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Old 06-21-2008, 12:32 PM   #1
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Aloha everybody...I have a Halcyon 27 with roller furling genoa which is quite large...friend told me that if the weather gets nasty it is too big and rolling it want do any good to reduce the area and still be able to use the sail to beat to Windward........not talking about it unrolling itself at the most inconvenient moment and big fat sausage of the sail on the forestay when fully rolled up ......because of that I was thinking to install inner removable stay for hank on storm trysail.....but now I have found deep in the locker long forgotten and almost new storm trysail for the roller furling with the wire luff which fits in the slot where the genoa is......how doable is it , in the blow ,to take the genoa of the furlling drum and put the storm try sail in its place...... or would I be better of spending 350 pounds sterling to put in removable stay which I might need only seldom??

Thanks a lot for your opinion Aja

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Old 06-21-2008, 05:17 PM   #2
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On SV Watermelon we had an inner forestay that was invaluable for heavy weather. Originally the sails were hanked on, but the roller furler for the headstay that we installed when we first bought the boat was really not large/strong enough for the headstay. We replaced it, and then put it on the inner stay, where it worked very well.

It made our cruising so much easier. As the wind increased we simply rolled up the genoa and rolled out the inner forestaysail. This smaller sail was much easier to remove if we needed to go to storm sails.

By the time you needed storm sails the wind would be too strong and you'd probably have a lot of green water coming over the bow. I think you'd recognize that you wouldn't want to be messing around on the foredeck removing the genoa.

You want to bring the sails and forces in closer to the center of the boat as the winds increase in strength. Even in winds of only 20 - 25 knots, flying an inner forestay sail was significantly more comfortable on Watermelon than a headstay no matter how small it had been reefed.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 06-22-2008, 01:02 AM   #3
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The only experience I've had changing a roller-furler sail was at the dock and it was a hassle. I can't really imagine doing it while underway w/o serious injury. Of course, the furler was on a bowsprit which made things a little trickier.

Having the inner forestay is a good backup for you just in case your furler decides to malfunction while underway--you'll at least have another stay to work with (as long as you have hanks )
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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Old 06-22-2008, 07:51 AM   #4
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I definately agree with JeanneP and Redbopeep.

I cannot immagine what a hassle changing a roller genoa would be at sea. Think of that expanse of sail lying on the foredeck whilst you wrestle with the head shackle. One good wave and the lot is in the drink!

A Solent stay is the obvious answer for me. Add roller reefing and you have a very convenient arrangement unless you are doing a lot of tacking as the extra stay makes going about more cumbersome.

To prevent the genoa from unrolling itself, I would get a sail sock which can be hoisted on an extra halyard, encompassing the genoa like a stocking.

As a storm sail I would get a jib with a sleeve. This involves fitting a conventional storm jib with a sleeve on its luff which is wrapped round the rolled sail and secured back to itself with carbine hooks or clips. The sail is hoisted with a spare genoa/spinnaker halyard. Despite the apparent friction between sleeve and rolled sail, the storm jib hoists easily and sets very well giving good windward performance and speed. Chafe between jib and rolled sail must be born in mind but is likely to be slight.

If money was not available, I would not add a Solent stay but simply use storm jib with sleeve, but this would put the centre of effort further forwards. This should be avoided if possible.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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On our cutter Mico, we have a small yankee? on a furler and I agree with the comment about keeping the stresses close to the mast. Our headsail has an extra track to take another sail/storm sail but I think when push comes to shove, I'd keep the headsail furled in and just let out a small piece of the yankee on the inner stay.

I found a very solid storm sail in the hold a few weeks back (still finding things aboard!) but think I'll look at getting this recut as I also notice that we have an extra track on the mast for a trisail. From my reading, it appears a trisail is the last resort before you run bare poles and start letting out a drogue or sea anchor?

Robin is reading all the storm stories at the moment and consequently feeling a trifle concerned about rough weather on our trip to New Caledonia in the new year although we survived some pretty rough stuff on our voyage from Perth to Cairns.

If there are any female yachties up for a chat, she would love to touch catch up with you.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mico View Post
Robin is reading all the storm stories at the moment and consequently feeling a trifle concerned about rough weather on our trip to New Caledonia in the new year although we survived some pretty rough stuff on our voyage from Perth to Cairns.

If there are any female yachties up for a chat, she would love to touch catch up with you.
Robin should feel free to contact me, one way or another, but my internet connection is not fast enough for an on line chat, you're in the wrong time zone, and my stints at the computer are short and frazzled right now. PM me, email me, and I'll be happy to answer her (sometimes it's hard to shut me up!).

Has she read any of my logs, especially "women at the helm"? http://www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon42.asp
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 06-24-2008, 12:18 AM   #7
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If it gets too stormy for a reefed mainsail & no headsail I prefer to deploy my parachute sea anchor & get some kip
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:49 AM   #8
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I agree with svtadpole, there is only so much you can do when it's blowing 50kts+.

Having done it once before I would go without a trysail. I have found better performance and comfort (and less danger) by dousing the main completely and just running on a storm jib. I have an inner forestay with no roller (roller reefing 140% genoa on the front forestay) and I can either hank up a traditional yankee on that or a stormsail. In heavy weather it's too much effort to be bothered with taking a big genoa off a furler, remember that you have to unfurl the whole lot to get it off which will land you on your ear in a big blow.

I also have two poles on the mast, which I regard as ideal for downwind. One can go to the genoa and the other to the yankee. I've run downhill in 35 kts or so with that configuration for about 2 days and it was quite comfortable, not a lot of rolling and very stable, although I wouldn't want to have done it in sight of land or had to come to windward at all.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:45 PM   #9
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Hi....We once got into a situation where we had no choice but to bash to windward in 50 knots or more of wind for a considerable time. We have a cutter rig. We rolled in the genoa and ran a small sail on the inner forestay along with a triple-reefed main. It was quite efficient for the conditions. The big gain, as others have mentioned here, was the ability to "disappear" the genoa and move the centre of effort further back towards the mast. In heavy weather nowadays, we automatically go to that configuration and it gives us a far more comfortable ride. I think that offshore, having the ability to deploy a small sail on an inner forestay (roller furling or not) is a significant advantage. Regards....Tel.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #10
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I race other people's boats frequently. While racing we change sails as needed when the wind speed changes (no roller furling). The TuffLuff racing foil on the headstay looks remarkably like the sail track on a furling system so I think the experience is relevant.

A normal headsail change, say from a #2 medium-sized overlapping genoa to a #3 working jib takes at least four people: helm, mast/pit, foredeck, and trimmer. You could do it with two and an autopilot but it would not be fun and the chances of something bad happening is high.

Keeping the sail on the boat isn't usually an issue if the boat is set up for headsail changes: either sail-ties pre-set on the lifelines to lash the sail from leech forward as it comes down or bungee lines with hooks along the toe rails.

Racers usually put the new headsail up in one track before pulling the original sail down, but that isn't necessary for cruising.

On my own cruising boat I carry #2 and #3 headsails for the furler, a reefable staysail for the removable inner forestay, an 1.5 oz asymmetric spinnaker, and a main with three reefs. At the dock I put the headsail on for the expected conditions (usually the #2 in summer and #3 the rest of the year); offshore the #3 goes on the furler. Also offshore the inner forestay is rigged with the staysail hanked on and bagged. This configuration works very effectively for me, including carrying me through two gales during a transatlantic.

In my opinion, based on personal experience and a whole lot of reading, a storm trysail (which is a replacement for the main) has the most significant function of protecting your mainsail. Unless your boat has a boom gallows it doesn't really provide any other significant benefit. A very deep third reef in your main provides similar handling characteristics. I maintain that there is an operational safety benefit of simply putting in the third reef rather than a sail change from main to trysail even if you rig a second sail track on the mast and keep the trysail bagged and on deck. I still have a little more room in my sail locker, but I'd add another light-air sail before putting money into a trysail.

My #3 headsail performs very well rolled all the way out, and acceptabily rolled in just a bit. Pointing ability deteriorates rapidly as the sail is rolled in. This is characteristic of roller furling headsails. Interestingly, pointing ability greatly improves if the wind picks up enough to carry the staysail with a fully rolled up headsail. Pointing ability is an underrated characteristic in dealing with storms. Even while out to sea, pointing may be the best way to reduce the time you are in storm conditions, may help keep the cockpit (and therefore watchstander) drier, and allows you to continue making progress toward your destination. Inshore pointing may be critical to keep you in the water and off the shore. In one case while in a storm (technically a "fresh gale") in the English Channel with the jib rolled up a good bit and three reefs in the main we found ourselves effectively tacking through 180 degrees (reduced pointing from the rolled jib, leeway, and current set). Choosing between aiming for English rocks or French rocks was not attractive. Switching to the staysail and rolling in the whole jib gained us 20 degrees to windward; tacking through 140 degrees may not sound great but it was a huge relief to be making ground toward the open sea.

Also in my opinion, the sleeve-type storm jibs are not a good idea. Aside from the poor aerodynamics associated with the large leading edge, some poor sailor has to be out on the bow zipping or lashing the sail over the furled headsail with wind howling and waves washing over him/her. Since you will probably want to be hauling the sail up as it is zipped to avoid bunching a second person is needed on the halyard. That means your autopilot better be able to steer the boat in the conditions at hand. In the meantime who is trimming the storm jib to keep it from beating on the bow person? In short, I think the sleeve-type storm jibs are an interesting idea that just doesn't work out in practice.
sail fast, dave

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Old 07-03-2008, 04:34 PM   #11
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