#1 2016-01-17 11:15:57

Guy_Warner
Member
From: Petersfield Hampshire
Registered: 2015-06-07
Posts: 9

Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

My Victoria 34 Ruby Star is ashore at Port Solent undergoing some upgrades.  Among these is a new furlex to replace the inner forestay which currently supports a hanked on self-tacker that is old and baggy but also doubles as a storm jib.  I have a yankee on the headstay.

My query is this - what sail(s) should I deploy on the new furlex?  I liked Mowbray Whiffin's jib on Samphire and he has given me some very valuable advice but if anybody else has opinions then they would help me also.

I want to have a jib that has pulling power on its own upwind - that probably means about 120% and sheeted back on the existing genoa tracks with additional cars.  But will it be difficult to tack round the mast?  Should I go for an easier to tack say 110% to be sheeted on existing small tracks on the inner deck?  Would this enable me to sail closer to the wind?

Should I modify the old existing self-tacking jib to furl on the furlex or go for a new similar size sail? A flatter new self-tacking sail would go better and I suppose storm jibs are meant to be fairly flat but the material for a new one might not be so suitable for normal sailing.

There must be many years experience of the cutter rig among members - any contributions would be much appreciated.

Guy Warner

PS I am attending the 25th Anniversary Luncheon on 12 March so can ask Chuck Paine then!

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#2 2016-01-18 10:10:18

Jon_Spencer
Member
Registered: 2003-11-23
Posts: 102

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Guy,

My 34 is the pilot house version and I have retained the self tacking function, also on a Furlex.  I use the staysail in very light winds, in conjunction with the yankee and main to improve the "slot" between the sails.  I carry them both in apparent wind speeds of up to 15 knots above which the staysail gets rolled away.  Between 15 and 25 knotts I carry just the yankee and full main. Above 25 the first reef goes in the main and as wind speeds increase the yankee and staysail are swapped over and further reefs in the main taken in as required.  At 35 knots she sails well with two reefs in the main and staysail.  Above 35 knots I anticipate that I would stow the main completely and just sail on the staysail furling further if required.
I have recently replaced all my sails with a new set from Rolly Tasker and am very happy with the outcome.  The great benefit of the furling self tacking staysail is that some forward movement and control seems possible under even the most harsh conditions, and in the warmth of my pilot house I also keep dry!
If the staysail is used in this manner you just have to ensure that the cloth and equipment is good enough to withstand the added strains of heavy weather sailing.
Good luck with your deliberations.

Jon Spencer
Frances 34
Albertine

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#3 2016-01-18 12:26:03

Guy_Warner
Member
From: Petersfield Hampshire
Registered: 2015-06-07
Posts: 9

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Jon

Many thanks for a rapid and most informative reply.  I envy you your pilot house!

Guy

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#4 2016-01-19 14:56:25

Alastair_Fleming
Member
Registered: 2007-06-11
Posts: 12

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Guy,

Funnily enough I have also been mussing over putting a jib onto the inner forestay on my V34 Kaya. I currently have a hank on Storm Jib but it isn't powerful enough to use in anything less than a F8. I'm not as far down the road as you as I haven't actually done anything about it! - this is partly because I am getting a new fully battened mainsail this year and the budget has been blown on this. I would however been keen to know the outcome of your set up.

Alastair

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#5 2016-01-19 16:19:47

Guy_Warner
Member
From: Petersfield Hampshire
Registered: 2015-06-07
Posts: 9

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Alastair

Many thanks for your reply.  I did not say that one of the reasons that I want to have a jib that will function upwind on its own is that I am considering a lightweight reaching/downwind sail that winds on the existing headsail furlex.  I had one of these on my Dehler41DS and it was absolutely brilliant from about 50 deg to 180 deg but no good for close tacking which would mean changing sails to the yankee unless the jib can do the work.  I have had trouble in the past with asymmetrics that furl separately on themselves.  I do not have to make any final decisions until Ruby Star goes back in the water on 12 March.  In the meantime I am trying to get all the advice I can as I am relatively unfamiliar with Victoria yachts

I will anyway retain a staysail that will run on the self-tacking track as a heavy weather sail.  I could end up with 2 headsails and 2 jibs but hoping to be able to guess the weather enough to avoid frequent sail changes as I often sail single-handed!

I am keeping an open mind at present and expense is a factor!  However, I will certainly keep you informed.  I have happy memories of the Royal Northern when I was a submariner at Faslane -  also of your part of the world when I did the Classic Malts Cruise in 2003 - greatly recommended if you haven't done it.

Good Luck with Kaya.

Guy

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#6 2016-01-24 11:31:26

Jonathan_Hopper
Member
Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 66

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Guy -

An interesting topic, of which I have also been musing for my F26 for the past weeks/months/years.

I have just ordered a new staysail, and spent a fair amount of time with the sailmaker looking at options and detail.

As you say, it could do with a little more power.   As the yankee is steadily rolled up there is a very marked difference in performance between the two sails for some reason.

For me, the self tacking element will stay, so will be restricted to non-overlapping.   If I were to go for human tacking I would put new tracks/winches on the coachroof to allow tighter angles than taking it further back.   Probably different for the bigger boat.   Having seen Thames barges with very low cut overlapping staysails then would also look at this, especially for a sail that can be roller furled with a foam luff.   I would like to improve light airs performance (the spinnaker halyard used to foul the yankee roller furling so had to come off!), so the staysail stay seems like the obvious focus.

However, the time that mine gets used most is wind forward of the beam, and when the winds get up.   In these conditions it is the luff that is more important than sail area, and perhaps the slot, or possibly the gap from the leech to the mast?   Having a good look at the setup it became obvious that the tack could be moved down a few inches (would like it to go further but it is now at the top of the rigging screw), and looking aloft the head was well short of the halyard block.   The new sail, at least in design stage, is a good couple of feet longer.   The top maybe couple of metres of old sail, the head is pretty narrow which does not allow any shape at all.  The new one has a slightly bigger top (and foot), so keeps the width better.   Also, the strengthening panels at the head were horizontally cut making the luff too stiff to shape even if it were wide enough.   The new panels will be diagonally cut allowing the luff some shape a bit higher.   We have also lowered the foot by a few inches, and lengthened it to nearer the end of the boom.  This not only increases the area, but also helps with the sail width all the way up.   We did think about adding a bit of roach, but in the end didn't   Battens will be added to help with leech shape, and feed clean air to the main.   Putting the old sail, and proposed new sail on the floor they look very different, and will very interested to see how it performs (and whether it fits!).   The staysail halyard may well need to be changed - if the splice ends up in the block due to the extra luff length then it will get changed to a knot (on this matter it is well worth reading Paul Heiney - One Wild Song!).

Under staysail and double reefed main she can be sailed up to about 35kn.   Didn't bother with a reef with the old staysail, but will with this one, but still carry a storm jib for higher wind speeds - thankfully only used a couple of times.

Hopefully this will improve on the performance in wind speeds forward of the beam, but it still won't help with off-wind lighter airs performance, and I would be very interested to hear people's comments on this.

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#7 2016-01-24 12:25:46

Guy_Warner
Member
From: Petersfield Hampshire
Registered: 2015-06-07
Posts: 9

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Jonathon

Many thanks for your most useful and detailed reply with very relevant comments.  They are highly germaine to my current deliberations.
Samphire (Mowbray Whiffin)'s main use of the overlapping jib was westward across the Atlantic when he had it poled out (as well as a poled out Genoa).  My final decisions on my headsail/staysail set up will be in two months time.  Watch this space!  When will you have experience of your new staysail?

Guy

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#8 2016-01-24 13:03:18

Jonathan_Hopper
Member
Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 66

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Guy -

Thanks.   I had thought about a cruising chute using the staysail halyard, and tack it somewhere (Hiscock style) away from the current tack, but I think that the halyard would still rub on the stay.   However a fuller, fairly light, hanked on overlapping sounds like a good combination for downwind runs.   

Staysail due for delivery late Feb, but will be out on the side hopefully in a week or two till April.

JDH

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#9 2016-10-16 21:54:16

Jonathan_Hopper
Member
Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 66

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Staysail feedback –

The photos should tell the story of the difference in size of the old and new staysail.   The new was measured to be as large as possible along the luff and foot, with the foot angled to be a little lower than the main boom.   Putting the two sails together showed a decent change in sail area (perhaps an extra m2).
foot%201.jpg
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I wanted tan for the new sail.   There are some light conditions when tan stands out better than white (and vice versa) so a combination perhaps gives the best chance of being seen.
Performance beating is substantially better.  Previously I would beat with 2 reef main plus staysail in F5 and above (possibly some yankee if she would hold it) – much less wind and there was not enough drive.  I can now get reasonable boat speed (4 to 4.5 kn in flat water) with 10kn apparent wind beating, and 5 to 5.5 kn in just 15kn of apparent wind (staysail plus full main – ie. no yankee).   The big bonus is the tacking angle – 15 degrees (apparent) better off on each tack.   This is not a combination I have tried in rough weather, so it remains to be seen whether there is enough drive in choppy waters.   So far, the staysail has gone from a heavy weather only sail to something rather more useful.
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In the Atlantic I reefed both staysail and main early, so kept some of the yankee most of the time simply as it was safer/easier to reef.   If I hadn’t been sitting there thinking ‘ok, when it gets a bit windier I will have to take in the…’ then I would have used full staysail more and tried to keep the yankee rolled up, simply because of the wind angle.   I will continue to try different combinations out when next out in bumpy weather, but at the moment I am very pleased with the difference.

On another (newer) Frances, the ¾ shrouds (ie. runners) are 6mm rather than Francesca’s 5mm.   When the rig last got changed I looked at changing the ¾ to 6mm, but it looked a bit fiddly, so my rigger recommended 5mm Dyform.   This has rather more strength and less stretch, possibly improving performance, and comforting with the larger sail!

Would be interested to hear how others have altered their cutters and the effect on performance, particularly those who have done away with the boom in favour of an inner track.

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#10 2016-11-12 21:54:50

Guy_Warner
Member
From: Petersfield Hampshire
Registered: 2015-06-07
Posts: 9

Re: Victoria 34 Inner Forestay Sails?

Jonathan - most interesting to hear your feedback.  Your changes have obviously been successful.

Mine partially so.  On my V34 Ruby Star, as I said I would do, I changed the self-tacking staysail to a new 110% furling one sheeted on coach-roof tracks with jammers to the winches under the spray hood (there are now 6 jammers each side!).  The staysail sailing angle is much better on the wind but it is still not powerful enough to keep the foresail furled up other than in F6+. My new lightweight reacher that furls on the forestay is a success but I still have to change to the yankee for serious upwind work.  Nevertheless, I am pleased with the changes and Ruby Star sails very well in all configurations.

The need to attend to 2 sets of foresheets has not proved to be any trouble and I sailed single-handed from Port Solent to the West Country and back in June - non-stop both ways!

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