Chasing Elegua

Elegua

Generalissimo
I've spent 2.5 of the last 3 years in the Caribbean, and have done a lot of boat projects. Sint Maarten is the place to go for granular technical work or work that needs a lot of parts. I recently paid $60-$90/hr for very skilled and efficient workers during a rig survey and refit. Machining custom parts was $95, welding was $85. FKG is far and away the best rigger in the Caribbean. Tradesmen in Sint Maarten are used to the demands of the megayachts, it's quite competitive, and in my experience they are quick and careful. Getting parts is easy, Fedex in 2 days, no screwing around with duties blah blah. The chandleries are well stocked as are the main service providers, and many, not all, parts prices are similar to the US. The haulout yards are dirty and dusty, but in Cole Bay super convenient to parts and services.

Antigua is pretty good for cosmetic maintenance. North Sound is a nice clean boatyard, but it's the other end of the island from the main labor/resources pool around Falmouth/English Harbors, this is an issue. Jolly Harbor is more geared towards owner/operator boats than Falmouth/English, but skills/resources seem a bit hit or miss there. It's a fairly clean boatyard to haul. In Falmouth Chippy is famous for woodwork, Woodstock has broad skills and have done a fair number of minor composite projects, paint repairs, and other things for me, MPS does good metal and mechanical work, Antigua Rigging is reasonably good, but I don't like the attitude they come with....A&A is nicer to work with but has fewer resources. Workers in Antigua need a little more micromanaging than SXM, especially around protecting the boat from damage/wear & tear during projects. Labor rates in Antigua are a little lower than SXM, but the productivity is lower too. The chandleries aren't too bad on stock, but parts prices are much higher than US/SXM, and getting parts is slower and more $$$. Usually takes a week to get something, and customs, and local delivery and blah blah. If you needed to haul in Antigua I would also look at Sammi's in the NE corner of Falmouth, you might be able to fit in there and it's cheap.

Grenada is the place to go for labor intensive jobs, bottom jobs, etc. Labor rates run $20-$40/hour for a big range of skills, though higher for technical skills - I paid up to $80/hr for those. Productivity is lower than up north, and there is no tradition of megayachts really, you have to be very involved and engaged to drive projects forward and to make sure they protect the boat and don't do more damage than they fix while doing projects!! I've hauled at Clarke's Court twice, the price is very very good. The yard is pretty dirty, careful where they put you if you want to paint, and watch out for overspray from others painting. I can't get into Spice Island (beam), but I hear they're pretty good and the chandlery is right there. Grenada Marine has a decent rep over in St. David's parish, but it's a one-company operation, far from town and other resources. Parts and supplies in Grenada are generally double the US price, though you can usually bring your own (we did) and nobody complains. Getting parts shipped in is slow and expensive. Driftwood at Clarke's Court is well regarded and has done some really good work for me, but recently they have been a victim of their success and are drowned in work.

For your projects, seeing you're in Falmouth, I'd call Woodstock for help. And they'll tell you who to call for the refrigeration. For the furler, you could try pricing it with Antigua Rigging and see if you like them....but.......really I'd sail back to SXM and give the job to FKG. If you wanted to do everything in SXM, I'd let the FKG guys give you references, everybody they sent me to for stuff they don't do was top notch.

I could keep going, but will stop there. Hope this helps.
Thanks. Very helpful. What’s A&A? FKG? MPS? A friend in the business pointed me to chippy.
 

CapDave

Member
484
456
Antigua
Thanks. Very helpful. What’s A&A? FKG? MPS? A friend in the business pointed me to chippy.
A&A rigging in Falmouth - mostly for running rigging, easy stroll from Antigua Yacht Club
FKG Rigging in Cole Bay, SXM, easy to find - fkgmarine.com
MPS is Marine Power Services in Falmouth, land the dinghy at Sammi's in NE corner and walk there in 5 minutes.

BTW - we had a long list for our Volvo D2-55s, and we looked at going to one of the leading stocking Volvo dealers in the Caribbean in Martinique (Inboard Diesel), and doing other stuff while there. We explored a number of service providers, and unlike any other place I've ever been, nobody would give me a rate sheet. WTF? We didn't go.
 

slug zitski

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Mine are built into the liner. I’m looking to add a stripper pole or two. We’re short and Ted was tall.
Careful with a continuous pole that connects ceiling to hull. It forms a hard spot, your boat flexes but the pole doesn’t
An engineer put a expansion joint in the pole … this also makes it ten times easier to install
 

CapDave

Member
484
456
Antigua
BTW - we're in SXM, heading towards Antigua this week, probably stop in SB a few days to hang with the turtles in Baie des Colombiers. If you're still around - happy to buy you a drink to celebrate your passage!!
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,514
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Canada
Jud, have you sailed much with it? I bag mine when at anchor, just as I cover the mainsail. But when sailing I almost always have the staysail set, no matter the angle of sail or the conditions, so before raising anchor or leaving a mooring or slip I simply open the bag just as I would uncover the main, so no need to go forward if conditions worsen and you need to furl the jib and use the staysail, it is ready, and in my case already raised and working. I would however need to go forward to attach the second set of sheets at the reef point if I ever needed it as a stormsail, and that would not be fun, so the furler option is appealing if I think I will ever need that option. So far I have not.

Nope, haven’t sailed with it much - just mostly have thought through how I wanted it to work.

Don’t have much experience with it. Using the staysail regularly seems like a bit of a pain, more lines to manage, etc., but I like it as a heavy weather option. Makes sense to fly it as part of your regular sailing so that it’s effectively ready for use without going forward. I definitely need to wrap my head around using it with the Genoa. Like flossing and exercising more regularly, and eating more vegetables, it’s one of those “I should do more of that” tasks which may be hard to accomplish :)
 

slug zitski

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Nope, haven’t sailed with it much - just mostly have thought through how I wanted it to work.

Don’t have much experience with it. Using the staysail regularly seems like a bit of a pain, more lines to manage, etc., but I like it as a heavy weather option. Makes sense to fly it as part of your regular sailing so that it’s effectively ready for use without going forward. I definitely need to wrap my head around using it with the Genoa.
With an inner forestay you use the staysail to tack the Genoa
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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With an inner forestay you use the staysail to tack the Genoa

Not sure what you mean. I always find the inner forestay to be a pain/in the way, so my plan was to remove it for the 99% of the time I’m sailing locally/coastally, and install it for when doing a passage/going offshore. (My mast is very easy to ascend, with folding steps.)
 

Vaeredil

Anarchist
Not sure what you mean. I always find the inner forestay to be a pain/in the way, so my plan was to remove it for the 99% of the time I’m sailing locally/coastally, and install it for when doing a passage/going offshore. (My mast is very easy to ascend, with folding steps.)
This is recent news to me too, but I think they mean you leave the staysail sheets on the old cleat/winch when you tack. The genoa/outer jib then will slide easily across the backhanded staysail and tack without any of the usual "crewmember helping it around the inner stay" problems. Once it's over you pop your staysail, sheet it in, and you're set!
 
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slug zitski

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This is recent news to me too, but I think they mean you leave the staysail sheets on the old cleat/winch when you tack. The genoa/outer jib then will slide easily across the backhanded staysail and tack without any of the usual "crewmember helping it around the inner stay" problems. Once it's over you pop your staysail, sheet it in, and you're set!
Yes indeed

In addition the Genoa sheet running over a rolled up staysail in a tack is a major chafe problem
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
My 0.02. My staysail halyard leads to the cockpit. I use my staysail a lot. It’s rigged in a bag 99% of the time with the sheets led to the secondary winches. It’s the perfect sail above 20kts True or when short-tacking up a channel. It balances really well against a reefed
main. I’m cruising, I’ll take the speed hit for the convenience and angle. Dragging a Genoa over the stay is hard on it so I furl-a-tack to avoid doing that. I’mcruising so slow tacks aren’t an issue. I’m also a sloop, so I almost never have both running at the same time. I’m thinking about a furler as the bag already creates a lot of wind age forward and I’d like to make change-up easier. I think the staysail was out of the bag on deck for about 40% of the last passage. Maybe a structural furler so I can keep the hanks is what I want.
 
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slug zitski

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My 0.02. My staysail halyard leads to the cockpit. I use my staysail a lot. It’s rigged in a bag 99% of the time with the sheets led to the secondary winches. It’s the perfect sail above 20kts True or when short-tacking up a channel. It balances really well against a reefed
main. I’m cruising, I’ll take the speed hit for the convenience and angle. Dragging a Genoa over the stay is hard on it so I furl-a-tack to avoid doing that. Im cruising so slow racks aren’t an issue. I’m also a sloop, so I almost never have both running at the same time. I’m thinking about a furler as the bag already creates a lot of wind age forward and I’d like to make change-up easier. I think the staysail was out of the bag on deck for about 40% of the last passage. Maybe a structural furler so I can keep the hanks is what I want.
Nothing wrong with furling the Genoa to tack

Furling and unfurling flogs the sail a bit and grinding in the Genoa is a chore

When properly done tacking against the staysail is very fast

Worth practicing this maneuver in light air
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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My 0.02. My staysail halyard leads to the cockpit. I use my staysail a lot. It’s rigged in a bag 99% of the time with the sheets led to the secondary winches. It’s the perfect sail above 20kts True or when short-tacking up a channel. It balances really well against a reefed
main. I’m cruising, I’ll take the speed hit for the convenience and angle. Dragging a Genoa over the stay is hard on it so I furl-a-tack to avoid doing that. I’mcruising so slow tacks aren’t an issue. I’m also a sloop, so I almost never have both running at the same time. I’m thinking about a furler as the bag already creates a lot of wind age forward and I’d like to make change-up easier. I think the staysail was out of the bag on deck for about 40% of the last passage. Maybe a structural furler so I can keep the hanks is what I want.

Thanks for this info - interesting/good food for thought, as I don’t know much about staysails. Hungover from a work Xmas party today, so brain is not functioning... :)

How could your furler-less, bagged staysail make much windage (compared to a staysail on furler)? It’s bagged on deck, no?

“Maybe a structural furler so I can keep the hanks is what I want.” Not sure what you mean by that? And what’s a structural furler?
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
Thanks for this info - interesting/good food for thought, as I don’t know much about staysails. Hungover from a work Xmas party today, so brain is not functioning... :)

How could your furler-less, bagged staysail make much windage (compared to a staysail on furler)? It’s bagged on deck, no?

“Maybe a structural furler so I can keep the hanks is what I want.” Not sure what you mean by that? And what’s a structural furler?
If you have a reasonable sized staysail, it’s not an overly small bag and it’s near the bow. Probably less than a furler, but how much less?

A structural furler like the Ubi Maijor (sp?) Jiber uses a rod instead of a foil. I can replace my bronze hanks with soft hanks. Still need to re-cut the sail, so this might not be an immediate change, but I’m thinking about it.
 
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TheDragon

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East central Illinois
Jud, I think using the staysail at all angles is useful. Going upwind it helps a ton, creating a second slot effect. On a reach it does the same thing. On a broad reach or run I pole the jib out to windward and while the staysail is a little shadowed by the main, it still works. And a big benefit is when you are getting ready for a squall you can just furl the jib and reef the main and in a few minutes you are down to triple-reefed main and staysail, a good combination all the way to 30 knots. And as Slug says, you leave the staysail backed as you tack going upwind and that eases the jib across. But sure, if you are coastal sailing or going up a river, or for some reason tacking frequently, one head sail will do. Here's my boat with all sail set on a beam reach in 12-15 knots doing 5-7 knots.


AHHughSeaChange 20220528-109.jpg
 

Bryanjb

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We've gone to roller furling for the staysail. Hard to beat window shade sailing on passages but not great for short tacking.

For good labor pricing it's hard to beat Trinidad, about half the price of Grenada. Quality is ok, not up to Maine standards but generally good enough to satisfy most cruisers.

FKG in Sint Maarten is very good for any rigging or fabrication work.

And we're floating!
 

estarzinger

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staysail decision depends on a bunch of personal priorities.

we experimented with most of the options on Hawk and ended up with 3 hank on staysails, with wire stay for offshore and removable (bring bottom back to mast) dyneema stay for inshore. It suited the way we liked to sail best - super smooth short tacks inshore plus perfectly sized with no furl staysail offshore for all weather. Plus minimal windage when not using staysail. It is some extra work when switching staysail, but we did that at most once a day, probably on average more like once a week. We also had a sail locker, which most cruising boats don't have. And it was not hard work. We did not mind it. But I know this is not the conventionally 'preferred' trade-off by the cruising fleet.

I would might have felt differently if I was sailing a >60'er with bigger staysails. Might prefer multiple soft furlers I could hoist out of the foredeck hatch like we did our code zero.

I personally just like short tacking up narrow channels and onto anchor too much to be happy with a fixed furler. But most people simply turn their engines on, and I get it.
 

Panope

Super Anarchist
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Port Townsend, WA
.......with wire stay for offshore and removable (bring bottom back to mast) dyneema stay for inshore..........
Did you have any trouble with (I assume BRONZE) hanks chafing the dyneema stay?

Someone (I think it was Carol Hasse) told me that bronze hanks were fine on a dyneema stay provided that they had not previously been used on a metal stay.

I am considering changing out my inner forestay to dyneema and I have a bunch of hanked headsails that might need attention. Perhaps some of the hanks that have a sharp edge worn into them will need some sanding/polishing.
 

estarzinger

Super Anarchist
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Did you have any trouble with (I assume BRONZE) hanks chafing the dyneema stay?

Someone (I think it was Carol Hasse) told me that bronze hanks were fine on a dyneema stay provided that they had not previously been used on a metal stay.

I am considering changing out my inner forestay to dyneema and I have a bunch of hanked headsails that might need attention. Perhaps some of the hanks that have a sharp edge worn into them will need some sanding/polishing.
I did not have any issue with that - I was using the wichard stainless steel clips rather than bronze hanks. They were typically easier to operate than normal bronze hanks and did not wear on the wire.

I did help another boat which was using bronze hanks on dyneema and having some wear - I put a series of 'floating' small rings on the stay which he hanked to rather than to the stay. There was less movement so less chafe and they were easily replaceable. But extra potential failure point and work and the wichard's seem like a better solution.

I suspect you could do an excellent job polishing your bronze hanks and yes I believe that would be just fine. You have the sort of craftsmanship that you would get it right. Many less diligent people would do only 'looks good enough', which might well not be.

The rtw racers had a number of nifty 'soft hank' solutions, which could dual use on rod but I don't have any experience with any of them on wire don't know they might wear too fast. Like with mainsail slugs, the load is actually pretty low except for the top couple, so you can use fastening systems that I would have thought were too weak (like velcro, edit which does have a 'durability' issue that I don't like)) and they turn out to be fine.
 

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