I have a true cutter
, or at least what passes for one today: a large (about 130%) Yankee on a heavy bowsprit
two feet forward of the bow, and a largish staysail terminating at the bow (actually, inside the anchor
well). It has been quite a learning
experience monkeying with sail set to achieve the full benefit of the staysail.
At 32 knots, I can hit hull speed
on a reach under staysail alone, which is rather impressive in a 15 tonne steel
41-footer. I am going to have either a second "storm" staysail made (smaller, heavier, with a pendant), or have a new one made with reefing cringles, so I can "shorten" it to about 60% of its area. Combined with a third reef, or with a trysail, I figure I can work (poorly, like 75 degrees) to windward past 40 knots with such a rig, or off the wind
in 50. After that, I would heave to, a situation in which the staysail is again a great help.
Strangely, it was by using the large "genoa staysail" in my long foredecked IOR '73 boat that I glimpsed how the staysail could do what they rather interesting article of Mr. Gentry states. That was a strange sail, indeed, but I've used it on the return leg of cruising spinnaker
runs with some success.