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Old 07-01-2005, 05:34 PM   #15
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I'm a bit embarrassed at being elevated to the role of world expert of flying storm jibs , but here goes:-

the whole issue should be seen through a lens which is covered with spray and probably a fair amount of solid water as well. By definition it is going to be blowing like hell, and not only will the fellow hoisting this sail need to know what he's doing, but there will be no hope of meaningful communication with whoever is at the helm, assuming there is someone there.

Added to which he is going to have one hand for the ship and one hand for setting up the jib. Simplicity is key to the whole thing. It needs to be a assembled with a minimum of fuss and time. The system I advocate is a compromise with certain inherent problems (principally the lack of a stay to maintain control of the sail).

I guess my default position would be that (a) if you want to keep a rolled headsail and ( set a storm jib flying and © dont have a strong tack point on the foredeck, then it would be better to tack the headsail to the foot of the forestay and put up with a bit of chafe.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-04-2005, 08:03 AM   #16
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Sorry to go back to the beginning, but there is an unanswered question here about "what do you want a storm jib for?". I reckon that you answer that question in the context of a sail system. A storm sail system would include either a deeply reefed and suitably reinforced mainsail, or a trysail with its own track. This would be my first storm sail. Then if you wanted to plug to windward and reckoned that the boat would stand it you would add a storm jib. It would also depend on the performance of your boat under different sail plans.

Just to give you some idea of the forces involved here: Our trysail is 90 square feet (sorry for the old measurements). The sheets are 12mm double braid polyester. Hove to in a steady 38-40knots gusting 50 knots (Bass Strait with short nasty breaking seas), you could see the sheets shrinking to 50% of their original diameter in the gusts and water would squirt out of them! So whatever you do with your tack fitting needs to be strong (as does the sheeting system etc). In addition you need to ensure that you are not setting up a "crumpling" force by tacking to 2 separated cleats with a weak area of deck between them. My memory says that force increases as the square of the wind speed, so be wary.

IMHO I'd either go for a gale sail style of connection with parrell beads around the rolled headsail (added bonus is the rolled headsail has some further containment making it harder for it to get loose) OR I'd set up and properly reinforce a "removable" inner forestay with a Highfield style lever. However answer the first question first: "What is my intention with this sail?".

Regards

Mike
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Old 07-04-2005, 03:50 PM   #17
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I'm not sure about elsewhere but to go offshore from NZ we are required to have both trysail and storm jib.

I agree that, depending on boat type (particularly keel configuration) the trysail might be a better first choice as a storm sail, although in my pre-roller furling days I had the storm jib on the forestay before I even thought the trysail might be needed.

What we are talking about here is cruising/passagemaking in a sloop with a rolled headsail. In this context the storm jib can be more than a storm sail (though clearly it's set-up must take this into account).

If a headsail of even modest proportions (say 120%) is roller reefed in hard going, it is going to suffer serious distortion and probably damage. A storm jib can be a better alternative to keep the boat balanced (with, say, a deep reefed main). And the question is, how to set it?

1. There is no argument that a dedicated (perhaps removeable)inner forestay is the best choice.

2. Maybe the next best bet is to bring down a spectra halyard to a proper forestay fixture and hank the storm jib to this. But even with soft hanks there is going to be some chafe.

3. I've given an option, which I currently use, and which my sailmaker saw used on Vendee Globe boats. Set it flying aft of the forestay. This has to be well thought out and the sail is difficult to control when hoisting and dousing.

4. Pelorus32's option of parrell beeded luff rings might well be better, although (unless I'm much mistaken, and please say so if I am) there is an issue of removing the headsail sheets (which on my boat are out of reach) in order to hoist the storm jib up the rolled sail .

5. What I am sure about is that the wrap-around systems (where a luff sleave is zipped around the rolled headsail are diabolical. Even in calm it is difficult to hoist and douse.
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:55 AM   #18
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I Like Baggywrinkle's summary.

Interestingly after my post yesterday I went to a meeting last night and the speaker was a very experienced local sailmaker. He spoke among other things about storm sails, including some things that have been tried and found less than successful.

On his "don't do it" list for storm sails were:

Jibs set free flying;

Luff sleeves;

Sails set low to the deck;

Sheeting the trysail to the boom;

On his "successful storm sail ideas" list were:

A dedicated inner forestay;

Sails set well off the deck;

Parrell beads used around a roller furled sail (see below);

Sheets always bent to storm sails;

A dedicated separate mast track for your trysail.

He was specifically asked the question about "what do you do with the sheets of a roller furled sail when you use parrell beads?". The answer was: Wrap the sheets 2-3 times around the furled headsail by just keeping on furling it, then bring them to the deck at the base of the headsail stay. They don't need to be hooked to anything, just enclose them in the parrell beads.

When you come to think about using a storm sail you should visualise what it's like moving on the deck in 50 knots of wind. Then add consideration of the likely movement from the sea state and the amount of breaking water on the deck. In my experience it's a bit hard to stand upright in 50 knots, then you add the movement etc. In greater than 50 knots it's very hard to do anything but crawl, you certainly have difficulty seeing anything and you can't look to windward. Handling a "complex" stormsail setup or trying to hoist or (more likely) dowse an unstayed sail in those conditions would be very hard and would potentialy result in the loss of the sail, the halyard and in extreme situations maybe the mast.

Regards

Mike
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:20 PM   #19
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Thanks Pelorus for that explanation re beeded luff. Do the beads not get hung up as they pass the rolled sheets?

Your comments re trysails are most a propos!:-

When I rebuilt the mast in my previous 39 foot sloop, I installed a separate track which paralleled the mainsail track and then led (via some nice gentle curves past the main gooseneck)right down to the deck, where the trysail lived (permanently while at sea, and with it's sheets and tack bridle attached) in it's own zippered turtle bag.

Incidentally, when this was installed, I overlooked fitting a stopper which is necessary to position the trysail headboard at the correct height for the sheets to lead properly (in this case back to the spinnaker turning blocks on each quarter). The first time we hoisted the trysail we pulled it out of top of the track with slightly alarming results.

The mast in my new 44 footer has several fittings and a winch pad in the way of such an arrangement so, against my better judgement, I have delayed doing anything about installing a separate track.

But the thought of having to feed the trysail through the track gate disturbs me greatly, and your reminder is most timely.
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