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Thread: Selftacking Staysail

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Saco, Maine
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    Default Selftacking Staysail

    Really enjoying 'Siinglehanded Sailing' and trying to reach Andrew Evans to get some ideas for a stay-sail design for my 1969 Swan 36. Any comments from members with any experience that may be relevant will be appreciated as well . Thank you, Doug.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Hi Doug, welcome to the forum.

    I successfully installed a removable inner ("solent") stay on my boat, not for a self-tacking sail but to have the ability to switch between a genoa and non-overlapping headsail without removing the former from the roller-furler.

    What are your goals and priorities for this setup?

  3. #3
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Hi Doug, welcome to the forum.

    I successfully installed a removable inner ("solent") stay on my boat, not for a self-tacking sail but to have the ability to switch between a genoa and non-overlapping headsail without removing the former from the roller-furler.

    What are your goals and priorities for this setup?
    Thanks for the reply Bob- perhaps the post should read 'self-tacking' fore sail. My Swan has a tiller and almost all of my sailing is solo. Trying to minimize the need for three hands and a tiller between my knees when tacking. Currently running an older Harken roller with a 130 genoa. Have been doing a fair amount of reading since haul-out. Apparently due to the location of my dorades any track would have to be located some 12-18 inches forward of the mast resulting in a substantial loss of sail area. Any thoughts. Doug

  4. #4
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    Two boat bucks should do it - either for a Hoyt Jib Boom (which doesn't require a track) or for a decent autopilot. Most of us opt for the latter.

    I agree about not reducing the headsail area that much. I'm guessing you need it for performance and helm balance.
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 12-27-2015 at 01:57 PM.

  5. #5
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    Unless your boat is fine with a <90% jib your going to be very unhappy with a self tacking jib setup. They are best used on boat that have non-overlapping headsail plans already. You could install a solent stay which is removable to not interfere with your 130% but that jib would be very small but very useful in a blow. Of course if your sailing any real distance then the 130% jib should be taken down anyway. There is no real way to have your cake and eat it too. Yes, jib changes suck singlehanded.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2015
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    Saco, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by solosailor View Post
    Unless your boat is fine with a <90% jib your going to be very unhappy with a self tacking jib setup. They are best used on boat that have non-overlapping headsail plans already. You could install a solent stay which is removable to not interfere with your 130% but that jib would be very small but very useful in a blow. Of course if your sailing any real distance then the 130% jib should be taken down anyway. There is no real way to have your cake and eat it too. Yes, jib changes suck singlehanded.
    Solosailor- thanks for your input and continuing my inquiry. Doug

  7. #7
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    Sep 2007
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    Capitola,CA
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    Concur with above observations. Any head sail smaller than 100% means your Swan likely grossly underpowered in TWS < 12 knots, which is a majority of sailing.
    Cannot recommend the Hoyt Jib Boom. Besides expense and engineering, an unappreciated drawback is their boom weight, if aluminum, causes a wung out jib, when sailing downwind, to swing back on centerline in light to medium conditions, TWS < 10-12 knots, and not stay wung out.

  8. #8
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    The Alerion Express 28 fleet has cooked up a fix for that, much like "preventers" on El Toros but installed belowdecks. Maybe Rich Baker will chip in here with a link.

    This is why I asked Doug about his goals/priorities. He seems to want a self-tacking setup. With a positive-roached sail supported by vertical battens (if roller-furled) or horizontals (if hanked-on), a self-tacker could nearly fill the foretriangle. Then if he wants to go all-in, he could get a full-roach main to make up more of the lost sail area. The S&S Swan 36 has a short boom with lots of space between its end and the backstay. He might need a bigger masthead crane. That said, it's an IOR'ish type hull and he may already have issues with weather helm. It looks like he sails in Maine so mostly light wind during the season?

    Probably easiest to get a good autopilot and keep tacking the genny - it's a good upper-body workout!
    Last edited by BobJ; 12-29-2015 at 12:16 PM.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2010
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    Believe it or not, the SHTP race is an athletic event. My general theory is "go with what you got" and maximize your chances with experience and $$$ spent on sails. Part of the atheticism in this event involves the fun of being up on the foredack, esp at night, changing headsails, jibing chutes and coping with all sorts of tangled junk. Some of us don't even mess with "furler-durlers". I note that some of the foregoing discussion involves avoiding removal of a genny from the furler. At my age, I have kept the Hood system which is similar to the twin-slot thing marketed by Shaeffer, because it came with the boat. I have headsails for most every wind condition and change up or down accordingly. Had I to do it all over again, I think I would have just gone with hank-on foresails, but the sailmaker charges to convert a fair number of headsails to hanks at this point (after more than 100,000 miles in Harrier) is just too much trouble and unnecessary expense. It might be nice to be 50 again...but how else to gain the needed experience that comes with age? Enjoy it while you can!

  10. #10
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    Now that Gamayun is playing water polo, she's planning to get cockpit winches and a masthead 155 for KYNNTANA. You heard it here first.

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