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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    on the move
    Posts
    358

    Default When do I use my staysail?

    I can see the use of a staysail as a storm jib, but what other conditions are they useful for? I've spoken to a few other owners, and the only definite answer I got was from one guy who said he put it out when the wind got up to 20 knots, and it made the boat go marginally faster. At 20 knots I'm putting sail away, not getting more out! Using it as a cutter rig, as soon as you put the staysail out, it takes wind out of the genoa. Any ideas on how can I get the best out of it. The boat is 12m.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Usually South Coast but now West Coast of Scotland
    Posts
    1,334

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    I use my staysail all the time apart from running down wind. It adds over half a knot to my speed in any wind over 8 knots relative. It is very useful when closer to the wind. Adding an extra 'slot effect'. When the wind gets up the staysail stays out when the genny is furled away at about 28 knots of wind.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    17,677

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    It is very important when sailing close to the wind to maintain good airflow over both the Yankee and the Staysail and Main which is why they function better when sailing a little less than close hauled. Is you boat a true cutter or do you fly an overlapping genoa with an inner stay from which you have the ability to fly a staysail or storm jib?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    I agree, in light winds the staysail provides extra sail area and in fact the boat is designed to carry the staysail sail area as well. Beating, the boat will point better. In my case the boat is far better balanced and it even pays to furl the Genny up to around 50% and then start reducing stay and Genny together especially if going to wind.

    Most importantly it looks great when the three sails are earning their keep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    674

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    FWIW my Boat has a High-cut Yankee, not a genoa, with full Yankee and close to the wind she has a tendency towards lee-helm. When beating I deploy the staysail first and then enough Yankee to balance the helm....... maybe 80 - 90% of it. As we come off the wind a bit I can unroll the rest of the Yankee and as soon as the wind goes aft of the beam I roll up the staysail and use only the Yankee...... All boats are different but I hope this helps.

    Paul
    Look after your boat and it will look after you.......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Carribbean currently Grenada
    Posts
    5,990

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    I have a 44 ft cutter. I almost always hoist the staysail when on passage as it gives me the option of putting a reef in the main then rolling the genoa away if the wind gets up..

    With a single reef in the main and just the staysail the boat is balanced and sails well.

    About the only time I don't bother with the staysail is dead down wind.
    Monkey patching programmer [retired ]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    on the move
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    Many thanks everyone for your input. I've obviously got to play around with it a bit more, but the first thing to try is with a little less genoa. I've always had it full out which looks like the wrong thing to do. I'll post back later and let you know how I get on

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    3,378

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    What boat?

    If its designed as a cutter with a proper inner forestay for a staysail (rather than as a sloop with its mast stepped further forward and perhaps some kind of inner stay for a storm jib), then the genoa might be the wrong headsail?

    On my cutter (a Vancouver) it would be a heck of a job getting a big genoa around the inner forestay when going about, hence the smaller, high-cut yankee - designed to be used in combination with the low-cut staysail.

    Reefing down a sloop by furling some of the genoa pushes the centre of effort forward and unbalances the boat, whereas reefing a cutter brings is towards the centre - by losing the whole yankee and using just the staysail with the reefed main.
    A man will always live as long as he has a project

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    on the move
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    It's a Cabo Rico 38, which is designed as a cutter. And in fact it is a high cut yankee rather than a full genoa. She seems to sail well with just the staysail and main when going into the wind which is great as it is a self tacking staysail. I just need to try a few options to get all three sails working together.
    And I have enough trouble getting the yankee round the inner forestay, never mind a full genoa!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,910

    Default Re: When do I use my staysail?

    I got this off the Island Packet website a few years ago.

    As part of the overall sail power, the staysail is most useful in the middle range of reaching angles, from a close reach to the point where the wind is slightly aft of the beam (50-130 degrees apparent wind angle). As the boat sails at broader angles, the blanket of the mainsail as it is eased out, limits the effectiveness of the staysail. Eventually, the staysail is hidden behind the mainsail. At closer angles, when sailing to windward, the staysail can augment horsepower, but one needs to be careful. As the headsail, staysail, and mainsail are trimmed in, the gap (slot) between them narrows, and they begin to affect each other. In lighter conditions (under 10-12knots apparent), the staysail may well inhibit, not help, performance upwind. In the middle ranges, the staysail may help, depending on factors like sail shape and sheeting angle. Experiment and see what works. In windy conditions, as the mainsail has to be eased, furling the staysail will allow the main sail to breathe and reduce back-winding, helping keep the boat on its feet.
    In short, the optimum conditions for the staysail when adding horsepower, is at apparent wind angles of 50-130, with a minimum apparent wind velocity of 10-12 knots. When it gets windy, the staysail is the perfect sail. Either in combination with a partially furled yankee and a reefed mainsail, the staysail provides plenty of power. Various combinations of reefs and headsail size allow the boat to be balanced in every condition. Many owners find the staysail, or a staysail and a reefed mainsail to be a good combination when motor sailing upwind. It provides drive without creating too much heel, and helps steady the boat’s motion. (Never motor straight upwind with flogging sails!)
    Trim of the staysail is really no different than any other headsail. When reaching, keep in mind the first rule of sail trim: “when in doubt, let it out.” Most sailors tend to over-trim. Make sure the sail is eased to the point of luffing, then trimmed to just barely remove luff. The lead position should follow the clew, moving slightly forward. Upwind, trim in tight, but be careful. When looking up the sails from the aft quarter, the slot between the three sails should be roughly parallel. The Yankee should be trimmed in almost to the spreader; the staysail should be trimmed to match this profile. Make sure the lead is not too far forward. If the lead is too far forward the foot of the sail will be round and full. This will just create back winding in the mainsail. Drop the lead aft until the foot of the staysail is flat.


    MAybe this helps?

    TudorSailor

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