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Old 03-08-2020, 20:30   #1
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Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

Possibly thinking about a Pacific Seacraft 27. Its a cutter rig. Is a cutter rig a hassle to use? I dont have any experience with a cutter? Would this be more important if I was doing more cruising? I would like a boat that I can sail around the SF bay, take to Mexico and possibly Hawaii. What is the benefits to a cutter verses a sloop?
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Old 05-08-2020, 00:03   #2
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Re: Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

smaller head sales easier to handle by one person. saw one for sale in Dana Point over the weekend.
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Old 05-08-2020, 02:26   #3
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Re: Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

Pacific Seacraft are great boats. Don't know about the Orion specifically.

Cutter rig is preferable for bluewater, as it offers a variable sail plan. Put up all or fewer sails according to the weather and all sails are smaller and thus easier to handle if you're a single-hander.

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Old 05-08-2020, 05:22   #4
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Re: Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

Quote:
Originally Posted by dofthesea View Post
Possibly thinking about a Pacific Seacraft 27. Its a cutter rig. Is a cutter rig a hassle to use? I dont have any experience with a cutter? Would this be more important if I was doing more cruising? I would like a boat that I can sail around the SF bay, take to Mexico and possibly Hawaii. What is the benefits to a cutter verses a sloop?

Here are my notes from the last few threads where this topic came up.


----


Nomenclature
* Forward sail = yankee (or headsail or jib)
* mid sail = staysail (or forestaysail)


Size and cut
  • Yankee is typically 100% and higher cut than the jib on a sloop.
  • A genoa is typically not used, because the combination of the yankee and staysail provide sufficient area
    • But some skippers only use the staysail when reefed down, and set a genoa with no staysail.
    • Could consider a gennaker with a top-down furler to cover reach and run.

Relationship with roller reefing
  • On most modern cruising cutters, the yankee is on a roller furler.
  • Approaches vary regarding the staysail.
    • Some use roller reefing, mainly for convenience in setting and dousing sail.
    • Some use hanked-on staysails.
      • The main advantage is a quicker transition to the storm sail, should that become necessary.
      • Storm sail can be left hanked on all the time below the staysail, or stored below.


Benefits
  • Better alternatives and performance when reefing.
    • Since a large, low-cut genoa is not required on the roller, the reefed sail has better shape.
    • Sail plan remains balanced with the yankee completely furled, with the boat sailing on the reefed main and staysail. In contrast, the center of effort on a sloop moves forward when reefing, leading to lee helm.
  • Easier sail handling in gale/storm conditions.
    • Sloops with roller furling have the problem of removing the genoa from the furler in difficult conditions.
  • The higher-cut yankee is less likely to catch a wave than a sloop's genoa, and the lower portion of the foretriangle is filled by the staysail so that the same amount of drive is maintained. Also offers improved visibility
  • Lighter sheet loads and easier sail handling due to smaller sails.
  • In storm conditions where the staysail is used alone, it is easier and safer to access for the crew than the jib on a sloop.
  • Allows setting a storm jib on the inner stay during heavy weather. With a sloop, can't set a storm jib without taking the genoa off the roller which is extremely problematic in poor conditions.
  • Somewhat better performance on a reach
  • Easier to heave to
  • Some sailors consider the rig more stable structurally due to the presence of the baby stay
  • In the absence of roller reefing, it is less frequently necessary to change sails on a cutter because can fly either/both giving 3 options for reefing where the sail not in use can be lashed or bagged without being removed.

Historical benefits
  • Earlier sail materials would stretch and large jibs were hard to make
  • Lighter sheet loads were of particular importance before winches were in widespread use.

Drawbacks
  • Tacking is more difficult with two headsails on. This is the main disadvantage
    • On some boats, the staysail has a boom and is self tacking
    • On some boats, the staysail sheet has a track, and is self tacking
    • Also possible to douse the staysail and just sail on the yankee and main when there is a need for short tacking.
  • Will generally require an asymmetrical spinnaker for good downwind performance in light wind, because there isn't a genoa to pole out.
    • But many sloops find that an asymmetric is a better solution than a poled out genoa for various reasons.
  • Mixed reports on upwind performance, probably not materially worse, depends on the boat and crew
  • Additional hardware and rigging

Sloop/cutter
  • Some people sail a rig that is essentially a sloop with a (usually removable) inner forestay that is only used under specific conditions. A roller-furled genoa is set in place of a yankee.
  • If the inner forestay is not removable then it gets in the way of tacking the genoa.

Drawbacks appear when going upwind
    • Theoretical performance is somewhat reduced compared to a sloop
    • Ordinarily the yankee and staysail are not self-tacking and so there are two pairs of sheets to manipulate
    • On some boats the yankee is replaced by a genoa and the staysail is stowed when there is a need for short tacking for maneuverability
  • Sources differ on downwind sailing
    • Staysail not used when running.
    • Some proponents of cutter rigs state that cutter rigs are better when sailing wing-and-wing since the sails are better balanced and the yankee is less likely to catch a wave while poled out.
    • Others state that the rig ends up undercanvassed in this situation.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:01   #5
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Re: Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

the cutter rig with the staysail allows flexibility when setting sail. the hassle is tacking the jib past the staysail. in light air it will get caught and you have to go up to the bow to fix it. ease of use also depends on whether you have roller furling.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:27   #6
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Re: Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

You will probably love the cutter rig.


You get this small jib that is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread should you one day encounter somewhat boisterous and lively conditions offshore. Which is guaranteed given your plans.


Go fo it. A great choice of a boat.



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Old 06-08-2020, 01:32   #7
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Re: Pacific Sea Craft 27 Orion

Also if the yankee rips, the furler jams, etc you have the staysail as backup and youre not dead in the water.
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