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Old 24-08-2014, 15:46   #1
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Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

I have a Beneteau Cyclades 2007 43.4' and am gearing up to cross the Atlantic in Dec-Jan. I was just wondering if anyone with the same/similar factory standard boat could recommend either getting a sailmaker to put an extra reeve into the main sail or to buy a storm sail?
I hear most storm sails stay in their bag their entire life as reeving is so much easier.
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Old 24-08-2014, 16:01   #2
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Re: Preparing for blue water cruising

IMO a third Reef is a good option if the boom can take the reefing lines. However, proper storm sails are much more robust than the normal sails. A Trysail is much easier with a dedicated track.
Here in New Zealand, you MUST have proper storm sails to get a Cat 1 safety certificate before you are allowed to leave the country.
However, many, many boats are out cruising worldwide without them.
IMO, the deep reef is essential, but a proper Trysail and storm jib are better. MOST liferafts stay in the bag as well, and that's a good thing! Be happy if you have the storm sails and don't need them! Kind of like the seatbelts and airbags in your car - you dont need them until you NEED them!
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Old 24-08-2014, 18:21   #3
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Re: Preparing for blue water cruising

The argument for a storm trysail is it doesn't put stress on the main. If you reef your main down to the third reef and the sail tears or blows out, you no longer have a main. Not a good place to be if you still have thousands of miles to your next landfall. If a trisail blows out, you have only lost that sail. They also are useful over only a relative small sailing spectrum. Need them to go to weather in nasty conditions but going to weather in those conditions is only something I'd do as a last resort.

Trisails have other uses too. They are great to dampen motion when becalmed or powering. They don't slat and bang like the main sail does.

Personally, have a triple reefed main and no trisail. The shape of the mast doesn't lend itself to adding a separate track for the trisail. Would never have a trysail that I had to dump the main lugs out of the track and thread the trysails in. A recipe for disaster when conditions are bad enough to warrant a trysail
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Old 24-08-2014, 18:38   #4
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

The Atlantic crossing is basically a downhill run to the Caribbean.
Keep your sail as it is and if a storm pops up to where a second reef still holds too much wind just drop the whole sail and run under genoa alone, furled to a smidgeon till you are comfortable.

If you want to see the weather you might get here's a video of my last Canaries to Caribbean run.





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Old 25-08-2014, 03:28   #5
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

For typical trade wind sailing a 3rd reef is a good option or a real deep second reef. You can sail around the world on the trade wind route and never see any winds higher than 30 knots sustained.
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Old 30-08-2014, 20:01   #6
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

Thanks for the replies guys. I will look at getting a reeve installed for now as that seems the cheaper easier option. The Atlantic crossing isn't quite the horn so I will gear up with storm sails etc when money/time permits.
Thanks again, what a wonderful thing this forum is for learners.
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Old 17-09-2014, 04:38   #7
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Re: Preparing for blue water cruising

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Personally, have a triple reefed main and no trisail. The shape of the mast doesn't lend itself to adding a separate track for the trisail. Would never have a trysail that I had to dump the main lugs out of the track and thread the trysails in. A recipe for disaster when conditions are bad enough to warrant a trysail
The same for me. I've got a 3rd reef and no trysail yet. Without a separate track it is useless. We haven't done any very long crossings yet, but when we do I do want to get a separate storm jib and possibly a trysail.

For now, we can manage at least up to 50kts with the staysail on the removeable inner forestay.

I like our set-up. The 3rd reef in the main gives more options for balancing the boat (but you do have to set it well in advance - when we got caught on the Bay of Biscay the only option was to drop the main altogether, we couldn't reef with gusts of 40kts).


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Old 17-09-2014, 05:49   #8
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pirate Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

Do most of my sailing with deep reefed main and use the power of the jib.. find the exchange of speed vs labour worthwhile.. just furl to suit..
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Old 17-09-2014, 06:23   #9
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

Third reef is fine but when sheep hits the fan you will want a strong sail. Cyclades is a charter boat and her main may be sub spec considering long ocean passages.

I think a new main up specced with three reefs might help. A proper tri sail might be better but only if you know how to use it and if you have the crew capable of doing so in bad weather.

A storm jib is fine but hard to put on a boat with a furling genoa. You may want an inner forestay for that and this would call for extra fittings and lines added to the mast/deck.

It is your boat, your life, but as a skipper you are responsible for safety of your crew. Go well prepared.

http://www.sailmagazine.com/sites/de...orm-2-350x.png

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Old 20-09-2014, 02:40   #10
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

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Originally Posted by gypsyvagabond View Post
The Atlantic crossing isn't quite the horn so I will gear up with storm sails etc when money/time permits
I don't like this way of thinking. The Atlantic is not Cape Horn only because it has bad weather less often, not because the weather can't be just as bad.

When I mentioned my set-up above I mentioned we haven't done very long crossings. For an Atlantic crossing I would always carry a storm jib and try sail.

Don't underestimate an Atlantic crossing, things go wrong plenty of times and it happens in the "good season" as well, especially with the changes in the global weather patterns. The ARC 2013 was a tough crossing. And it is also good to have a fall-back option for your main, especially if you're having an older sail adjusted - this can introduce weakness. A friend lost his main in the Bay of Biscay and it was only gusting to 40 kts, and the sail was not especially old. The Atlantic can certainly throw that at you during a crossing. Have a look at the link.


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http://www.sailfeed.com/2013/12/arc-...ntic-crossing/
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Old 20-09-2014, 20:24   #11
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

Sorry we don't have the same boat type as you so can't comment with experience for your rig. However, we ocean passage with our trisail rigged on a separate track and secured at the base of the mast. We also have a third reef in the main but the trisail shape and sail cloth is designed for heavy weather sailing where as a reefed main still retains sail height and boom length ratios high above the deck. We are also cutter rigged so we can furl the foam luffed jib and use the stay sail to give us many sail combinations. Being prepared for storm sailing is half the battle. ( mentally and physically). We were thankful for our preparations last time we we caught mid ocean in 78knts.

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Old 20-09-2014, 21:19   #12
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

If one doesnt have things like spare stays, hanked on jibs, tri sails and extra tracks etc etc it doesn't mean he is more vulnerable to the weather.

It just means he will use different tactics than you.

He might take his sails down and use the engine, a drogue, or run under bare poles. The O Ps boat is a modern designed fairly light boat not dissimilar to mine. In 35 knots under bare poles downwind my boat does a neat 3.3 knots solid as you like with good steerage. With that I don't need some special sail!

Sailing in the right season in the tropics is different than the Horn. The Horns storms may last 3 or 4 days even in summer... But a storm in the Atlantic between the Canaries and the Caribbean at the time of year the OP is going will not last a day.

During that day, if the wind is on the nose he can reef his main as much as he can, furl his genoa and use his motor to keep the boat in a nice, tight, forereach into the seas.



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Old 21-09-2014, 00:57   #13
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

A Stay sail or Storm jib is essential - on a short overnight coastal trip on the east coast of South Africa we were faced with a 40kt wind (forecasts was 20kt) so I had 3rd reef in the main and reefed the 150% genoa to accommodate. The problem was that as I reefed the genoa the sail shape changes and the forces are placed higher up which created a very uncomfortable beam roll in a big following sea. I then bought a roller furled stay sail and had my storm jib fitted with a luff sleeve which makes it useable over the top of any furled genoa or stay sail. The forces now are much lower down and the roll back to normal in very high winds.
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Old 26-09-2014, 22:33   #14
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

Gypsy, I am going to chime in on another important (in my opinion) point of preparing your boat for any type of cruising. This has nothing to do with your rig, but if you are planning on crossing an ocean, you should try going out for a weekend and turning off your main battery switch. NO ELECTRICS and see if you can still make hot food, get fresh water, use your head, have enough light down below to move around and enough light to do basic navigation. If you cant do that , then your boat is not ready for cruising. Kerosene lamps and propane stoves that you can bypass the solenoid, and manual toilets will work when the magic of electrons has failed. OH I forgot the foot pump for the fresh water. None of this stuff has to be used every day, but must be usable when the electrics and salt water get together. _____ Just my opinion.______Grant.
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Old 26-09-2014, 23:08   #15
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Re: Preparing for Blue Water Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Gypsy, I am going to chime in on another important (in my opinion) point of preparing your boat for any type of cruising. This has nothing to do with your rig, but if you are planning on crossing an ocean, you should try going out for a weekend and turning off your main battery switch. NO ELECTRICS and see if you can still make hot food, get fresh water, use your head, have enough light down below to move around and enough light to do basic navigation. If you cant do that , then your boat is not ready for cruising. Kerosene lamps and propane stoves that you can bypass the solenoid, and manual toilets will work when the magic of electrons has failed. OH I forgot the foot pump for the fresh water. None of this stuff has to be used every day, but must be usable when the electrics and salt water get together. _____ Just my opinion.______Grant.
And don't forget some form of backup navigation lights!
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