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Trysail tack and downhaul


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Several sources recommend a separate track for the trysail so that it can be bagged and left on deck either indefinitely, while on passage, or when there is a threat of heavy weather.  Some suggest that is possible to prerig the trysail so as to be able to hoist it without leaving the cockpit as long as it is only sailed on one tack until the lazy sheet is sent over the boom and reeved through a block on the windward cockpit gunwale.

I don't understand how the tack of the trysail is supported or how the downhaul is rigged.  Is tack held to the mast by nothing more than the track and a slide?  Is oversized track or special/multiple slides necessary?  Does anyone make any sort of special track fitting that captures an oversized slide for the tack to secure it to the mast and also eliminate the need for the downhaul by limiting the upward travel of the slide?  If a conventional rope downhaul is rigged, is it a predetermined length and just tied off at the base of the mast, or does it have to be rigged back to the cockpit and used as a working control line?

Or is this business of being able to hoist and set the trysail without leaving the cockpit all just a fictional daydream of keyboard sailors?  If so, what sort of tack fitting is used when there is a presumption that someone will go forward to the mast to set the trysail?  Is it just lashed to the mast with an ersatz downhaul tied around the boom or is there more to it than that?

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I stow my trysail securely in the attic of the mountain cabin. If I thought there was a chance it would be really needed on a cruise I’d have a second track installed on the mast in such a way that the trysail can be on sliders in a bag at the deck. Presumably the main halyard can be used. And any old tack down haul line. Clew to the lee toerail aft. 

I have comfortably sailed any downwind angle at 7 kts under bare poles. So that is covered. Staying off a lee shore might be an issue. The storm jib and third reef will have to suffice if plans goes that bad.

My biggest issue is the boom hitting the seas. Can be ameliorated by easing the third reef’s tack up a couple of feet which significantly raises the boom end. 

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Build a main with a deep third reef, and forget the trysail.

I sailed my last boat 40,000 ocean miles, including a circumnavigation, and never set the trysail, although I had a separate track for it.

I could not set it from the cockpit. I just had a tack line on the sail to a fitting on deck right behind the mast. Remember that the tack of the trysail is well above the boom.

You aren’t really looking for optimal trim if you are in conditions that call for a trysail.

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The halyard hoists and tensions the trysail luff

no downhaul is needed 

the tack will have a long pennant to get the tack of the trysail above the mainsail stack 

the trysail tack will want to pull away from the mast … so it should be lashed to the spar 

the head also want to pull away from the spar .. lashing is not possible 

a headboard car or a double slider at the head are needed

when wind hits the trysail halyard , the halyard will blow away from the mast and be slapping like crazy 

an additional head pennant , lashed to an addition track car is needed to shorten the free length of halyard , keep things under control and the halyard next to the mast 

a bag for the trysail is a nice idea… ready to hoist at two in the morning 

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4 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

when wind hits the trysail halyard , the halyard will blow away from the mast and be slapping like crazy 

an additional head pennant , lashed to an addition track car is needed to shorten the free length of halyard , keep things under control and the halyard next to the mast

Does anyone set up a dedicated trysail halyard with a mast exit block only a short distance above the head of the trysail?

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6 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

Does anyone set up a dedicated trysail halyard with a mast exit block only a short distance above the head of the trysail?

Yes, dedicated halyard on big boats 

small boats , the size that normal folks sail use the main halyard 

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And in your trysail bag stow a dozen jumbo sail ties 

when you finally drop the mainsail… boom center lined and prevented  .. you will have big mainsail mess all over the place 

the main must be absolutely secured to the boom… many sail ties are needed 

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53 minutes ago, accnick said:

Build a main with a deep third reef, and forget the trysail.

I sailed my last boat 40,000 ocean miles, including a circumnavigation, and never set the trysail, although I had a separate track for it.

Were you lucky or smart?

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On the big boats I know captains who never use the third reef 

if the wind freshens , and  the double reef is to much power , they drop the main and hoist the trysail 

mainsails are expensive , broken booms are expensive , over speed is dangerous for crew …

the secret to sailing thru a bad day is to slow down and be deliberate 

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2 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

trysail

we had and used a trysail, mostly not in anger but rather as precautionary, like to avoid extra wear and tear on the mainsail when we were forereaching, on a breezy 25-30kt daysail when the trysail was well enough sail (with the jib) and a lot easier than using the main (flaking and covering ect).  I know a lot of people just never use their trysails, but we did - just one more tool in the toolkit. We learned offshore sailing on a ketch so I think perhaps we were just pre-conditioned to use lots of sails :)

We had a seperate track, and put the trisail on before leaving for passage, and left it there bagged on deck.  We discovered if we did not do that we would never use the trysail because it was just too much effort to dig it out and get it loaded on the track in the sort of weather you might be thinking about doing it. While if it is there it is easy to hoist.

I would forget the 'hoist from the cockpit' thing.  It tended to need a bit of hands on help to get up and past the mainsail stack.

We actually had a seperate halyard for it, which was also long enough to reach down it water level to pick out MOB's.  We designed the rig for that - it was not standard.

We had a tack pendant - clipped to a padeye on the mast.  The head and tack had double sliders - not not any sort of special hardware, just double regular sliders. There was no need to do any lashings to the mast, and I dont see how that would have been practical in any case as our dropped mainsail headboard was pretty high up in the air.

The standard 'book' sheeting is to blocks on the quarters, but that gave good sheeting shape only for quite tight angles.  So we also had it organized so it could be easily sheeted to the end of the boom - which was much better shape for reaching. ofc would not work if the boom was broken, which is one of the use cases for the sail, but was a good option in some other situations.

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I am probably a heretic, but what is wrong with dropping the main slides out and putting the trysail slides in? 

You have to go to the mast to secure the main anyhow, even in extreme conditions it’s a good idea to be able to go to the mast base, something always goes wrong.

I use a third reef and have a trysail as well, have never used the trysail, although it was used by a PO who managed a sustained 19 knots under it in a Westcoaster, so it has been used that way.

My trysail is like the storm jib and liferaft, if I carry them I will never need them…

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Because then the luff of the main is free to get blown/washed away, creating a much larger problem. Also, aligning & inserting slides into a mast track is a fiddly job when tied to the dock. In a breeze/situation such that you need the try, putting slides into the track while the loose sail luffs violently around your face would be a true tale for the bar (IF you survive)

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1 hour ago, slug zitski said:

On the big boats I know captains who never use the third reef 

if the wind freshens , and  the double reef is to much power , they drop the main and hoist the trysail 

mainsails are expensive , broken booms are expensive , over speed is dangerous for crew …

the secret to sailing thru a bad day is to slow down and be deliberate 

Thanks, Slug.  This is exactly how I am thinking.  I don't race.  If there's too much wind for the second reef then I'm not going to care how fast we are going, I'm going to care about directional control, safety, and crew comfort.  If I get an expensive laminate mainsail I'm not even sure I want a third reef in it or the attendant rigging to make use of it.  Better to have a trysail and actually use it, keep the experience of using it fresh, by hoisting it at ~30 kts.

50 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

we had and used a trysail, mostly not in anger but rather as precautionary, like to avoid extra wear and tear on the mainsail when we were forereaching, on a breezy 25-30kt daysail when the trysail was well enough sail (with the jib) and a lot easier than using the main (flaking and covering ect).  I know a lot of people just never use their trysails, but we did - just one more tool in the toolkit. We learned offshore sailing on a ketch so I think perhaps we were just pre-conditioned to use lots of sails :)

We had a seperate track, and put the trisail on before leaving for passage, and left it there bagged on deck.  We discovered if we did not do that we would never use the trysail because it was just too much effort to dig it out and get it loaded on the track in the sort of weather you might be thinking about doing it. While if it is there it is easy to hoist.

Thanks for sharing that.  That is how I am trying to think about this.  It helps to know that mindset works in the real world and isn't just an idea.

50 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

I would forget the 'hoist from the cockpit' thing.  It tended to need a bit of hands on help to get up and past the mainsail stack.

We actually had a seperate halyard for it, which was also long enough to reach down it water level to pick out MOB's.  We designed the rig for that - it was not standard.

We had a tack pendant - clipped to a padeye on the mast.  The head and tack had double sliders - not not any sort of special hardware, just double regular sliders. There was no need to do any lashings to the mast, and I dont see how that would have been practical in any case as our dropped mainsail headboard was pretty high up in the air.

The standard 'book' sheeting is to blocks on the quarters, but that gave good sheeting shape only for quite tight angles.  So we also had it organized so it could be easily sheeted to the end of the boom - which was much better shape for reaching. ofc would not work if the boom was broken, which is one of the use cases for the sail, but was a good option in some other situations.

Thank you for those details.

48 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

I am probably a heretic, but what is wrong with dropping the main slides out and putting the trysail slides in? 

So, for me, this is for a future boat, and I'm trying to think about the mainsail and mainsail handling gear as a holistic system that works together which is why I am doing all these thought experiments.  I anticipate using some kind of low-friction track and car system for the mainsail.  The best ones have recirculating ball bearings and are not something that you want to try to remove and install in a seaway.

48 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

My trysail is like the storm jib and liferaft, if I carry them I will never need them…

It takes more discipline than most people have to keep up skills and equipment that are entirely standby/emergency. I believe that the best way to keep skills up is to practice them by incorporating them into routine where possible.  By making the trysail a working part of the sail plan I believe I can improve safety.

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The trysail is also handy when trade wind sailing 

the mainsail is dropped to prevent chafe, batten damage  and boom gooseneck , vang wear

 

the trysail or a special trade winds mainsail… small, no battens …is hoisted and sheeted hard to reduce roll

 

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I’m soon to install a trysail track - will post some pics with sail up.

Re: tack and pennant (down haul?)...well, I plan to terminate the track about 2 ft off the deck (per advice from rigger).  Sail would live there on passage, on the track in a Sunbrella bag, lashed to base of mast.  Raise with main halyard after mainsail is duly lashed to boom.  Planning to splice a length of Dyneema with an eye as the tack pennant.  Eye would hook on the reefing horn at gooseneck; raise trysail, cleat off (of course after sheets have been through blocks on the quarters.

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16 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

this business of being able to hoist and set the trysail without leaving the cockpit all just a fictional daydream of keyboard sailors?

Yes.

I've never known anybody to actually use a trysail in serious winds. Most folks these days have a 3rd reef and call it good (aside from Evans)

 

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Just now, Zonker said:

Yes.

I've never known anybody to actually use a trysail in serious winds. Most folks these days have a 3rd reef and call it good (aside from Evans)

 

I was convinced by my sailmaker to go with the simplicity of two deep reefs.  My second reef seems like (just looking at both my 2nd reef after hoisting my new main once for the first time, and remembering how big my trysail was when I hoisted it recently - I plan to actually measure each sail area, so that I know how big each is) it’s about the same size as the trysail I was given - which is making me wonder if that should be sized a bit smaller?

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Just now, Zonker said:

Unless you are sailing the high latitudes I think trysails are overkill for almost all sailors. Few of us really try to beat upwind in >35 knots of wind.

 

It’s in the plans eventually.  But I’ve seen others use them (as noted above) in various situations, instead of deeply reefed main, to save wear and tear on the main - which seems to make sense.  I want to options (especially for heavy weather); and it seems simple enough to set up.  (High lats one day, for sure, though.)

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20 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 options ..... seems simple enough to set up. 

Zonk is right - few people use them

There is a bit of upfront complexity if you don't already have the track - not a hard job but it is a job.

And you do need a mental model of your sail plan that allows you to 'see' and use the options, otherwise it is all a waste of time.  If (as many people do) you only see them as for ultimate heavy weather and do not put them on the track ahead of time then you likely are not going to ever use them. A lot of racers carry them because of requirements but they would almost always be slower than the deepest main reef and the racing (ORC) size has tended to be too big for actual serious heavy weather (like SH storm).  So for the people who are required to carry them there is almost no use case except a broken boom.

If you get that all, then you are exactly correct - they create options, can save wear on the main, and cost little and stow in a really small package. 

For me they are in the 'not necessary but nice to have' category, for most they are in the 'what, why would I do that' category'.  As I said above I think the difference is learning with a ketch, you can think about it's use a bit like a mizzen (which interestingly many ketch owners, who learned on smaller sloops, also vastly under use).

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30 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Unless you are sailing the high latitudes I think trysails are overkill for almost all sailors. Few of us really try to beat upwind in >35 knots of wind.

 

Even Vendée Globe boats don't use them. Worst case scenario they use the J3 (ORC jib) alone.

bateau-queguiner-leucemie-espoir-r-1600-

I can't find the english version : https://www.vendeeglobe.org/fr/actualites/15264/dossier-les-voiles-d-un-imoca-expliquees-par-yann-elies

They don't have a trysail on board and only use the storm jib before the Fastnet race start (required by the rules!).

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17 hours ago, accnick said:

Build a main with a deep third reef, and forget the trysail.

 

1 hour ago, Zonker said:

I've never known anybody to actually use a trysail in serious winds. Most folks these days have a 3rd reef and call it good

How much wind can an ordinary sail with a deep reef reasonably withstand?

55 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Unless you are sailing the high latitudes I think trysails are overkill for almost all sailors. Few of us really try to beat upwind in >35 knots of wind.

Every few years Lake Superior gets a major storm with 50 knot sustained winds and 60 knot gusts.  Historically, large storms this severe don't occur until late fall, but that is the sort of rule of thumb that is affected the most by climate change.  Not really high latitude though, not like Alaska or the Antarctic.

Smaller storms that are of shorter duration and that cover a more isolated area are common.  In Minnesota last month, there were three thunderstorms that, on land, had peak recorded winds (recorded by meteorological stations) of 62, 78, and 80 mph (source https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/archive/events/), which is 52, 68, and 69 knots.  This is typical.  Usually these are preceded by wide-area thuderstorm watches about 24-48 hours in advance that aren't actionable because they are so often wrong.  Accurate forecasts of the track and intensity come 2-4 hours before the storms.  I've been through a number of these on land including one in an Airstream (we were fine, the tents around us were all destroyed).  I haven't been through one on the water but would imagine that with radar it would be possible to dodge the most severe cells.

I check the weather forecast and try to avoid severe weather.  No interest in seeking this stuff out.  Maybe a trysail is overkill.

Lake Superior is large enough that it's easy to be more than 2-4 hours at hull speed from a safe harbor, and has more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

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We had a trysail with its own track and halyard. The only time we had it on deck, on the track in its bag, was going from Mauritius to Richards Bay. We did get sporty conditions, steady in the 40s with gusts. We had in-mast furling and found we could go with perhaps five feet of sail out with a reduced jib or staysail. The tiny main and staysail was a tidy rig. With vane steering we always would have more sail area forward than aft. Balance was good. With in-mast couldn't see the point of a trysail, but it and a storm jib were on the boat when we got it.

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Just now, Panoramix said:

Even Vendée Globe boats don't use them. Worst case scenario they use the J3 (ORC jib) alone.

bateau-queguiner-leucemie-espoir-r-1600-

I can't find the english version : https://www.vendeeglobe.org/fr/actualites/15264/dossier-les-voiles-d-un-imoca-expliquees-par-yann-elies

They don't have a trysail on board and only use the storm jib before the Fastnet race start (required by the rules!).

Comparing me to a Vendee Globe skipper is not a fair (to them) comparison... :-) 

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Must be a generational thing. For my parents, going offshore without a trysail is unthinkable. That said, a lot of their offshore sailing was when weather forecasting was much poorer. It does strike me that the ability to foreach slowly into big conditions is a tool I’d like to have.

I’’m putting in a track this Winter. I have two deep reefs and if I added a third it woukd be at trysail size if I used the same spacing but I don’t think the weight of Dacron would do so well at the wind strengths it would be flying in. 

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1 hour ago, 2airishuman said:

 

How much wind can an ordinary sail with a deep reef reasonably withstand?

Every few years Lake Superior gets a major storm with 50 knot sustained winds and 60 knot gusts.  Historically, large storms this severe don't occur until late fall, but that is the sort of rule of thumb that is affected the most by climate change.  Not really high latitude though, not like Alaska or the Antarctic.

Smaller storms that are of shorter duration and that cover a more isolated area are common.  In Minnesota last month, there were three thunderstorms that, on land, had peak recorded winds (recorded by meteorological stations) of 62, 78, and 80 mph (source https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/archive/events/), which is 52, 68, and 69 knots.  This is typical.  Usually these are preceded by wide-area thuderstorm watches about 24-48 hours in advance that aren't actionable because they are so often wrong.  Accurate forecasts of the track and intensity come 2-4 hours before the storms.  I've been through a number of these on land including one in an Airstream (we were fine, the tents around us were all destroyed).  I haven't been through one on the water but would imagine that with radar it would be possible to dodge the most severe cells.

I check the weather forecast and try to avoid severe weather.  No interest in seeking this stuff out.  Maybe a trysail is overkill.

Lake Superior is large enough that it's easy to be more than 2-4 hours at hull speed from a safe harbor, and has more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

It depends of the kind of boat you are sailing but a storm jib should do the job. if it doesn't work storm jib + mainsail with 3 reefs or mainsail alone with 3 reefs should work.

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1 hour ago, estarzinger said:

do you have a storm jib?

That alone or bare poles would probably be the natural go-to for the kind of heavy weather you are describing.

Well, this is thought exercise, my present smaller boat is going up for sale in another month.

I'm looking at masthead sloops which leads to the question of where to fly the storm jib, since there is no inner forestay, and since things like the ATN Gale Sail that fit over a furled jib are so poorly regarded due to complexity of deployment in heavy weather.  So I guess the storm jib solution would involve adding a Dyneema removable inner forestay (or a stainless steel one I guess), and tensioner, which precludes (or at least limits placement of) a dinghy on the foredeck, and involves structural work on the mast and deck.  Putting up a staysail track seems, on the surface, to be cheaper, easier, and more functional.

Bare poles are fine for a short squall but beyond that there's a rocky shoreline within 50 miles in one direction or another everywhere on Superior.

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42 minutes ago, Elegua said:

Must be a generational thing. For my parents, going offshore without a trysail is unthinkable. That said, a lot of their offshore sailing was when weather forecasting was much poorer. It does strike me that the ability to foreach slowly into big conditions is a tool I’d like to have.

I’’m putting in a track this Winter. I have two deep reefs and if I added a third it woukd be at trysail size if I used the same spacing but I don’t think the weight of Dacron would do so well at the wind strengths it would be flying in. 

Some folks have a custom jumbo trysail made 

about the size of a third reef main 

this trysail is reefable 

in the end you must decide what sail combination fits your boat and your sailing style  

The go slow philosophy is very effective at sea 

 

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8 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

Well, this is thought exercise, my present smaller boat is going up for sale in another month.

I'm looking at masthead sloops which leads to the question of where to fly the storm jib, since there is no inner forestay, and since things like the ATN Gale Sail that fit over a furled jib are so poorly regarded due to complexity of deployment in heavy weather.  So I guess the storm jib solution would involve adding a Dyneema removable inner forestay (or a stainless steel one I guess), and tensioner, which precludes (or at least limits placement of) a dinghy on the foredeck, and involves structural work on the mast and deck.  Putting up a staysail track seems, on the surface, to be cheaper, easier, and more functional.

Bare poles are fine for a short squall but beyond that there's a rocky shoreline within 50 miles in one direction or another everywhere on Superior.

Adding an inner forestay ,opposed by running backstays,  is the seamanlike  solution for staysails ,  heavy weather sails 

Ask a rigger for a proposal 

To avoid hull structure at the inner forestay tack,  interior intrusions and a cluttered foredeck , you can consider using the sheer clamp , toerail as a tack … sail set offset on the windward side 

this windward tack gives many advantages…  angle of attack , sheet lead position and better airflow over the lee side of the mainsail when sailing double headed

wind tunnel testing offset staysail 

 

The-effects-of-staysails-on-yacht-performance.pdf

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...which brings up a mental image of a bridle arrangement, one leg going to each toerail, joining the inner forestay (or more likely wire luff of staysail) at a point in the air just above your inverted dinghy.  Kind of like a beach-cat forestay.  Beachcats are tensioned through the halyard, but I suppose some sort of highfield-lever arrangement could do.

Never heard of such a thing, though that doesn't mean much.  

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3 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

thought exercise .... masthead sloops

the OSR's are always a useful place to start.

For behind the mast, there are options for either a trysail or a mainsail with luff reduced/reefed by at least 50%. For your kind of sailing, the racing rules would consider either adequate.  As discussed in posts above, most people opt for the mainsail reef, while the trysail has some pros and cons.  There is sure no harm in doing both. As has been discussed, I am the odd duck who likes and uses a trysail, but for cruising in a smallish boat on the great lakes I don't think even I would go to great length to get one. 

* A storm trysail with: area not greater than 17.5% mainsail hoist (P) x mainsail foot length (E) Note: calculated as (0.5 x leech length x shortest distance between tack point and leech), no headboard, no battens, sail number and letters on both sides, as large as practicable (note: so the vessel can still be identified)

* mainsail reefing: to reduce the luff by at least 50%

For in front of the mast, there are two sizes of 'reduced jibs' outlined.  I personally think the storm jib is the most useful in the conditions you outline of all these heavy weather sail options, but yes practically speaking it does require an inner stay.  On a race boat they can take the working jib out of the foil, and you could in theory also, but having a useful inner stay will be more likely to work without drama.  It is probably only a little more difficult to organize a good inner stay on a masthead sloop than to install a good trysail track - and my preference if looking for a good option without excessive work would be the deep mainsail reef plus a storm jib on an inner stay.  There are a lot of threads around here on inner stay installations - there are various options and there is pretty much always some good way to do it.  I agree with you that the 'galesail' is not a very good option.

*A storm jib with: area of 5% height of the foretriangle squared maximum luff length 65% of height of the foretriangle permanently attached means, independent of a luff groove, to attach to the stay  - note: Storm and heavy weather jib areas calculated as: (0.255 x luff length x (luff perpendicular + 2 x half width))

*A heavy-weather jib (or heavy-weather sail in a boat with no forestay) with:  area of 13.5% height of the foretriangle squared readily available means, independent of a luff groove, to attach to the stay

I suspect drogues are few and far between on the lakes, but for your scenario of 1 or 2 hrs of 60kts, they are in fact a quite useful and easy to organize option.
 

 

 

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6 hours ago, estarzinger said:

Zonk is right - few people use them

There is a bit of upfront complexity if you don't already have the track - not a hard job but it is a job.

And you do need a mental model of your sail plan that allows you to 'see' and use the options, otherwise it is all a waste of time.  If (as many people do) you only see them as for ultimate heavy weather and do not put them on the track ahead of time then you likely are not going to ever use them. A lot of racers carry them because of requirements but they would almost always be slower than the deepest main reef and the racing (ORC) size has tended to be too big for actual serious heavy weather (like SH storm).  So for the people who are required to carry them there is almost no use case except a broken boom.

If you get that all, then you are exactly correct - they create options, can save wear on the main, and cost little and stow in a really small package. 

For me they are in the 'not necessary but nice to have' category, for most they are in the 'what, why would I do that' category'.  As I said above I think the difference is learning with a ketch, you can think about it's use a bit like a mizzen (which interestingly many ketch owners, who learned on smaller sloops, also vastly under use).

Totally makes sense - I would guess that many/some read “the articles” (e.g., excellent ones by Carol Hasse, etc. explaining about trysails, etc) without fully understanding how/why/when to use.  I don’t fully understand the ins and outs of them but, having been given one, and being simply interested in how they work (since it’ll give me a better idea of how my boat works too), I’m intrigued to try it.  I’m up for the challenge of installing the track and figuring it out - that’s one big reason I/we sail.  
 

That, and two good articles helped me understand a bit better their utility.  An Ocean Navigator one where Dave Martin on DRIVER describes using forereaching under triple reefed main as his preferred/common storm tactic.  I’ve only got two deep reefs, and would —I think—prefer to use a trysail instead to save the beating on the main if I expected to be in heavy stuff for long.

Second, this article which is well written, seems to be very comprehensive, and does a really good job (best I’ve seen yet) explaining all the various dimensions of a trysail.

Anyway, I need a challenging project this fall and winter since I can’t cruise anywhere far away - just wait for fall/winter storm forecasts to go out :-).  I’ve already sorted out the details for a removable Dux Solent stay for hank-on jib and drifter. Staysail sheeting almost all figured out.  Just the trysail to fiddle with now.  Lots to learn...

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4 hours ago, toddster said:

...which brings up a mental image of a bridle arrangement, one leg going to each toerail, joining the inner forestay (or more likely wire luff of staysail) at a point in the air just above your inverted dinghy.  Kind of like a beach-cat forestay.  Beachcats are tensioned through the halyard, but I suppose some sort of highfield-lever arrangement could do.

Never heard of such a thing, though that doesn't mean much.  

I use just such an arrangement for the trysail tack.  It started out as a convenient and adjustable (for and aft) temporary solution while I was figuring out the best location for a permanent pad eye.  It worked so well I made it permanent. 

The only trouble is having to step over/around it when going forward.  

Note: this might not work well with a "normal" trysail with luff cars/track.  My Trysail luff is bent about 1 foot away from the mast with robands.

Steve

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7 hours ago, Elegua said:

Must be a generational thing. For my parents, going offshore without a trysail is unthinkable. That said, a lot of their offshore sailing was when weather forecasting was much poorer. It does strike me that the ability to foreach slowly into big conditions is a tool I’d like to have.

I’’m putting in a track this Winter. I have two deep reefs and if I added a third it woukd be at trysail size if I used the same spacing but I don’t think the weight of Dacron would do so well at the wind strengths it would be flying in. 

Out of curiosity, what size track will you install?  5/8”, 7/8” or 1”? I should probably ask a rigger...but maybe you’ve already specc’d it out on your boat (which is only slightly larger than mine)?

Here’s what I found - no idea how to size it... https://www.rigrite.com/Hardware/Track/Sailtrack.php#5/8" Stainless Steel Sailtrack

 

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2 minutes ago, toddster said:

What size slides are on your sail?  

WM has it in 10-foot lengths.  

Priced like unobtainium no doubt, and a fortune shipping to Canada. They wisely pulled out of here before they lost even more money.

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Just now, toddster said:

What size slides are on your sail?  

WM has it in 10-foot lengths.  

I need to have sailmaker change the slides on the sail (they’re for a different kind of track, not for standard, externally mounted stainless steel track.)

So, whatever size track is recommended that I use, I’ll have sailmaker install the appropriate sized slides.

That Schaefer stuff is stupid expensive.  (And it’s not even 316.)  I’m wondering what it’s originally made for - gotta be available without such a huge mark up from, like, an industrial supply place or something?  A specialty metal fittings place of some sort?  Also gonna check Rigrite’s pricing.

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19 minutes ago, toddster said:

Well, it’s a Schaefer product.  (And 12-foot lengths).  Schaefer dealers in Canadia?  

You could probably get it through Payne's or Western Marine. They both have online catalogues.

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2 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I need to have sailmaker change the slides on the sail (they’re for a different kind of track, not for standard, externally mounted stainless steel track.)

So, whatever size track is recommended that I use, I’ll have sailmaker install the appropriate sized slides.

That Schaefer stuff is stupid expensive.  (And it’s not even 316.)  I’m wondering what it’s originally made for - gotta be available without such a huge mark up from, like, industrial supply place?  A specialty metal fittings place of some sort?  Also gonna check Rigrite’s pricing.

Best bet might be to find a large used broken mast with external track.

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Just now, Ishmael said:

You could probably get it through Payne's or Western Marine. They both have online catalogues.

I actually checked Western’s catalog this evening - nothing listed.  But maybe, if they carry Schaeffer stuff I can get someone I know to order it form me from there.  Thanks for the idea!

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Out of curiosity, what size track will you install?  5/8”, 7/8” or 1”? I should probably ask a rigger...but maybe you’ve already specc’d it out on your boat (which is only slightly larger than mine)?

Here’s what I found - no idea how to size it... https://www.rigrite.com/Hardware/Track/Sailtrack.php#5/8" Stainless Steel Sailtrack

 

Don’t bother trying to buy something from Rigrite. :) 
 

For me it’ll probably be 7/8ths, but I’ll double check with my rigger.  I’m going to replace my standing rigging this Winter.  Anyway, bigger is often seems easier to work with. 

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32 minutes ago, Elegua said:

Don’t bother trying to buy something from Rigrite. :) 
 

For me it’ll probably be 7/8ths, but I’ll double check with my rigger.  I’m going to replace my standing rigging this Winter.  Anyway, bigger is often seems easier to work with. 

Yeah, I think I recall reading a ranting thread about Rigrite.  (One look at their website suggests why, I suppose.)  I think the thread was along the lines of, “we don’t give a f- about you - why are you calling us to inquire about our products and prices?  Go away.”

Was thinking the same - 7/8”.  (Was hoping to avoid the rigger’s price mark up on stuff but, frankly, they’re good people and have given me stellar advice as I’ve DIY’d everything from lifelines and mast steps, to building an entire new boom, rebuilding a furler, rebuilding my rudder bushings set up, replacing standing rigging, and now setting up some staysail sheets.  I’ll stop being so cheap and get sizing info and trysail track from them :-) :-) )

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I’ve used a try sail once. The halyard was beating the mast as crazy, so a pennant to minimise free halyard length is vital.

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1 hour ago, Tender said:

I’ve used a try sail once. The halyard was beating the mast as crazy, so a pennant to minimise free halyard length is vital.

I don’t get it.  How would a pennant help?  A dedicated internal halyard with a sheave-box near the head of the try would do the trick.  In any case, halyard lash would be at least as bad with a deep reef in the main.  

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57 minutes ago, toddster said:

I don’t get it.  How would a pennant help?

may be wrong word / i saw it used up tread and thougt it was correct.. Is luff tape the right word...? The point is the halyard must be attached to the mast above the try sail. I was sailing a 90 feet Maxirater with 100 feet mast, and with a short trysail the slamming against the mast was violent and actually treatening...

 

 

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5 hours ago, toddster said:

I don’t get it.  How would a pennant help?  A dedicated internal halyard with a sheave-box near the head of the try would do the trick.  In any case, halyard lash would be at least as bad with a deep reef in the main.  

 

4 hours ago, Tender said:

may be wrong word / i saw it used up tread and thougt it was correct.. Is luff tape the right word...? The point is the halyard must be attached to the mast above the try sail. I was sailing a 90 feet Maxirater with 100 feet mast, and with a short trysail the slamming against the mast was violent and actually treatening...

I’m guessing - only guessing -that a separate halyard for a trysail would be “overkill” on most boats (I.e., cruising boats averaging under 50’ LOA). A 90 footer might be different.

Just based on reading this fairly description of trysail use/set up on what seems to be a 30-40’ cruising boat: https://www.bwi.org/bwicontest/files/2188-thestormtrysail.pdf

I’d hazard a guess that the luff of the sail must be built pretty strong (as must the sail itself, obviously), so that the halyard can be tensioned well - i.e., presumably minimizing a loose-ish halyard thrashing the mast to fucking hell. (I note, too, that they secure the sail’s tack pennant/pendant (whatever it’s called) —a rope— to a cleat on the mast, and don’t use something [rope/textile/wire with an eye in it, hooked, in a fixed position, to the reefing tack horn.  This allows them to adjust the height/set of the trysail slightly, depending on whether it’s sheeted amidships, or on the quarters - which depends on conditions, they say).

 

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19 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

separate halyard for a trysail

… what I mean is if the length from gooseneck to top of mast is 20 m, the total luff tape on the try sail  needs to be 19,5m , even if the sail itself is only 3 m high. So it is a long strap with luff tape beeing fed into the mast groove / mast track (?) or a separate mast groove if main sail has sliders (?). My cruiser with in-mast rolling main has a separate track next to the main sail slot.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 

I’m guessing - only guessing -that a separate halyard for a trysail would be “overkill” on most boats (I.e., cruising boats averaging under 50’ LOA). A 90 footer might be different.

Just based on reading this fairly description of trysail use/set up on what seems to be a 30-40’ cruising boat: https://www.bwi.org/bwicontest/files/2188-thestormtrysail.pdf

I’d hazard a guess that the luff of the sail must be built pretty strong (as must the sail itself, obviously), so that the halyard can be tensioned well - i.e., presumably minimizing a loose-ish halyard thrashing the mast to fucking hell. (I note, too, that they secure the sail’s tack pennant/pendant (whatever it’s called) —a rope— to a cleat on the mast, and don’t use something [rope/textile/wire with an eye in it, hooked, in a fixed position, to the reefing tack horn.  This allows them to adjust the height/set of the trysail slightly, depending on whether it’s sheeted amidships, or on the quarters - which depends on conditions, they say).

 

I've seen some boats with a dedicated half-height sheave for the trysail above the track. That seemed pretty gucci. I have rigged my topping-lift as a spare main halyard and plan to use that for the trysail. I just have to make sure the sheave and the track are on the same side! I will probably weld an extra leaf on to my mast ring for the tack pennant. 

I wonder if I could use these guys? 

AM-JKLWA6enWnfLNhcPMIItAr999KL5WWmpc-raS

 

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16 minutes ago, Elegua said:

I've seen some boats with a dedicated half-height sheave for the trysail above the track. That seemed pretty gucci. I have rigged my topping-lift as a spare main halyard and plan to use that for the trysail. I just have to make sure the sheave and the track are on the same side! I will probably weld an extra leaf on to my mast ring for the tack pennant. 

I wonder if I could use these guys? 

AM-JKLWA6enWnfLNhcPMIItAr999KL5WWmpc-raS

 

Your topper will serve as a trysail halyard … use a low stretch line 

the trysail is conceived as a sail that can be set if your boom , boom gooseneck ….has been destroyed

the tack pennant will be long 

the tack of the trysail must be held tight to the back of the mast … lashing or doubled up cars on the tack pennant …substantial load 

the same with the head pennant 

think about the leech line … nothing worse than a storm sail leech buzzing off like a chain saw 

 

 

784321B9-6994-45BE-8D7C-6A9DE3B221C7.jpeg

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Just now, Elegua said:

I've seen some boats with a dedicated half-height sheave for the trysail above the track. That seemed pretty gucci. I have rigged my topping-lift as a spare main halyard and plan to use that for the trysail. I just have to make sure the sheave and the track are on the same side! I will probably weld an extra leaf on to my mast ring for the tack pennant. 

I wonder if I could use these guys? 

AM-JKLWA6enWnfLNhcPMIItAr999KL5WWmpc-raS

 

What’s the idea behind using the topping lift as trysail halyard?  (I get that the boom isn’t used when a trysail is hoisted so the topping lift is free to use.).  Is it just that it’s easier, in a rough, very windy situation where a trysail would be used, to not have to possibly struggle (over your head) to unshackle the main halyard (if the flaked mainsail stack is a bit tall) - so using topping lift as trysail halyard is safer/easier?  Is that the point?

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Just now, Elegua said:

I've seen some boats with a dedicated half-height sheave for the trysail above the track. That seemed pretty gucci. I have rigged my topping-lift as a spare main halyard and plan to use that for the trysail. I just have to make sure the sheave and the track are on the same side! I will probably weld an extra leaf on to my mast ring for the tack pennant. 

I wonder if I could use these guys? 

AM-JKLWA6enWnfLNhcPMIItAr999KL5WWmpc-raS

 

What’s the idea behind using the topping lift as trysail halyard?  (I get that the boom isn’t used when a trysail is hoisted so the topping lift is free to use.).  Is it just that it’s easier, in a rough, very windy situation where a trysail would be used, to not have to possibly struggle (over your head) to unshackle the main halyard (if the flaked mainsail stack is a bit tall) - so using topping lift as trysail halyard is safer/easier?  Is that the point?

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5 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

What’s the idea behind using the topping lift as trysail halyard?  (I get that the boom isn’t used when a trysail is hoisted so the topping lift is free to use.).  Is it just that it’s easier, in a rough, very windy situation where a trysail would be used, to not have to possibly struggle (over your head) to unshackle the main halyard (if the flaked mainsail stack is a bit tall) - so using topping lift as trysail halyard is safer/easier?  Is that the point?

The stack is pretty high and the head of the mainsail pretty far off the deck. It's free to use and usually brought forward when I'm sailing. I find it nice to have choices and back-ups. 

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Just now, Elegua said:

The stack is pretty high and the head of the mainsail pretty far off the deck. It's free to use and usually brought forward when I'm sailing. I find it nice to have choices and back-ups. 

I like it.  I hadn’t considered using my topping lift for trysail halyard - but seeing as I’m beginning to think through all my heavy weather stuff (and light air stuff, too, finally), like staysail and storm jib, this makes sense for my trysail.  Thanks!

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5 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Good to have redundancy 

your mainsail might be torn in half  …Halyard still attacked to the head 

if you have two aft facing halyards ..you might as well plan ahead 

I have one of those old Isomat masts with two aft facing sheaves.  Kruuzing, I have debated low-stretch line.  I was considering replacing with something like stay-set X because it's cheep, lower stretch and I don't care as much about hand feel in halyards. 

4 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I like it.  I hadn’t considered using my topping lift for trysail halyard - but seeing as I’m beginning to think through all my heavy weather stuff (and light air stuff, too, finally), like staysail and storm jib, this makes sense for my trysail.  Thanks!

You raise some interesting topics and definitely made me start to think more deeply about this. The only downside is that the topper isn't led aft (but I'll be at the mast sorting out the trysail anyway) and I need to upgrade the shackle to a captive pin shackle when I replace the line. 

I'm still sorting out light air. I'm not sure if I should go olden timey driftere or spendy fancy C0 on a boat that won't ever leave displacement mode.

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4 hours ago, Tender said:

… what I mean is if the length from gooseneck to top of mast is 20 m, the total luff tape on the try sail  needs to be 19,5m , even if the sail itself is only 3 m high. So it is a long strap with luff tape beeing fed into the mast groove / mast track (?) or a separate mast groove if main sail has sliders (?). My cruiser with in-mast rolling main has a separate track next to the main sail slot.

 

 

Interesting idea - just hadn't occurred to me.  I could sew on such a tape - plenty of extra slides available for harvest on the old main - though I'd have to add another piece or two of track to reach the masthead. Somewhere between $150 and $300 cost and two days work.  OTOH, a sheave box and exit plate could cost around $50 for my little boat, and install in an hour. But I imagine that the relative costs scale up the same.  

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26 minutes ago, toddster said:

just hadn't occurred to me.

…not to us either, before we used it first time on a delivery along the Norwegian west coast. We had 20 meters with halyard above the sail up to the mast head and the vibration was so violent we ended up taking the trysail down and sail only with a no5 yankee.

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Re vibration: A long tight halyard violently vibrating against the mast in a blow is a real likelihood. Some solution would be prudent. A lower sheave or a long captive leech pendant. 

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29 minutes ago, Elegua said:

I have one of those old Isomat masts with two aft facing sheaves.  Kruuzing, I have debated low-stretch line.  I was considering replacing with something like stay-set X because it's cheep, lower stretch and I don't care as much about hand feel in halyards. 

You raise some interesting topics and definitely made me start to think more deeply about this. The only downside is that the topper isn't led aft (but I'll be at the mast sorting out the trysail anyway) and I need to upgrade the shackle to a captive pin shackle when I replace the line. 

I'm still sorting out light air. I'm not sure if I should go olden timey driftere or spendy fancy C0 on a boat that won't ever leave displacement mode.

Re: topping lift - I led mine aft (the only thing at the mast I’ve led aft) since it allows me to tension topping topping lift before leaving cockpit to reef.  Works on boat/my set up, but of course they’re all different...

Yeah, C0...on my “one day” list.  I’m going with drifter on a Dux Solent (thanks for all the insights, Evans!), because it’s simple, cheap, effective, and the Solent also gives me a place to hank on a 90-100% working jib (Genoa on furler).  (I also have mast top/front spinnaker halyard too - for poled symmetrical spin, amd possible future C0 if I’m feeling like I really want to add more shit :-). Don’t feel the need now...I’m focused on Hawaii 2022; I think I’ll be sorted just fine without an extra $4000 spent in C0 and furler :-)

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Re: topping lift - I led mine aft (the only thing at the mast I’ve led aft) since it allows me to tension topping topping lift before leaving cockpit to reef.  Works on boat/my set up, but of course they’re all different...

Yeah, C0...on my “one day” list.  I’m going with drifter on a Dux Solent (thanks for all the insights, Evans!), because it’s simple, cheap, effective, and the Solent also gives me a place to hank on a 90-100% working jib (Genoa on furler).  (I also have mast top/front spinnaker halyard too - for poled symmetrical spin, amd possible future C0 if I’m feeling like I really want to add more shit :-). Don’t feel the need now...I’m focused on Hawaii 2022; I think I’ll be sorted just fine without an extra $4000 spent in C0 and furler :-)

I have one of them fanzy rigid vangs that will springing sproingen the boom. I am leaning drifter with a dyneema luff because I have a place just aft of my furler to fly it and I have the extra genoa halyard. Question is - can you get enough luff tension on it? 

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Just now, Elegua said:

I am leaning drifter with a dyneema luff because I have a place just aft of my furler to fly it and I have the extra genoa halyard. Question is - can you get enough luff tension on it? 

That is a good question...for a sailmaker?

I am sorta considering (as of yesterday when it occurred to me) a drifter with Dyneema luff (as opposed to simple hank-on type, I.e., without Dyneema luff), as it would (theoretically) give me the ability to have working jib left hanked on on the Solent, tidily stored in a bag, so I could easily bring drifter out in a bag when needed and hoist on its on luff rope.  
 

I think this sorta makes sense, though I haven’t fully though it through yet.  (The alternative is drifter and working jib both hank-on type sails.)  I dunno if a Dyneema luff drifter could have its luff tensioned enough - that would likely be deciding factor for me in deciding on which type to go with.

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Someone (Zonker I believe) has posted elsewhere about setting a light-air-only drifter by hanking it onto a dyneema "stay" set between the anchor roller and the masthead.

The advantage of hanks with a separate dyneema stay, vs. a dyneema luff, is that you have better control of the sail during the douse.  You can douse it with the luff under complete control, and then fold/roll/bundle the sail before you unhank it.  If you have a free-flying sail with a dyneema luff then once you lower it, there's no luff tension.  The sail is only restrained by the tack and can blow all over the place.

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15 hours ago, Elegua said:

I am leaning drifter with a dyneema luff because I have a place just aft of my furler to fly it and I have the extra genoa halyard. Question is - can you get enough luff tension on it? 

We had a wire luffed drfter for quite a while (until the sail exploded in too much wind - operator error).

Luff tension is no problem for angles behind a close reach.  And you are not really going to sail closer than that unless you use one of the specialized light weight low stretch fabrics (like DP's CZ0 - which is terrific - but not as long life and operator error resistant as just say 3oz nylon for a drifter).  IF you want to sail close reaches and closer in any measurable wind then you need leverage/tackle to get stay tension - could still be done with a rope luff (as is done on the C0 furling set-ups).  [edit: I guess in theory a sail maker could cut a closer reach and tighter sail to work with big headstay sag - think it would be hard to make at all repeatedly efficient in actual practice).

A stay with hank on sail is more flexible (can use multiple sails on it) and easier for the douse.  There can be small chafe concern with hank on dynama stay but should not be a problem if the hanks are 'correct'.  For a drifter typical operation either will work, for a storm jib I would strongly prefer the separate stay (or a C0 furling set-up where you can roll it before dropping).

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38 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

We had a wire luffed drfter for quite a while (until the sail exploded in too much wind - operator error).

Luff tension is no problem for angles behind a close reach.  And you are not really going to sail closer than that unless you use one of the specialized light weight low stretch fabrics (like DP's CZ0 - which is terrific - but not as long life and operator error resistant as just say 3oz nylon for a drifter).  IF you want to sail close reaches and closer in any measurable wind then you need leverage/tackle to get stay tension - could still be done with a rope luff (as is done on the C0 furling set-ups).  [edit: I guess in theory a sail maker could cut a closer reach and tighter sail to work with big headstay sag - think it would be hard to make at all repeatedly efficient in actual practice).

A stay with hank on sail is more flexible (can use multiple sails on it) and easier for the douse.  There can be small chafe concern with hank on dynama stay but should not be a problem if the hanks are 'correct'.  For a drifter typical operation either will work, for a storm jib I would strongly prefer the separate stay (or a C0 furling set-up where you can roll it before dropping).

Thanks! that's very helpful. No, I don't think in the kind of breeze I plan to use it I will be going much closer than a close-ish reach in anything but flat water. 

I already have a wire, removable cutter stay about 4' back from the headstay. My staysail permanently lives on it (max size) and the storm jib hanks on it.  My first reaction to adding a solent on top of my cutter stay would overcomplicating things. The staysail is pretty small and as a I have a hole in my sailplan that can be kind of papered over with a furled genoa, but it'd be really nice to have something closer to an ORC heavy weather jib that wasn't a partially furled genoa. I could get a bigger staysail but the sheeting angle would be horrible. 

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Big difference between a windward staysail and a reaching staysail 

for passage making a wire luff or dyneema luff ..reaching  staysail is a very nice addition ..easy to handle, compact  , lightweight construction 

no runners , no stay .. just a halyard 

set out of wooly stops or a zipper sock 

On  some boats it possible to sheet this staysail to the main boom 

 

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On 9/12/2021 at 6:26 PM, Borracho said:

I stow my trysail securely in the attic of the mountain cabin. If I thought there was a chance it would be really needed on a cruise, I’d...

I’ve been checking out various vids lately, trying to “understand”/get a feel for why/how various sail combinations are used in various conditions/ocean routes.

Here’s a trysail being flown (in lieu of a mainsail), along with a storm staysail and full roller furling jib - in the SW Indian Ocean off Madagascar in big SE swell headed from Mauritius to Richard’s Bay, SA.  Seems like a reasonable use of a trysail in lieu of a reefed main, in combination with headsails for sailing off the wind in boisterous conditions.  But I dunno.  Just trying to get a feel for how such sails work. 

See at 9:00-13:40 here: (Not great video quality; it’s a video of a video)

 

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’ve been checking out various vids lately, trying to “understand”/get a feel for why/how various sail combinations are used in various conditions/ocean routes.

Here’s a trysail…

Each sailor will develop their own style. This couple may be an outlier. Certainly appear to be opposite in every way to my philosophy. Which is okay. They are out there doing it. Gettin’er done. 
Cruising under trysail and genoa is a bit odd. Certainly there is no reason to have more sail up than is required for the power needed. That sail plan won’t work if a large course change is needed. Turning around to windward is going to be an epic failure. Could be a safety issue. That is always on my mind. 
Are they going to flog the genoa all the way to Mozambique? They have more unmeasured sail area than the trysail in all that cockpit junk. Apparently they think all that rolling and pitching is normal. More main might  lessen the roll. Moving a few hundred pounds off the transom might help the pitch (the bow is probably a mess too). But they have done thousands of miles and have become oblivious.

Oh yeah, one more thing: video editing. There is only enough content there for a TikTok. 

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1 hour ago, Borracho said:

Each sailor will develop their own style. This couple may be an outlier. Certainly appear to be opposite in every way to my philosophy. Which is okay.

Oh yeah, one more thing: video editing. There is only enough content there for a TikTok.

Weird how discussions here almost invariably turn sort of critical/personal.  Oh well.

The dude used to race for years, and is now out cruising, so apparently that sail plan worked for them in a circumnavigation in a displacement boat.  Gettin’er done - that’s the only thing that counts, as you said.  Clearly they know what they’re doing, was my takeaway, as they’ve decided to forego use if the main to save wear and tear, in favour of a trysail.  In another vid they mention not using the main once in the entire Indian Ocean crossing, so I ain’t gonna sit here and judge - I’m just suggesting that the view of the trysail as a sail best consigned to the attic storage may be re-visited by examining those who are actually using them.  Seems reasonable enough.  Probably quiet different for a sled-like boat.

(Your video standards are way too high for a clearly amateur presentation filmed on someone’s phone!  I’ll try harder next time...)

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Indian Ocean crossing

west bound indian ocean to south africa can be (usually is in the right season) pretty sustained breezy.  I can see the trysail use there - we did that passage on our ketch (where the sail strategy is a bit different). On our sloop we were going the other way even deeper south.

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41 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

On our sloop we were going the other way even deeper south.

Down there, was the trysail your “it’s getting too serious/the second deep reef in the main isn’t enough” sail?  Or was it somehow sort of specific to Hawk’s characteristics/way it sailed that you wanted to use it (how frequently?) ?  Just curious what conditions/times made you want to use a trysail.  
 

Definitely not a sail whose use I’m familiar with as a normal sail (was surprised to see those folks on a production cruising boat - Pacific Seacraft 37 - flying one, but I guess it worked well them in breezy conditions on that route and, as they said, it takes the boom out of the equation.  He later did a nonstop singlehanded circumnavigation in a BCC 28 - curious what the sail strategy was for that route/boat.)

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Some folks out cruising an Ericson 38 reported great success using the trysail as a steadying sail to stop the boat rolling in their downwind trade winds mode.  Really, it seems to me that the bottom line is that you’d have to invest some preparation time to make the trysail a facile option before even beginning to experiment with some of these different modes.  

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1 hour ago, toddster said:

Some folks out cruising an Ericson 38 reported great success using the trysail as a steadying sail to stop the boat rolling in their downwind trade winds mode.  Really, it seems to me that the bottom line is that you’d have to invest some preparation time to make the trysail a facile option before even beginning to experiment with some of these different modes.  

Yes indeed 

the trysail dampens roll , preserves your expensive mainsail and removes the endless  cycling that fatigues the boom and vang gooseneck 

the trick to crossing the ocean is to maintain decent speed and comfort and to not beat up your equipment 

 

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Great information in this thread. I don't think a trysail or dedicated track is realistic or necessary for my 29ft'r coastal cruising in the PNW but I'm definitely filing away the advice/ideas in this thread for when the next boat comes along.

On a small boat for 'emergency' use would low frictions 'hoops' be practical for attaching the luff of the trysail to the mast or would friction be too extreme?

We've recently began venturing out in more sporting conditions and ended up in 35 gusting 45+ a couple weeks ago when we were planning to practice in 25. It was our first time experiencing headsail sheets tangling themselves into an unusable mess in a tack, inability to tack, inability to pull the mainsail luff down to stick in another reef, etc. Was a very valuable learning experience for the low cost of a broken block and stiff muscles the next day.

 

 

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Question about the setup for the storm trysail on the mast.  Saw a suggestion that instead of a separate track, one could rig a heavy taut wire between two padeyes on the mast and attach the trysail to it with hanks.  Comments?

 

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On 9/28/2021 at 11:20 PM, toddster said:

Holy mast-slap, Batman!

Interesting point but would have to think you'd need a good bit more than 100 knots of breeze to make a 5/16" or 3/8" wire strung taut perhaps 2" from the mast move much.  It's not going to the masthead - only up maybe 20 or so feet for hoisting the trysail. 

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On 9/29/2021 at 12:55 PM, PaulK said:

Question about the setup for the storm trysail on the mast.  Saw a suggestion that instead of a separate track, one could rig a heavy taut wire between two padeyes on the mast and attach the trysail to it with hanks.  Comments?

 

I have heard that too, would probably use dyneema these days.

The other option I heard was to make up a sort of cassette containing six to eight mainsail slides, and tie it to the halyard just above the mainsail head. The idea is it goes up and down with the main, and the slides are just sitting there for the trysail when the main is dropped.

Haven't tried it, seems like a recipe for a jammed main or a difficult hoist, but would be interested if anyone has used it.

My current solution is a deep third reef, and a removable slide stopper to clear the track if I have to hoist a trysail…

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This video might bring back memories for Evans. Around 7:00 they wish they only had their storm jib up.

 

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On 9/13/2021 at 2:11 AM, slug zitski said:

And in your trysail bag stow a dozen jumbo sail ties ....... the main must be absolutely secured to the boom… many sail ties are needed 

Something learned the hard way.... a long time ago....

I've fought with lengths of spare rope. I've struggled with lengths of tape with a loop tied in one end.

The sail ties needed in a storm are tape LOOPS.... either tied with a proper tape knot, or presewn. Long enough to go twice round.

Try 'em.....

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are going to do any extended offshore sailing get a trysail with A- its own dedicated track extending down to just above the cabin top, B- its own dedicated halyard turning just above the end of the track.  Does not need to be internal, C- a tack pennant with a set length dead ended to a fixed