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Old 05-07-2011, 01:16   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Dorset U.K.
Boat: Vancouver 28
Posts: 7
Using the Stay Sail when Close Hauled

I am a Canadian living in the UK for a couple of years. I sail a Vancouver 28 and am based on the south coast of the UK where we have predominately fairly consistant SWesterlies. I spend much of my time having to point as close as possible into winds of varing force, sometimes F3 sometimes F6. I have difficulty properly setting my staysail to meet the conditions. Especially when in lighter winds of up to F4 I find it difficult to stop the leach flogging.
I never feel that the staysail is actually doing a great deal of driving. This is the first cutter I have sailed so I am on a learning curve here.
Any advice from cutter sailors?
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:05   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Geismar, LA near Baton Rouge
Boat: Vamos, a Ranger 28 Tall Rig
Posts: 145
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Re: Using the stay sail when close hauled

Staysails are difficult to achieve efficiency. When you get the jib and main properly set the staysail can actually throw them off. Just try it without and see if you can relax a bit.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:27   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oriental, NC
Boat: Mainship Pilot 34
Posts: 1,429
Re: Using the stay sail when close hauled

I owned an Island Packet cutter and this is a debate that has raged on forever. I have tried it both ways. In light wind, use of the staysail gives immeasurable results. But in anything over 10 kts it definitely improves upwind performance, but not by much- at best a 1/2 knot improvement.

But the big advantage of a cutter is the ability to sail with the staysail and reefed main only in higher winds- about 30 kts and upwards.

If your staysail isn't setting right, and it sounds like it isn't, have a sailmaker take a look.
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