Chasing Elegua

Sail4beer

Usual suspect
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Toms River,NJ
My staysail is very heavy(9 oz) on a 50’ tall mast. I’m starting to like the idea of converting to roller furler to make life easier. I wish I could with the 9 oz mainsail. Might be time for an electric winch handle.😮‍💨 Not as young as I was just a couple of years ago when the sails were new and they’ve gotten heavy!
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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From way back memory of hanked sails: saw more rust stains from luff wire, and oil stains from over eager lubing of piston hanks than actual green staining

Furler vs hanks: furler has ease of use, but added weight aloft, complexity, UV cover on sail, windage, another line to lead aft, cost, sheet lead changes a lot when reefed
Hanks: can be slab reefed, low complexity, no added weight, need to hoist to use (Sail can be tied down without sailbag) Halyard could be brought aft, secured at sail with velcro. Reefed sheet lead can be made same as full hoist.
When you have adjustable inboard lead cars and tracks dedicated to the staysail, and a fairly high cut clew, maintaining the proper lead for the staysail is easy as you reef it. it's a pretty small area to begin with, so much easier to roll than a genoa, and much less to roll in to reduce area.

The reefing lines for both of my headsails led aft through roller blocks on the stanchions--genoa furling line on one side, staysail furling line on the other side--to their own dedicated oversize rope clutches on the railcap, with the tails having a fair lead to the secondary winches at the aft end of the cockpit if necessary. And yes, I have used a winch on a furling line from time to time, which you can do if you have oversize furlers and are trying not to flog the sail.

This was set up for singlehanding, on the assumption that I would do everything by myself in shitty conditions.

I'll trade a little extra weight, windage, and cost against going onto the foredeck to set and/or slab-reef a staysail when going upwind in 35+ knots of breeze and a steep sea. Weight, windage, and cost are the last things on your mind in that situation. I bet that by myself, I could go from a full genoa and furled staysail to no genoa and a reefed staysail in less time and with less effort than you could do the same thing by yourself without a furling staysail.

However, what works for me isn't necessarily right for you.

Different ships, different long splices.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
Conditions change frequently. To keep the boat moving efficiently meant lots of sail changes. If both are on furlers, it’s just easier and quicker. Furlers seem quite robust these days. I’m not going to put in new Genoa tracks so I’ll probably go for the Garhauer adjustable leads.

Being a masthead sloop I think the most common sail configuration was reefed main and some percentage of Genoa. The windvane liked that arrangement.
 

monkphunk

Member
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Conditions change frequently. To keep the boat moving efficiently meant lots of sail changes. If both are on furlers, it’s just easier and quicker.

Agreed. A staysail on a furler is very convenient. It rolls in and out in seconds with little effort; I'm sure we carry more sail (particularly at night) because of this convenience. Gives a nice boost on anything from a close reach to a broad reach, and is so tame to take in you'll never hesitate to set it in a lull. (By contrast, if it is breezy and the yankee is reefed, I'm pretty reluctant to shake it out. There's a lot of load on the furler to bring it back in when the breeze comes up.)

I've never had to reef the staysail; our few sustained 30+ knot experiences have blessedly all been well off the wind, so no thoughts on changing sheeting angles. If we had to partially furl it, it would be in conditions where hauling down a flogging sail would be no fun. There is a track, so we could move the sheet leads if necessary.

The staysail is also how we heave to; another reason its nice to be able to deploy from the cockpit in an instant.

Plugging down the ICW recently, we had some stretches where the wind was well aft of close hauled but we were still motorsailing because the next turn was going to head us up into the wind. I unrolled the staysail, got a nice little boost without impairing visibility, and rolled it back up at the next turn. At least it gave me something to do!

None of these are reasons why you have to have a staysail on a furler, but when it is easy to make sail changes, I find it happens more often.
 

slug zitski

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With a staysail …if you set a sheet leed close to centerline …you can motorsail at very close apparent wind angles, gain a knot of speed or throttle back ,save diesel fuel and reduce roll

very valuable sail for a cruiser
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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Conditions change frequently. To keep the boat moving efficiently meant lots of sail changes. If both are on furlers, it’s just easier and quicker. Furlers seem quite robust these days. I’m not going to put in new Genoa tracks so I’ll probably go for the Garhauer adjustable leads.

Being a masthead sloop I think the most common sail configuration was reefed main and some percentage of Genoa. The windvane liked that arrangement.
If you go with a relatively small genoa so that it can be reefed effectively, that will cover about 90% of the weather you encounter in temperate-latitude conditions.

One thing I learned with a reefing staysail was to go with a larger furler than might normally be indicated by the area of the sail, since it will be under larger loads. The larger drum diameter gives you a bit of extra leverage on the furling line if you set it up properly. Assume that maybe half the furling line remains on the drum when the sail is rolled up.

You have to experiment with this, and make sure the part of the furling line that always stays on the drum is tightly wrapped.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
4kt shit box sees how the 0.1% cruise.

I’m just happy I didn’t embarrass myself or break anything med-mooring with a dinghy and a windvane. Of course I picked ideal conditions.
167ABD17-F72B-4AEA-A50D-DB7AF69DE3D9.jpeg
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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4kt shit box sees how the 0.1% cruise.

I’m just happy I didn’t embarrass myself or break anything med-mooring with a dinghy and a windvane. Of course I picked ideal conditions.
View attachment 558079
Well, la-T-dah! In there with the big boys, are we?

Now all you have to do is figure out how to get on and off the boat.

Nice neighborhood. I'm jealous.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
The monitor makes an interesting passarelle (sp?)

That’s supposed to move NE. Glad I’m not out there. Winds were out of the NW - typical trade winds, right?

Starting next week I hope to start with the north coast.
 

slug zitski

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The monitor makes an interesting passarelle (sp?)

That’s supposed to move NE. Glad I’m not out there. Winds were out of the NW - typical trade winds, right?

Starting next week I hope to start with the north coast.
Good time to get some sticks and build a passarelle

not to wide, not to long , light pine .doubles as a fender board

1C78BED1-5A68-4E89-B444-AB2803B4689C.jpeg
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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No passaraile (sp?) will make that difficult.
@Elegua Hey, Invest 99L is forming north of you. 50% chance of cyclone formation.
I've got a friend doing the same trip from the E coast near the south end of the Chesapeake down to Antigua right now. Invest 99L is giving them quite a ride. Strong winds in the right direction. As long as 99L does what it is forecast to do, they'll have a fast ride with strongish winds further aft than Elegua had almost all the way to Antigua.

As of this morning, they had just under 800 miles to go.

These are pretty much the same conditions we had coming across from the Canaries to Antigua in early December 2001, with 25+ knots just aft of abeam for most of 18 days straight, with a strong system just sitting there in the mid-Atlantic. It was a fast but rough passage in our 40-footer. It finally went lighter for the last 24 hours of the trip, which made you forget how tough the rest of it had been.

My wife still has not forgotten the hard part, and reminds me of it periodically 20 years later. When I say "periodically", I mean, like last night.
 

accnick

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@accnick if you were making 7kts, that's 18 apparent which isn't too bad but I'll bet the waves were tall. What was the period like?
Unless the wind is dead aft, the apparent wind is not TWS - boat speed, so apparent windspeed with the wind on or just aft of the beam is about the same as the true windspeed. With a base wind of around 25, gusts were 30+, and you usually remember the gusts, not the lulls.

I'm not very good at measuring wave period, but it was as reasonable as waves get after a week or more of strong winds. The other thing, of course, was that the waves were influenced by the much stronger center of the system--an out of season weak hurricane--that was several hundred miles NNE of us, up towards the Azores, once we turned to course after getting down near the latitude of the Cape Verde islands.

The winds were more like reinforced trade winds, but that can get tiresome after a couple of weeks. You worry about chafe and cyclic loading, but conditions are such that you really hesitate to go around the decks to do checks the way you should.

I've always been obsessive about detailed checks before starting a passage, on the theory that you should be 100% confident in the state of the boat before heading offshore. If you've checked things properly before you leave, you can be reasonably confident in the boat when it gets crappy.

Seas were not that big--maybe 6-10', but if they break against the side of your boat, you get cold and wet pretty quickly. They did, and we did.

I'll have to dig out the logbook pages for that particular passage to get all the details right. In any case, 2850 NM in just over 18 days was a decent passage for our 40-footer. Even if it was uncomfortable for most of the time, it made arrival in Antigua a lot sweeter.
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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Correction to previous post:

Boy, did I ever get some of the details of that transatlantic passage wrong, particularly the wind direction and the cause of the conditions encountered.

I did not find the logbook pages, but did find the article I wrote immediately after the end of the trip.

It is easier to read the article than to correct all the errors, so it is attached below, if you have any interest. Having just completed a major offshore passage, Elegua will be very familiar with a lot of what is described here.
 

Attachments

  • Calypso across the Atlanticmod.pdf
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Elegua

Generalissimo
I think the waves know just about when things are dry and then they soak down the entire boat and the person on watch again if they are in the wrong position (which of course you are - you might have been in shelter for 45min but the 46th when you go to adjust somethings….)
 

slug zitski

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I think the waves know just about when things are dry and then they soak down the entire boat and the person on watch again if they are in the wrong position (which of course you are - you might have been in shelter for 45min but the 46th when you go to adjust somethings….)
Waves always have your name …
 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

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Canada
I think the waves know just about when things are dry and then they soak down the entire boat and the person on watch again if they are in the wrong position (which of course you are - you might have been in shelter for 45min but the 46th when you go to adjust somethings….)

Here’s a good one for ya. Just skip through all the boring hove-to bit up to 8:55, when their chess game is rudely interrupted by a huge wave - but they, wisely sheltered under the hard dodger for their game, stay dry as little old ladies :)

 
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