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Old 15-04-2019, 13:11   #1
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What do I do with the sheets?

I have a double headstay rig for the first time. So, naturally, I have a dumb question. What do I do with my reacher (most forward furler) sheets when using the self-tacking jib (after furler)? If I leave the reacher sheets in place and running back to the cockpit as they are normally used, when using the jib they rub against it even when close-hauled. Reaching or running it is even worse.

I'm guessing the answer is to bring both entire port and starboard reacher sheets forward from the cockpit and attach them to the pushpit when using the jib. But this means a trip to the foredeck and rigging the reacher sheets if I want to switch sails. A bit of a fuss but no big deal. Or I could put tremendous slack on the reacher sheets from the cockpit end and let them droop tremendously. But this seems intuitively wrong.

Am I correct? Is there a better way? Thanks!
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Old 15-04-2019, 13:50   #2
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

We have rope bags hung on the lifelines for the tails of the lines and sheets we're not using. We do leave the forwardmost sheets rove through their blocks, so that, as you've noticed, the staysail (the inner one) does lie against those slack sheets which are eased enough the sail shape is not compromised. After about 6 yrs (iirc), there is no visible chafing on the staysail.

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Old 16-04-2019, 05:16   #3
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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We have rope bags hung on the lifelines for the tails of the lines and sheets we're not using. We do leave the forwardmost sheets rove through their blocks, so that, as you've noticed, the staysail (the inner one) does lie against those slack sheets which are eased enough the sail shape is not compromised. After about 6 yrs (iirc), there is no visible chafing on the staysail.

Ann
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. Do you put a stopper knot or something somewhere on the sheets you're not using before placing them in the bag?
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Old 16-04-2019, 08:30   #4
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

I wonder... could you put slack in the sheets, leaving them in the blocks and walk them forward so they are both looped down to a point forward of the inner stay and lashed or hooked (a la reef hooks?) there? They would be still be run outside of the lifelines and stanchions right? Maybe at the base of the forward pulpit stanchions? When it is time to unfurl, someone would need to go forward and release the sheets, but otherwise they are still ready to go. Just a thought.
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Old 16-04-2019, 09:26   #5
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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I wonder... could you put slack in the sheets, leaving them in the blocks and walk them forward so they are both looped down to a point forward of the inner stay and lashed or hooked (a la reef hooks?) there? They would be still be run outside of the lifelines and stanchions right? Maybe at the base of the forward pulpit stanchions? When it is time to unfurl, someone would need to go forward and release the sheets, but otherwise they are still ready to go. Just a thought.
Similar idea: what about one or two snatch blocks somewhere forward to reroute the sheets when not in use? When in use, just take them off the snatch blocks.
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Old 16-04-2019, 09:47   #6
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

We've had a double-headsail rig for many years. We just put enough slack in the forward sheets to avoid interfering with our solent sail. It helps that our solent has a fairly high clew. It's never been a problem. Maybe once every few hours underway we observe a little too much slack in the unused sheets, and give them a yank to keep them on the deck.
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Old 16-04-2019, 10:20   #7
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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I wonder... could you put slack in the sheets, leaving them in the blocks and walk them forward so they are both looped down to a point forward of the inner stay and lashed or hooked (a la reef hooks?) there? They would be still be run outside of the lifelines and stanchions right? Maybe at the base of the forward pulpit stanchions? When it is time to unfurl, someone would need to go forward and release the sheets, but otherwise they are still ready to go. Just a thought.
You have to envision that the reacher sheets start at the clew of the furled sail. This is eight feet or so off of the deck. So while they go outside of the life lines to get to their first blocks, they are right where the jib will fly. So the problem is not the at-the-deck portion of the run - it's the bit from the furler to the first block. Walking them forward from the cockpit would not help.
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Old 16-04-2019, 12:39   #8
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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You have to envision that the reacher sheets start at the clew of the furled sail. This is eight feet or so off of the deck. So while they go outside of the life lines to get to their first blocks, they are right where the jib will fly. So the problem is not the at-the-deck portion of the run - it's the bit from the furler to the first block. Walking them forward from the cockpit would not help.
Hmmm... maybe I am not being clear... I am imagining when the reacher is furled the sheets are brought forward to hang down along the furled sail and then down to lashing or hooks near the tack of that sail, and then can run back up over the lifelines along the rail to their blocks.
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Old 16-04-2019, 14:02   #9
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. Do you put a stopper knot or something somewhere on the sheets you're not using before placing them in the bag?
No, we don't. However, on other boats I've sailed on, people would tie a slip knot just aft of the sheet blocks for the "lazy" sheets, so that a pull on the tail of the line would undo the slip knot, but the knot kept the desired degree of slack. We jusl let it find its own comfort zone. Our foreguy has a stopper knot, and our halyards, but not our sheets, we want them to be able to run, even if you might have to chase them down and re-reave them.

Ann
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Old 16-04-2019, 18:50   #10
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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You have to envision that the reacher sheets start at the clew of the furled sail. This is eight feet or so off of the deck. [...]

I keep a bit of tension on the sheets when furling the headsail but as soon as it's rolled in give lots of slack to the sheets while continuing the spinning another 4 or 5 turns (until the furling line is all out).

That causes both sheets to taper down the headsail all the way to the drum. They look like a corkscrew and are now low enough to avoid or greatly reduce any contact with the staysail.
It could work similarly for you, although you might have to re-roll the furler drum to give you those extra 5 turns.
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Old 16-04-2019, 22:46   #11
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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Hmmm... maybe I am not being clear... I am imagining when the reacher is furled the sheets are brought forward to hang down along the furled sail and then down to lashing or hooks near the tack of that sail, and then can run back up over the lifelines along the rail to their blocks.
Couple respondents have missed this point, that the OP was questioning.
Having to go forward on deck to do all of that is exactly what the OP was asking if he could somehow avoid. Usually you may be using the staysail in upwind work in more rough conditions where boat motion is enough that you would like to avoid the trips forward if possible.

We have a staysail but somehow it never gets let out enough to contact the slacked genoa sheets, at least not that I have noticed (maybe I'm just lazy). If we are off the wind that much then we would use a partially unfurled genoa and the staysail comes down on deck (no furler, just lash it to the bases of the stanchions). Now, a beam reach in heavy weather might lead to the OP's issue, but seems our courses are either close hauled or nearly dead downwind whenever it pipes up.
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Old 16-04-2019, 23:20   #12
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Re: What do I do with the sheets?

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I keep a bit of tension on the sheets when furling the headsail but as soon as it's rolled in give lots of slack to the sheets while continuing the spinning another 4 or 5 turns (until the furling line is all out).

That causes both sheets to taper down the headsail all the way to the drum. They look like a corkscrew and are now low enough to avoid or greatly reduce any contact with the staysail.
It could work similarly for you, although you might have to re-roll the furler drum to give you those extra 5 turns.

Smart.
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