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I didn't watch the whole video but twin headsails is quite a common setup for the ARC transat. Probably the least stressful way to go downwind in a displacement boat unless you get in to parasailors etc.

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They spend a lot of time going on about downwind sailing - but the biggest advantage is the upwind performance. The outer jib is a larger, lighter cloth sail, the inner jib is the med/heavy air got to go uphill sail ( or heavy reaching) No compromises of trying to roll up a big sail into a small sail, just roll it up all the way. You do have the extra weight/windage of two furlers/sails up front, but for bigger boats it's quite worth while.

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The issue I always have is how do you have sufficient headstay tension (assuming you don't have twin under deck hydraulic cylinders to alternately tension each).

You'd want the inner one to have as taut a forestay as possible for heavy air upwind work, so obviously the outer jib forestay has to be slacker than you would like. 

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

The issue I always have is how do you have sufficient headstay tension (assuming you don't have twin under deck hydraulic cylinders to alternately tension each).

You'd want the inner one to have as taut a forestay as possible for heavy air upwind work, so obviously the outer jib forestay has to be slacker than you would like. 

Running backstays are a very simple solution. Not a noodle rig that relies on them to stand up. Build a rig that stands securely without them, but they add tension as required. A small multi tackle check stay style to transfer the tension from outer to inner forestay.

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A simpler set up for long distance downwind work is to set the main and genoa poled out as normal.  Hoist your heavy weather jib on the inner forestay and sheet hard to leeward. Works like magic and the boat tracks straight and hardly rolls, unlike the usual twin headsail rig roll your brains out!  Tip came from Eddie Scougall of Oyster Yachts after-sales.

When the squalls come through, just furl the genoa till its over, OK gybing is a bit more complex.

 

 

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10 hours ago, European Bloke said:

Running backstays are a very simple solution. Not a noodle rig that relies on them to stand up. Build a rig that stands securely without them, but they add tension as required. A small multi tackle check stay style to transfer the tension from outer to inner forestay.

A Solent rig has both inner forestay and outer forestay attaching very close together at the top of the mast. The fixed permanent backstay tensions both. I think you're confusing a more traditional cutter rig with the inner forestay much further down the mast. For that, yes runners are good. I can't visualize what you're suggesting.

 

yysw229633.jpg

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Zonker said:

A Solent rig has both inner forestay and outer forestay attaching very close together at the top of the mast. The fixed permanent backstay tensions both. I think you're confusing a more traditional cutter rig with the inner forestay much further down the mast. For that, yes runners are good. I can't visualize what you're suggesting.

 

yysw229633.jpg

 

 

 

 

Fair point, I was thinking of something with more separation between the stays. I guess you could still run a pair of backstays but it would be weird. That's more like the problem with the old twin wire forestays in the days before headfoils, that never had a great solution.

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Used to have a Halmatic with a proper Solent rig, a furled forestay and unfurled Solent stay.

The Solent stay went from the masthead to a point on the deck a few feet aft of the bow, where a cutter stay would normally attach.

The one plus was a spare stay for a blade jib or a storm jib.

The negatives included having to furl the jib to do a tack, and the jib catching and snagging on the Solent stay when it’s being furled, 

Now have a proper cutter with runners, better setup all round.

I think twin forestays are a better option than a Solent, but you don’t see them much these days.

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Old school twin forestays are an abomination. They just don't work, the loaded forestay crosses over the spare one, then the hanks attach themselves to the wrong forestay, cue much bad language.

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A Solent rig does suffer from load/tension switching between the two headstays. This is normally dealt with by having the outer stay looser than the inner, as it is used in lighter wind ranges. The big yachts can use a hyd system to keep the "in use" headstay tight

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Nope. Solent rig has inner and outer forestay both close to the masthead. The backstay tensions both, with some influence by any aft swept shrouds. But the forces all combine.

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17 hours ago, Zonker said:

Yeah I think for say a 40' boat I'd use a 4:1 tackle on the inner forestay leading to a winch in the cockpit.

Good pictures here:  http://joecoopersailing.com/short-handed-sailing-the-solent-stay/

That’s how my inner forestay will be tensioned. 1:4 or 1:8 tackle, LFRs and a winch in the cockpit..

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On 3/29/2021 at 5:56 PM, Zonker said:

Nope. Solent rig has inner and outer forestay both close to the masthead. The backstay tensions both, with some influence by any aft swept shrouds. But the forces all combine.

According to Skenes Elements of Yacht Design, the solent stay must be within 5% the "E" dimension of the forestay to be adequately supported without runners.

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