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Old 31-07-2020, 16:01   #1
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Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

Hi, my boat is a Pearson 367 cutter with self-tending staysail (boom on track mounted on cabin-top). About three years ago I removed the staysail boom, mainly because it was impossible to fit my hard dinghy on the foredeck for the trip to the Abacos. I've been sailing without the staysail boom ever since, and I see no issue with it, and I use the staysail whenever wind is forward of the beam. The boom has a mounting point, a "mast" on the foredeck about nine inches high. Since I have no plans to re-install the staysail boom, I'm thinking of removing the "mast" since it serves no purpose now, and removing it would free up a little deck space.

When I mentioned this to a very experienced sailor, he frowned about it and told me that self-tending staysails are GREAT, and he didn't agree with removing it. But whether I have an RIB or a hard dink on the foredeck, I simply could not put a dink there with the staysail boom mounted. I need to do work on the foredeck anyway to fix some wet core and to re-build the bowsprit, so I figure now is my chance to ditch the "mast". Why would I not do that? Am I missing something?
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Old 31-07-2020, 16:06   #2
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

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Originally Posted by AJ_n_Audrey View Post
Hi, my boat is a Pearson 367 cutter with self-tending staysail (boom on track mounted on cabin-top). About three years ago I removed the staysail boom, mainly because it was impossible to fit my hard dinghy on the foredeck for the trip to the Abacos. I've been sailing without the staysail boom ever since, and I see no issue with it, and I use the staysail whenever wind is forward of the beam. The boom has a mounting point, a "mast" on the foredeck about nine inches high. Since I have no plans to re-install the staysail boom, I'm thinking of removing the "mast" since it serves no purpose now, and removing it would free up a little deck space.

When I mentioned this to a very experienced sailor, he frowned about it and told me that self-tending staysails are GREAT, and he didn't agree with removing it. But whether I have an RIB or a hard dink on the foredeck, I simply could not put a dink there with the staysail boom mounted. I need to do work on the foredeck anyway to fix some wet core and to re-build the bowsprit, so I figure now is my chance to ditch the "mast". Why would I not do that? Am I missing something?
Isn’t the main point of a staysail to funnel wind to you head sail in light wind conditions, and act as a solo headsail with a reefed main in high wind conditions keeping the forces low and center?

Seems to me a staysail is a staple sail for a cruising boat?
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Old 31-07-2020, 16:11   #3
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

I have the same boat but I have davits and a rib. Pretty sure the rib will fit under the staysail boom. Is your staysail on rollerfurling? Did you install tracks for the sheets or are you using the staysail traveller?
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Old 31-07-2020, 16:15   #4
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

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Originally Posted by AJ_n_Audrey View Post
Hi, my boat is a Pearson 367 cutter with self-tending staysail (boom on track mounted on cabin-top). About three years ago I removed the staysail boom, mainly because it was impossible to fit my hard dinghy on the foredeck for the trip to the Abacos. I've been sailing without the staysail boom ever since, and I see no issue with it, and I use the staysail whenever wind is forward of the beam. The boom has a mounting point, a "mast" on the foredeck about nine inches high. Since I have no plans to re-install the staysail boom, I'm thinking of removing the "mast" since it serves no purpose now, and removing it would free up a little deck space.



When I mentioned this to a very experienced sailor, he frowned about it and told me that self-tending staysails are GREAT, and he didn't agree with removing it. But whether I have an RIB or a hard dink on the foredeck, I simply could not put a dink there with the staysail boom mounted. I need to do work on the foredeck anyway to fix some wet core and to re-build the bowsprit, so I figure now is my chance to ditch the "mast". Why would I not do that? Am I missing something?

If you can still sheet the staysail to the traveller track then no reason not to get rid of the “mast”. Lots of staysails are used without booms and are perfectly fine self-tending if you have the sheets on a traveller. Since that seems to be the case you lose nothing by getting rid of the boom, other than not being able to ‘pole’ the clew out when running free.
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Old 31-07-2020, 16:49   #5
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

It's your boat - do whatever you want!

Something that may or may not apply to you:

We wouldn't be able to remove the boom on ours because the clew of the sail goes all the way back to the end of the boom and the sheeting spot for the boom is forward of that. We would need to put in a new sheeting location further back and besides the mast or get a smaller staysail. So we would either end up with less power or no self-tending and we wouldn't be able to sheet the sail in for super-close reaching.

Once I learned how to properly use the staysail it quickly became our favorite sail. We use it everytime we sail. So for us the decision was made to just get a smaller dinghy that fit better under the boom.
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Old 31-07-2020, 17:05   #6
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

My boat is similar size, and I have a self-tacking staysail. I would absolutely NOT remove it. I rely on it for heavy weather sailing, as well as for additional speed when reaching in good seas. It's also great when I'm short-tacking up a narrow channel. I don't tend to use it downwind much.

It certainly means there's no room for a hard dink on the foredeck. This is one reason we use a portabote for our dinghy.
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Old 31-07-2020, 19:46   #7
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

We delivered two Westsail 32's with staysail booms. The first thing I did when rigging our W32 was get rid of the boom. They are a PITA the way most of them are rigged. Decent sail shape hard on the wind but as soon as you ease the sheet the boom kites and the sail has a big belly in it. It gets worse the farther off the wind you go with boom lifting higher and higher till it becomes a danger to anyone on the foredeck. Have the scar to prove it. The only way to control the kiting of the boom is to vang it down but then it's no longer self tacking and requires a trip to the foredeck for every change in trim. Last but not least, the damn thing was always in the way. Had to lash it to the rail to work the windlass. Travelers for the staysail boom are a waste of money. Their short range of travel means you're back with a kiting boom as soon as you crack off a bit.

A lot of the sail handling issues can be cured with a Hoyt boom but you still have that club lurking up there to make life difficult.

With our boat put short tracks on the cabin top and small winches back by he cockpit. Tacking was breeze, release the jib sheet as the passes through the wind then release the staysail sheet and sheet it in on the other side by hand. It was eas to hand the stay sail and almost never needed to use the winch. By now the bow would be through the eye of the wind and easy to pull in the Yankee sheet and winch if necessary. Have always had self steering which would be driving the boat through the tack.
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Old 31-07-2020, 20:41   #8
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

If it were me and I knew I'd never use the boom again I'd definitely get rid of the mast. I see that as an disaster waiting to happen, or maybe I am clumsier than most.
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Old 01-08-2020, 00:47   #9
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Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

I don’t think a few posters read the OP’s post correctly.

Yes, get rid of that “mast”.

I suspect the old salt the OP spoke to, like those posters, didn’t understand that the question was not about getting rid of the staysail but getting rid of the un-needed remnants.

Unless that stubby mast could be used as a mooring post, get rid of it I say.

(Speaking as someone who got rid of the boom and associated hardware for his staysail years ago and has never regretted the decision.)
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:15   #10
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
I have the same boat but I have davits and a rib. Pretty sure the rib will fit under the staysail boom. Is your staysail on rollerfurling? Did you install tracks for the sheets or are you using the staysail traveller?
My hard dinghy absolutely will not fit under the staysail boom, but of course it depends how long the dinghy is. I sheet the staysail straight back to the cockpit. So as long as I'm willing to handle the lines for it, why do I need the boom?
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:20   #11
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

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Originally Posted by IslandInfedel View Post
Isn’t the main point of a staysail to funnel wind to you head sail in light wind conditions, and act as a solo headsail with a reefed main in high wind conditions keeping the forces low and center?

Seems to me a staysail is a staple sail for a cruising boat?
No, I want to keep the staysail, which definitely improves performance to windward, I'm just talking about getting rid of the boom.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:27   #12
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

Thanks Don CL, Roverhi, and GI Low, yours is the same as my current thinking. And thanks Roverhi for the Hoyt boom tip, though I doubt I'll go that way either; and your comments about boom kiting are right on.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:01   #13
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

There are turnbuckles available with a built in gooseneck fitting for the boom. Maybe pull the "mast" (I think the proper term is "gooseneck stand") and swap for a different turnbuckle?
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:03   #14
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

There is no right or wrong answer to the dilemma of a staysail boom, but if you have decided to get rid of the boom I would agree to get rid of the mast. Otherwise it's just an ankle buster, or worse, in heavy seas.

I have always dealt with the inability to have a dinghy on the fore-deck where the staysail boom goes. We can't have davits since we have a steering vane, so we have had to settle for short dinghys that could rest under the mainsail boom and we deflate the dinghy for passages.

Good luck!

Oh, the irony of our problems. The world has a pandemic, food lines, war, joblessness, economic ruin, and of course staysail boom deckspace on our yachts.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:31   #15
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Re: Ditch the Self-Tending Staysail Rig?

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Oh, the irony of our problems. The world has a pandemic, food lines, war, joblessness, economic ruin, and of course staysail boom deckspace on our yachts.
It's true, but sometimes, for some of us, just discussing this stuff is a good way to keep our sanity and reduce a little stress!
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