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Old 01-25-2005, 03:43 AM   #1
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Default Storm Jib

Greetings,

Not new to forums, but new to this one. Not a full time cruiser, but sail my Catalina 42 as much as possible, Florida, Chesapeake Bay, and up to 200 miles off shore, and have set some lofty goals....(Bermuda/Atlantic and then......)

Question: I have a furling jib 135 which will roll up to 100 nicely, but is useless after that. I have no inner forestay. I feel the need to have a storm jib on board. There's the gale sail, but that's another BU. A sailmaker said to find a nice used stormjib, with a wire luff, and no hanks, and just fly it freestanding, with the halyard to a winch and cranked tight. Does anyone have experience flying a storm sail like this? Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:15 PM   #2
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I guess theoretically it's possiblee.. My stormjib, however, mmade by Winters Sailmakers of Hampton, Virginia last year,has lots of hanks. I think this is one my arguments against the luxury of rolling headsails. I think that I want one when I'm up there on the bow, and the boat's pitching and rolling, but the tradeoff is, that each of my four headsails has a specific purpose.

I realize that with a larger boat, say over 35 feet, that sails are huge and hard for one man or woman to deal with. I've always had a pet theory that this is why yawls and ketches used to be so popular--smaller sails.

Back to point: I'm not an expert in this area, but when I close my eyes and try to visuallize a stormjib that isn't attached to the forestay, it makes me think that you'll have control problems.

-Robin
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:55 PM   #3
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I forgot. We had a hankless storm jib that Peter hated trying to fly, until we blew out our main trying to do our version of a heave-to. It was the big gust (we were sailing in 45-50 knot winds, with gusts of ?) that forced him to finally deploy it.

By the time we deployed it we had finally decided we needed to seek shelter rather than continue making progress to weather. Watermelon had an inner forestay for our heavy weather sails (this was an added stay, not one that was stock with the boat). In heavy weather you want to bring your headsail closer to the mast to ease weather helm. It also doesn't catch as much green water that comes in over the bow. A hankless storm jib is of course even better - higher off the deck, small area, further in from the bow than your regular headsail. In the kinds of wind you would be deploying it, you are less interested in making good progress, more in maintaining control of your boat, which this sail will do.

Watermelon does not like to heave to, and so we don't do it often, or the way other boats do. Our version of heaving to was to reduce sail drastically and continue sailing our course.
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:32 AM   #4
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Jeanne,

I've never even heard of one of these... and I thought I knew a lot about sails (albeit not as much as some of my friends who might be reading this)... Where did you get this, and wouldn't you have to really, really, really tighten the halyard, more so than usual to keep the luff close to the forstay?

-Robin
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:38 AM   #5
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I wish I had Watermelon and the sail here to look at. Our memory is a bit iffy on this since it was used last in 1995 (! well, we didn't go LOOKING for heavy weather!). In that kind of weather I was most unhappy that Peter had to go forward to set it up - I would have much rather used the inner forestaysail so that nobody had to leave the cockpit. However, I don't remember that he tried so hard to get it close to the forestay - why, after all, was that necessary? Hoisting it tight was of course necessary, but it wasn't as tight as a hanked onto the forestay sail. Wire luff, though, (I guess) kept it from working very hard, and we watched carefully to make sure it was tight enough that it didn't pump the mast.

Sorry, that's the best I can describe it, it was 'way too long ago, and I remember the good experiences far more vividly that the uncomfortable ones.
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:50 PM   #6
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Oscar, in reading Jeanne's comments - and noting that WATERMELON carries an inner stay plus noting that she describes their storm jib, set flying free, as being further aft than the forestay - my hunch is that they were able to tack their storm jib near their inner stay, or at least not out on the bow. That's not an option you have on your stock Catalina 42. And I surely concur with her that thinking that putting a storm jib either around or in place of your furled genoa (out on the pointy end) is not THE preferred choice, and perhaps - depends on how your C42 handles with a heavily reefed main or no main at all - not good choice whatsoever.

I think it's probably time for you to accept the reality of your cruising plans and, if you plan to do them in your C42, plan on installing an inner stay. If you are serious about Bermuda and beyond, you'll discover few boats in those waters that don't have some alternative method to relying on a single forestay, EVEN IF the boat is not equipped with a furling headsail. Since you're based in the USA, you probably only think of this in terms of a staysail stay (inner stay roughly parallel to the forestay); that's what we seem to know and about all we're exposed to in the U.S.. If you were in Europe, you would find far more boats equipped with Solent Stays - a second, inner stay anchored near the masthead and, on deck, at the intersection where the bulkhead between the forward cabin and the chain locker lies. I've seen new Beneteaus, Jeanneaus and the occasional Rassy & Rustler equipped this way, just as a few examples, and have seen many boats retro'd this way while in Europe.

The advantages of this choice, along with offering you an alternative stay in heavy air, is that it's usually easier & cheaper to install and less cluttered (no separate staysail sheet track nor intermediate or running backstays). You may find more info on this in the Archives on Brion Toss' site (www.briontoss.com); he's a big proponent of this option. You can also read my notes on installing one aboard WHOOSH at www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/Whoosh%20Main%20Page.htm (in the Preparing for Europe section), altho' I think a better way to mount the stay at the masthead is featured in an article on adding an inner stay on ROUSER (http://www.ourdotcom.com/TripLog/Get...erHeadstay.htm) and would choose that option next time around.

It's a real education to walk the docks in a place like Horta in the Azores, where every boat had to sail 1K+ NM to reach, and notice how often you see inner stays and wind vanes. For contemporary sail plans and underbodies like your C42, I hear owners commenting that in heavy air they tend to douse the main altogether and sail off a deeply reefed furling jib...but they sure don't go where they might want, and they must be sitting in the cockpit hoping the wind strength (and more importantly, seas) go down, not futher up. An inner stay and dead simple/powerful/reliable self-steering are your best friends in such conditions, and that's really where I'd encourage you to put your focus.

Good luck on the prep.

Jack
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Old 06-28-2005, 04:00 AM   #7
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I think the idea is that you use a storm jib with a wire luff. The wire luff takes the place of the forestay. The sail is effectively "hanked on" the wire luff by the hem in which the wire is enclosed. When you consider the forestay must support the mast first and the sail second, a storm jib flying from an enclosed wire makes sense.

Peter
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Old 06-28-2005, 07:33 AM   #8
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The problems with a storm jib set flying, are twofold

1. The sail is not easily controlled while hoisting and dowsing

2. It is hard, even with a good winch, to get a straitish luff which is, of course, what one wants to be able to claw to weather.

A third issue is the luff wire itself. It makes the sail impossible to stow (a 'snake in a bag') and even a stainless luff wire will rust and mark, not only the sail, but the bag, and anything it touches in the sail locker.

A better idea (if you must have a stayless storm jib), which I find satisfactory, is to use spectra as the luff rope.
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:11 PM   #9
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must say this is one of the most interesting of the many useful discussions i have found on this forum

thanks to all you guys for sharing your info and experiences

in particular the spectra replacement for a luff wire is interesting; i know it has less STRETCH that steel but does it have more STRENGTH?
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:06 AM   #10
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Depending on diameter, Spectra is about 68% to 90% the strength of SS wire rope of the same diameter. But, for example, 5/16" wire rope is not as strong as 7/16" Spectra, a more likely substitution (Spectra's breaking strength for 7/16" is 11,700 pounds (5318 kg), and 5/16" wire rope's breaking strength is about 8,300 pounds (~3800 kg).
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Old 06-30-2005, 07:59 AM   #11
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I should have added (at risk of stating the obvious) that, with regard to using spectra, you must also use a spare wire or spectra halyard (you can't for example use a spinnaker halyard or topping lift), and a spectra bridle or strop at the tack, otherwise the non stretch element is defeated.

Also, if you don't have a dedicated tack position on the deck and attach a bridle to, say, your mooring bollard or cleats, and then grind hell out of a spectra halyard, you are at risk of lifting the foredeck. The whole geometry should be carefully thought out and a boatbuilder consulted if there's any doubt.
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:45 PM   #12
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thanks for the clarification, baggy. for the greener gang on this forum it is more than welcome when someone states the obvious and one derives either learning or reassurance.

i sail the x 372 sport (37 footer) in mumbai and we often fly a reacher (flattish asymmetric spinnaker). we just tack the sail on a 3 foot length of spectra (6mm) which is cleated to the windward bow cleat.

layman's logic says that if the cleat is strong enough to keep the boat on the mooring, its definitely strong enough for the sail

i guess the more relevant points here are two:

IN WHICH DIRECTION is the loading - the bow cleat is strongest for horizontal / downward loading and weaker in the case of upward loading as in the case of the sail or the over tensioned halyard

SHOCK LOADING - the cleat is not meant to take too much shock loading; as happens when a sail may suddenly collapse and refill. this kind of loading does not happen when a boat swings around its moorings

your comments...?
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:00 AM   #13
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Yes, that's the point.

On my solid wooden boat I set up, as a tack for my flying storm jib, a bridle which triangulates the tack down to cleats on port and starboard. These are are not only bolted through the beam shelf, but are fairly close to the stem head. This still keeps the sail away from the rolled headsail.

It's preferable, however, to bring the tack of the storm jib closer to the centre of effort of the sail plan, so long as the attachment point is solid (either a dedicated inner forestay fitting or a solidly reinforced cleat or bollard (over, say, a bulkhead or substantial deck beam). As I say, one needs expert boatbuilding advice.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:52 AM   #14
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just to get theoretical again

what would you say to a system that triangulates both ways - transversely as you have described - port and starboard mooring cleats - as well as fore and aft - mast step to fore tack

i guess there would be a tangle of lines / webbing on the foredeck but would this make the arrangement more secure?

tks for all the replies and guidance
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