Haven't followed this thread for a while, but perhaps will jump in for the benefit of those who expressed interest in my idea. My Stay'sl is not merely set flying--I have rigged it to set on it's own halyard as if that were it's stay. Here's how: The tack of the stay'sl is attached to a becket on a block. The halyard begins at the head
of the sail, passes through the block on the mast aloft, then returns to the deck
via the luff of the sail. rather than hanks, I have brass round thimbles seized to the luff grommets. The halyard passes through those as it descends, then goes though the block, the becket of which the tack is seized to. The block attaches to the stemhead with a toggle (could be a shackle, though). So the sail is hoisted by planting the feet firmly on deck and pulling upwards on the halyard. Not only do I get a little extra purchase
, I can take a couple turns around the rope
drum of the manual windlass
to set it up as tight as I like. On it's way down, the halyard running along the luff makes it easier to control than if it were truly flying, and since I'm right forward with the sail as I ease out the halyard, I can gather it easily as it descends. Once it's down it's child's play to unfasten the lower turning block and stow it all back by the mast, so I have a clean foredeck for other shenanigans. I can also unfasten the head
of the stowed sail from the halyard and use the halyard normally for a sail hanked to the forestay. Which I never do, since the stay'sl reefs
to a nice tiny size.