heavy lapper would just hang there.)
This left us with a cutter rigged boat, sailed as a sloop. The lapper had the advantages of being easier to see under, easier to tack through the "slot", and the sheet leads could remain, even as I rolled up some sail.
We can use the boat up to 25 knots of wind
with full sail, then roll in 5', and were good to 30. We sail this way, as a sloop, 95% of the time.
When it is consistently at or above 30, we reef the main, (from the cockpit)... fall off, roll up the headsail completely, and raise the staysail. We are now going about a knot
slower, but the boat straightens up, the pounding stops (if we were going to windward), and the boat remains perfectly balanced and happy.
With another reef in the main, we are good to over 40, at which point we can strike the main and sail under staysail alone, still perfectly balanced. We have a "storm staysail" for even higher winds, but have never used it.
We started out with the staysail stay and runners permanent. (John had moved the runners one station forward so the runners would not conflict with the main.) This worked fine for 10 years, but we later made the runners removable, so we could let the main out a bit more down wind, and recently our new cruising grounds became the protected inland waters of the Neuse River and Pamlico sound. For these frequent short tacks, on fairly flat water
, we made the staysail stay removable as well. Tacking the lapper through the slot, had never been a problem while cruising at sea, because the tacks were infrequent, and aided by the "motion of the ocean".
For ease of handling, balance, the correct amount of sail for all sailing conditions, and safety
... this is a wonderful rig!
This mod is not rocket science, and you can do it on your on, but I would still suggest that you get your designer
, or one you trust, to draw the location, as well as size and shape of the staysail, sheet lead blocks, and runner attachments. For a few hundred bucks, it is money
VERY well spent! (Be sure to put a compression
tube in the mast, when attaching the runner tang bolts.)
For the staysail stay attachment on deck, the easiest thing... (IF the preferred location doesn't fall on a well bonded structural bulkhead), is to use a beefy pad eye with a large base, through bolted to another just like it, inside the boat. This one is facing down. If it is a cored deck, you need to remove one side of the sandwich, cut out about a square foot, and insert a denser material, like plywood
. Then glass the sandwich back together in a strong and cosmetically acceptable way.
Now you go down to the hull
, and glass in a chainplate or another identical pad eye, (facing up). You can put in a large glass/epoxy "solid place" in the hulls "V". To this you epoxy
bond in the lower pad eye, in a strength compatible way.
Now you attach this lower pad eye to the upper, "down facing" ceiling pad eye, with a rigging wire and turnbuckle. Tighten it to just snug, + 1 turn.
IF this is out, because it would fall in the middle of the V berth, you can have someone (with the skills) lay up a really beefy crossbeam of carbon fiber, that goes across the ceiling, makes the turn down, and goes about 2" down the hull
. If this is beefy enough, and well bonded to the hull, it will be fine. It might still flex a bit, but a small amount is OK.
It is a great option to have on a cruising sloop. Call your designer, do your homework, and go for it!