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Old 02-05-2013, 15:51   #61
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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Originally Posted by banjoship View Post
Matthew,

You look to have a solent stay rig. I presume the Highfield levers are on the bow, tensioning each stay. With each stay ending at masthead, I don't know what your running backstays are doing.
I think the running backstays are confusing in the photo as they are stored up with the main stays. The Hyfields are on the running backstays and a brought aft when you want to use them. Gets them right out of the way as Snowpetrel observed, when you don't need them. There's one more hyfield on the stay for the staysail, and again, it is stored off to the side with the main stays.

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Matthew,

Yes the furler looks to be on the wrong stay, should be on the forward stay. Perhaps the previous owner put it on the inner stay for ease of tacking?? Tacking a headsail on a solent rig is a complete PITA. If I am going into a tacking session, I leave the main genoa furled, and raise the #2 genoa on the inner forestay.

At the moment, your forestay looks to be unuseable, apart from supporting the mast.
Yes, something I read in Kaye Cottee's book makes me think she used the same setup as my boat at one stage to simplify tacking, but that I can hank on a sail to the forward forestay, albeit with some awkwardness if the furler failed. (And if the hanks fit... I WILL CHECK THIS pronto!)


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Matthew,

I emphasise, get some info from more knowledgable people than I.

BTW, she looks pretty well built...hard to tell from photos, but there is an impression.

Lee
PS Always work out how your boat operates, before making changes. Too often I have rushed in with changes, only to find that the original was right.
Lee, absolutely with you here. Not changing ANYTHING above decks, certainly not before meeting the guy who set her up, and so far, everything is so logical once I understand its function. The bloke who set it up is a Master Class 4 Marine Engine driver. Not sure EXACTLY what that means but I suspect it means he knows a lot more than me!

(I have simplified things a bit below decks, after consultation with CF users, as you know, but I suspect a lot of what I removed was put there by the owners who sold the boat to me. Manera is now riding a good three inches higher in the water!)
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Old 02-05-2013, 16:53   #62
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
When you say you looked up the boat, was that from my gallery photos, or is there another source of info out there I should know about? Since the Swanson Enthusiasts group has sort of died through spam I have been dependent on a couple of S42 owners for advice, any other source of info will be VERY helpful!

Matt
I did a quick search not much out there. Sailboat data doesn't have it so I used yacht world to get deck layout and specs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 17:11   #63
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

ctl411 wrote
I looked up your boat from what I found it appears to be a true cutter rig. Meaning the mast is back around center of loa

That is correct. And the positioning of the mast cannot be changed for a different rig. The mast compression post and chainplates are incorporated into a Swanson made band of steel that circles the hull, and is glassed to the hull. Very strong structure that only fits in one place.

Most s42's I have seen are cutter rigged. A few are sloops where the owner has done away with the inner forestay. Mine is the only solent rig that I am aware of, and it was purpose built that way. Now we have Matthews rig, which I am still trying to understand.

Snowpetrel's comments about common practice in the past make sense in explaining Matthews rig.

Lee
PS to Matthew : I have a 35 year history of cross country skiing, never, ever downhill.
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Old 02-05-2013, 19:22   #64
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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PS to Matthew : I have a 35 year history of cross country skiing, never, ever downhill.
I think I am spotting a certain machoistic streak in the CF fraternity.
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Old 02-05-2013, 19:28   #65
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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I did a quick search not much out there. Sailboat data doesn't have it so I used yacht world to get deck layout and specs.
That one for sale on Yachtworld is really odd. Not much like my boat at all. I am not even sure it is Swanson 42, despite the title on the advert...

Actually, there no way that is an S42. It is just too different, and looks much smaller. Either that, or I don't have an S42! Scary thought!

Am I looking at the same yachtworld site(au.yachtworld.com)? Or is there some kind of database site I should be looking at?

Matt
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Old 02-05-2013, 20:25   #66
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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That one for sale on Yachtworld is really odd. Not much like my boat at all. I am not even sure it is Swanson 42, despite the title on the advert...

Actually, there no way that is an S42. It is just too different, and looks much smaller. Either that, or I don't have an S42! Scary thought!

Am I looking at the same yachtworld site(au.yachtworld.com)? Or is there some kind of database site I should be looking at?

Matt
Looks like a Swanson 40 to me, perhaps the Mermaid class? (The broker needs to get his tape measure out)

s40 had a similar hull and cutter rig to s42, totally different interior layout. The pilot house contains nav station and a bunk, engine underneath. No aft cabin as for s42. Not a lot of them around. Church Point Brokerage in Sydney got hold of the mold, and made a few in early 2000's.
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Old 02-05-2013, 21:10   #67
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

We have a pape Steel Maid, redesigned from scratch by Pape as a cutter, not a ketch.

My first real ocean experience with her was last summer. Real heavy high cut Yankee on a Profurl, and a hank on staysail, two reefs in the main.

Had lots of trouble getting the Yankee to set right, too high cut. Ended up rigging natch blocks way back behind the boom end to get a low enough angle of rise. Bloody sail is so heavy that by the time it fills out I don't need it. Must be 12 oz.

I got a new for us lapper, 6oz, that I have not yet tried out. I think this will be a good combination with the staysail as our staysail is quite large. We have 5 feet of sprit, and the staysail sets way up front at the stem.

Lastly I got a light drifter, keeps her moving at below 7 knots, but is damn light, 3/4oz. Always fretting about ripping it.

Had other issues as well, will know better in a few months, I hope.

I think the suggestion about setting you self tacking staysail boom with preventers is good. I find they tend to slap around a lot. On the Murray I ended up putting a full TRA eler lead to the cockpit on the staysail boom. I like that a lot.

I still have a lot of learning to do.

I can't imagine doin headsail changes solo under other than the most benign conditions. Damn hard work at the dock with two hands.
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Old 03-05-2013, 17:34   #68
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Over the years I have tried and delivered boats with all sorts of rigs and I still haven't worked out the best combination. I don't think it exists for all wind conditions. But I am pretty impressed with a solent on an inner furler. and a light genoa on an outer furler. With luck Jim and Ann Cate can tell us how he goes with this set up on Insatiable II.


Cheers

Ben
G'Day Ben,

OK... but first, for those who don't know: we have a 120% 6 oz radial cut dacron genoa on the outer forestay and a non-overlapping 10 oz cross cut jib (or staysail or Solent jib or whatever the hell you should call it) on the inner forestay. The boat is about a 7/8 fractional rig, and the Solent stay is located about 200 mm below the outer stay. The bottom of the Solent stay is about a metre aft of the forestay. Both sails are now on furlers, and the Solent stay is on a Highfiled lever (which makes the tack of the sail pretty damn high).

Originally we had a much heavier genoa of about the same size, but it was next to useless in light airs and lost shape rapidly when rolled up. Then the inner stay was bare and easy to remove for short tacking situations. It was a bit of a PITA to rig and hoist the staysail, so it didn't get used as much as it should have... but because it was easy to get rid if the inner stay we did that a lot.

After using this setup for a couple of years I changed to what we have now. The much lighter Genoa is a decent light air sail, and since it is so easy to swap, we never use it to windward partly rolled... we just switch to the staysail at around 20 knots apparent. Rarely we carry the sail up to 25 apparent (usually when there is another boat going to windward on the same course!). The boat loves this, but it stresses the cloth a bit more than I really like. There is a performance gap between that 20 knot figure and around 26-28 knots when the boat is fully powered up with the full main and the staysail. For structural reasons I placed the inboard sheet lead tracks a bit more outboard than I would have liked, so we can only usefully sail at about 35 deg apparent with the staysail, versus around 30 with the genoa.

Now, how does it work in practice? It is simply not possible to tack the genoa without rolling it up at least 2/3 of the way. I hate this! When we know that we will be in light airs and going to weather I can remove the inner stay, sail and furler and tack them down near the shrouds. Then tacking is normal, but the furled sail flogs about a bit and interferes with the pole on one gybe downwind. We don't do this as often as we should. The staysail tacks normally and easily, so I will often use it in winds far lighter than optimal... lazy bastard that I am!

The usual quoted advantage for the Solent rig is not needing runners, but since we are fractional we have them anyway. With one reef in the main we can leave them both set, so we are sometimes seen with a reef in the main and the staysail set, short tacking somewhere in winds that do not suggest such a sailplan!

This leads to another observation about Solent rigs: it is VERY hard to get adequate tension in both headstays. As you tighten one, the other goes slack. If you go through too many such cycles big stresses are generated and I get worried. Riggers that I have queried on this agree that it is a problem and shrug their shoulders!

So there you are... it isn't totally cool, but has worked pretty well for us (old farts doublehanding a fairly big fairly high performance boat). If starting from scratch, I think that I would prefer that the staysail be a conventional one set with a big enough gap that the genoa would slide through. One could perhaps allow a bit of overlap in the staysail to regain sail area lost by the lower attachment for the head... I'm not sure about this.

Hope that this is of use, Ben, and I'd be happy to try answering more specific questions if you have any.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-05-2013, 18:41   #69
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

Well, I certainly have some homework to do now.

Sadly, the diesel mob are dragging the chain and I won't see the repaired injector till next week, so aside from a plan to rig the staysail in the pen on Sunday morning, there will be no chance to test the different setups.

But, I really am looking forward to some good thorough testing of the various configurations to see which gives the Swanson a better windward performance.

I will post a follow-up on those results for those who may be interested.

By the sound of it, the quasi-solent rig I have is a compromise on ease of tacking, but I look forward to catching up with the original owner to confirm this.

Thank you to all for sharing ideas on this. I am, yet again, surprised by the solutions to a problem posed that were far from anything I expected.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:56   #70
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

Many thanks Jim for the excellent info on your solent rig setup. lots of food for thought here.

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
When we know that we will be in light airs and going to weather I can remove the inner stay, sail and furler and tack them down near the shrouds.
Very interesting, I like this idea very much, as it could help reduce windage in a blow at anchor or for maneuvering. I also hate having to roll away the genoa to tack in light winds, so it is good to know it's possible. Thanks

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it is VERY hard to get adequate tension in both headstays. As you tighten one, the other goes slack. If you go through too many such cycles big stresses are generated and I get worried. Riggers that I have queried on this agree that it is a problem and shrug their shoulders!
A good point. I wonder if some sort of tensioning arrangement could be used to tension only the stay in use ?

Quote:
One could perhaps allow a bit of overlap in the staysail to regain sail area lost by the lower attachment for the head... I'm not sure about this.
I've never had any luck with overlapping staysails, unless the overlap is very small maybe 5% max. In fact I have had to set an overlaping staysail to the stemhead where it worked very well without any overlap but with enough sail area to work well in 25 knots. The downside being you get into the same problems of a solent with tacking, plus the need for runners or somesuch.

The problem with the more conventional staysail setup is that it typically needs very a very strong wind to work well on it's own, say 30+ knots so your 20-26 knot gap with the solent jib might become more like a 20-32 knot gap?

Quote:
Hope that this is of use.
It certainly is, as at some point I need to look at the best way to configure the new boat. At this stage lots of ideas are whirling around my head, so it's good to see what has worked for you. I am hoping a 100% solent jib on my tall masthead rig will be good for about 15-25 knots. On the delivery over from Adelaide the no3 genoa (about 110%) was the biggest sail we used and still gave reasonable drive in light airs, and with no engine we ended up sailing in light airs often. But I still would like to be able to set a big lapper of some sort, and what to do in over 25 knots? so I guess there is no perfect solution. Still thinking...

Cheers

Ben
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:26   #71
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

Why not add a sprit. Open the gap to the staysail? Keep a decent size staysail and get a bit bigger genoa?
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:24   #72
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

It's hard to get and keep enough headstay tension with a sprit. Not impossible but needs to be engineered right.
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Old 06-05-2013, 18:28   #73
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

Well, back to GILow's plight.

Years ago, before I met Jim, I sailed on small, low end ocean race boats, back when you "run what you brung." There is, outside the Golden Gate, an area called "Potato Patch Shoal", which is out in the ocean, but fairly shallow, so that 20-25 knots on the nose is choppier than waves at that wind strength would be in deeper water (which is why we used the shipping channel when we could--but I digress), and there can be strong tidal flow. I'm going to take a guess that the conditions there are similar to Bass Straits, when the wind is against the tide. [We wait for weather before making the crossing, and have never (touch wood) had challenging conditions for it when we go to Tassie.] The larger sets would really slow us down, sometimes stop us. To counter this tendency, the skipper ran the main over-powered to punch through the "chop", and "cracked off" to regain speed. Now, these boats were simple sloops.

You have a cutter, and more options. IMO, one reef in your main should have been better than two, giving you the option of traveling it down in the gusts (18-28 knots represents a large increase in wind force) and powered up in the lighter airs, but making for greater overall progress. Jim wrote about our stays'l. It is shaped like a high aspect #4, and if your staysail has enough area, then 1 reef and a #4 equivalent staysail, might have moved your Swanson better. Or, you could try the 1 reef + staysail, and crack off 5 to 10 degrees. See what it does to your boatspeed and comfort zone. [The admiral might appreciate the latter, I know I do.] The point above about having narrow sheeting angles available for staysails is important here, 'cause if it's wide, no way can you point like you'd want to.

I want to say that I think you're doing well: you seem to have an open mind; you have perseverance; you and your good lady are willing to experiment and learn from it, and I think that's the best possible attitude for a cruising sailor. It's really true if you race your boat for a season or two, you'll learn heaps about sailing her more efficiently. I tell lots of people this, most don't get it, but IMO, it's still correct. This business about using your engine when you don't need it: this is a personal choice, and those range from using the auxiliary only when needed for safety to "whenever I feel like it", i.e., you get to choose.

Have a good time this weekend re-configuring your sail plan. You may be surprised how well (and differently) it all works.

Ann
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Old 06-05-2013, 20:46   #74
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

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It's hard to get and keep enough headstay tension with a sprit. Not impossible but needs to be engineered right.
Are you making the same argument as above concerning the Solent rig?

I've just replaced my sprit and am setting the rig back up so am more than passing interested.

I never find good info on setting rig tension for a steel. There is just no hull flex..
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:40   #75
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Re: Beating Home Alone and oh so Slow

The Solent rig problem is a two against one thing. Two forestays one back and getting the balance of them plus no running backs to help. On a true cutter with running backs you use the runners to help balance the tension.
With a sprit you add the flex of that and there are very high compression loads pulling the sprit back. They can and do work but it's not just a simple bolt on.
Rig tension is set by percentage of breaking strength of the stays.
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