I think that you need to think long and hard about why you are doing the ARC
. If you treat it like a race
, you will want the pole, and you will probably break a lot of gear
. If you treat it like an Atlantic crossing
with parties, you will also need the pole, but not the spinnaker
Going from the Canaries
to St Lucia
, the wind
will be pretty much dead aft, along with the seas. It won't be a constant wind
; there will be lighter moments with 12 knots, days of 20 knots, and squalls of 35 knots. There will also be days of cross seas which will roll the boat.
The best rig for the crossing is twin genoas on the same furler
, with a pole on one side. If you drop the main and deploy the twin jibs, you can go dead down wind and up to 20 degrees on each side (pole on windward jib), with no danger
of knockdowns or accidental gybes. The steering
is much more stable with the center of effort forward, and you can line up with the swell, and the rolling is much reduced.. The best is yet to come, twin 135% genoas have a lot of sail area, but are far more easily managed. When a squall hits you simply ease both sheets
and partially furl the genoas--a one or two person job instead of all hands on deck
. This is a lot like the twizzle rig, but with fewer complications and the same performance.
If you want the thrill of pushing the boat as hard as possible, being called up at 0300 to douse a raging spinnaker in a squall, multiple roundups/downs, and seasick and exhausted crew, go with the spinnaker and the pole.
If you want an easy passage
, the boat and crew in one piece, and a finish within 24 hours of the spinnaker option, bring your old genoa
and go with the twin jib
I've done it both ways.