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Old 23-11-2016, 23:11   #16
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Cutter theory

Nice video of the slot.
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Old 23-11-2016, 23:12   #17
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Re: Cutter theory

Cool video wish I was out there with you on my boat. Thanks for sharing
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Old 24-11-2016, 04:49   #18
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Re: Cutter theory

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Originally Posted by Laskadog View Post
While researching bluewater sailboats I've read time and time again that one of the advantages of a cutter rig is the versatility of the sail plan. Particularly that in heavy winds one can reef the main and use only the staysail, thus keeping the sail area more centered and the boat well balanced.

However most bluewater cutters I've seen have the outer forestay mounted at the end of the bowsprit and the inner stay basically at the tip of the bow, where most sloops have their foresail mounted. So wouldn't it stand to reason that it is no more centered than a sloop? I'm sure the reason is very technical and the position of the mast is different, but I'd love to hear what is the advantage of 2 foresails for far forward.

Thanks,
I don't know of what boats you are talking about but modern voyage boats, that maximize the rig for versatility and for what you are describing, don't use that configuration (that only makes sense on heavy boats, mostly old designs).

Now they use a removable furling geenaker on the bowsprit, they have the forestay at the bow and a more centred one for the inner sail:




















Old heavy designs:


As you say a more centered stay works better in heavy weather but older designs were heavy and needed a lot of sail to go relatively well on light wind and the above choice made sense then. Also the use of modern geenakers on rollers appeared at two decades as an easy way to improve performance on very light winds and that gives more freedom for the options on the rig, being obviously the bowsprit reserved for that sail.
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Old 24-11-2016, 05:00   #19
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Re: Cutter theory

Hi Uncivilized,

I don't say that there can't be rigs with two headsails and no bowsprit that work--I just mention that they cannot be considered cutters. If you say, "How dare you say anything with two headsails is not a cutter, you snob!," you're forgetting that two headsails alone does not a cutter make, and when discussing the merits of a two-headsail rig, you have to consider other factors. So for the sake of clarity--in order to better answer the OP's question--the distinction needs to be made. Should the OP not know that a full-keel, gaff-rigged Atkins cutter is going to handle differently than a Valiant? What if he buys a Catalina on which someone added an inner forestay and thinks he has a cutter?
No, we need to have clear terms, or the OP's question gets reduced to: "What are the advantages of a sailboat?" I suggest that in the absence of a bowsprit, but with an inner forestay, we call the rig a "Slutter" (sloop-that-wishes-it-was-a-cutter) who's with me?
Also, you can't say that because some rigs may be hard to trim (poor design? incompetence? could be anything), that there is a fundamental failure in what a cutter is.
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Old 24-11-2016, 06:51   #20
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Re: Cutter theory

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...
It's what I tried to do earlier to some degree, but I'm not a historical rigging expert. Though I've more than a fair understanding of how rigs, keels, & hulls interact together.

Sometimes the cult of the cutter gets in the way of it's realities. Such as that flying 2 small headsails in the same patch of real estate can create quite a bit of aerodynamic interference if not done exactly right. Both in terms of where each corner of the sail is anchored, & the same for their sheets. Especially as compared to one big jib. And the fact that the main is then operating in the bad air created by 2 sails, not one. A point which some folks take irrational offense to, despite it's truth.

Ditto on the fact that it takes a lot more work to keep 2 headsails optimally tuned vs. one large one. Especially when the wind is variable, or the seas make keeping an arrow straight course difficult.
BTW, poor trim, & more drag, equals slower speeds, more heeling, less pointing, & more leeway.
...
Don't get me wrong, I like the rig. But dogma has to give way to common sense, science, & advances in materials, hardware (esp. furling gear), sail design, & rigging. So that if the design of, & techniques for using cutter rigs gets altered, & it's for their betterment, perhaps it makes sense? Maybe?

BTW, Solent's rock too (the rig, & the sails), as do Code 0's (true 0's). Though none of them are anywhere near new either. But all add to a boat's versatility. Even Cutters.
...
Edit: I owned one for a number of years, before my seeming bias is called into question.
Regarding performance a cutter rig, as you say is an inferior option and that is why today it is mostly used only in boats that need the extra versatility and easiness in choosing the more adequate sail for a given wind. Even so it is debatable if some of those boats are not really using a solent rig. The fact is that the rig is not designed to be sailed with the two sails at the same tine, like on a true cutter rig.

Today even many big yachts don't use a cutter configuration (but a solent one) and it is not really needed for small yachts that can use a removable stay sail for heavy weather, giving them the advantage of a cutter rig with just a bit more work (in very rare occasions) in exchange for a better performance most of the time. Anyway on those big yachts the sails are not to be used at the same time. They use one or another.





The modern ones that use a Cutter rig are mostly boats designed for sailing on really high latitudes where those where frequent high winds will justify the use of a permanently set small sail.

I had a boat with a cutter rig, my actual boat has a removable dynema stay that I only used once for trying it. On about 10 000nm made with this boat I never needed to use the storm sail on the removable stay sail, but I would not make a passage without it.
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Old 24-11-2016, 07:32   #21
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Re: Cutter theory

Hi OP here, Gotta say, I'm really appreciating all the technical explanations relating to multiple fore sails and their effect on performance and versatility. Keep them coming, for my sake and others who are still learning as myself. My interest lies in choosing the right boat for my needs. I have a First 235, but one day will buy a cruising boat with possible bluewater aspirations.

I also appreciate the discussion on terminology and history. I also love that stuff, especially when these boat characteristics are explained.

Obviously design and technology might be moving faster than terminology. Solent rig, Slutter and other terms pop up here and there and may one day be official terms. I might suggest Sloopter as well, since Slutter might have a slightly negative connotation preventing it from main steam use

Keep them coming! Thanks.
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Old 24-11-2016, 08:16   #22
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Re: Cutter theory

Polux, I wish you'd do us all the courtesy of either:

A) Stop putting enormous pictures into every single post you make, or

B) Learn how to resize them down to reasonable size.

For those of us using laptops, a post from Polux renders the thread virtually unreadable because it stretches the width of EVERY post on the page to the width of your pictures, requiring us to pan sideways to read them. A real PITA. I'm very close to adding you to my ignore list so I can actually read a thread without trackpad gymnastics.
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Old 24-11-2016, 08:34   #23
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pirate Re: Cutter theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Polux, I wish you'd do us all the courtesy of either:

A) Stop putting enormous pictures into every single post you make, or

B) Learn how to resize them down to reasonable size.

For those of us using laptops, a post from Polux renders the thread virtually unreadable because it stretches the width of EVERY post on the page to the width of your pictures, requiring us to pan sideways to read them. A real PITA. I'm very close to adding you to my ignore list so I can actually read a thread without trackpad gymnastics.
It would make life a lot easier here..
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Old 24-11-2016, 09:18   #24
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Re: Cutter theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Polux, I wish you'd do us all the courtesy of either:

A) Stop putting enormous pictures into every single post you make, or

B) Learn how to resize them down to reasonable size.

For those of us using laptops, a post from Polux renders the thread virtually unreadable because it stretches the width of EVERY post on the page to the width of your pictures, requiring us to pan sideways to read them. A real PITA. I'm very close to adding you to my ignore list so I can actually read a thread without trackpad gymnastics.
Something wrong there. They are automatically resized on my laptop on a window and only if you click there they will appear bigger.

Maybe someone can explain why that does not happen in your laptop.
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Old 24-11-2016, 10:13   #25
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Re: Cutter theory

I sail my whole sailing life in 2 true cutters, now I see the word CUTTER is one of the most prostituted boat terms in a long list... they call Cutter to almost anything with 2 forestays , bowsprit or not.

Polux, your Comet is not a cutter , its a Fractional Sloop.. A removable second Dyna stay don't make your sail plan Cutter, and also a Solent rig is not a cutter in any way..
Back to topic, yes, is one of the more versatile sail plans available, and safer to, with the mast aft and a small mainsail , in seaways is one of the most balanced spots in the deck, I mean reefing or working at the mast base is safer...Also the ability to fly a heavy staysail close to the center is a bonus... probably to me is the main reason, the ability to furl and unfurl a heavy sail from the cockpit in heavy winds, solent rigs can do the same but with some differences, they usually need runners and the sail is far way from the Center, to me the Solent rig is a unbalanced rig,, and tune properly both furlers is a pain in the ass, why? when you get proper fwd furler tension the inner one is out of tune or the reverse ... also trying to fly both sails is complicated... and tacking the fwd sail have the same problem as cutters with the inner forestay.

I could say the hero is the staysail, its a wonderful sail to fly in a wide range of conditions , and in heavy air is the Queen...
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Old 24-11-2016, 10:22   #26
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Re: Cutter theory

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Something wrong there. They are automatically resized on my laptop on a window and only if you click there they will appear bigger.

Maybe someone can explain why that does not happen in your laptop.
A little searching revealed that my forum settings for image display (User Control Panel > Setting and Options > Thread Display Options) was set to "Show original size" instead of what is listed as the Default (resize images) although I'm fairly certain I never changed it. Perhaps that feature was added and it defaulted to that accidentally for older users. Strange.
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Old 24-11-2016, 10:25   #27
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Re: Cutter theory

Well when I see a Polux 2 miles long post usually I switch full ahead the electric engine In my mouse wheel....LoL
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Old 24-11-2016, 10:27   #28
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Re: Cutter theory

Frankly I don't think the semantics matter. Whether a Passport or Valiant 40 or etc with no bowsprit is a true cutter or not really has nothing to do with how it sails or how easy it is to sail. Call it a double headsail sloop or a cutter. The point is you can sail it like one.
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Old 24-11-2016, 10:53   #29
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Re: Cutter theory

But given that a staysail on a true cutter is further forward and the mast further aft than a sloop with an extra stay, wouldn't it mean that the latter has a more centered sail plan? Hence more balanced? Thx
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Old 24-11-2016, 10:57   #30
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Re: Cutter theory

Depends a lot on the underwater profile in relation to the center of effort of the rig. And anytime you change the rig by reefing or striking a sail that changes.
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