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MisterMoon

Mizzen Staysail rigging

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I've got a new staysail for Bandaloop and it really powers up the boat in light airs. 

 

I've got some questions on best practices for rigging. 

 

Right now I've got the sail sheeted to a block attached to end of the mizzen boom by a ~6-8" strop. The question I have is what do you do with the end of the sheet. In my handful of test sails, I've experimented with leading the sheet forward and around the mast back to my hand and also directly from the end of the boom to my hand. Pulling directly tends to also sheet in the mizzen at the same time which seems undesirable. Going around the mast gives a better sheeting angle, but is a bit of a tangle at times. Since I use the staysail only for long passages on events like the EC and FL120, it would be nice to be able to cleat it as well. 

Also, I think B&B recommends cleating the halyard to the coaming to help stay the mast. What is the best way to do this. Also, what do you do with the halyard when the staysail isn't flying?

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My Belhaven has a block and cam cleat on each side of the boat.  The sheet goes thru the block on the mizzen, then down to the block at the rub rail and thru the cam cleat.  I have only played with it a few times but it seem to work well. Sheeting forces are pulling the end of the mizzen boom down, which is a good thing. 

I've been tying off the staysail halyard to a eye on the either side of the seats.  I just pass the line through the eye and tie a truckers hitch to get the right tension needed to function as a mizzen mast back stay.

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For using the halyard as a "running backstay", I fitted a couple of horn cleats under the coaming in what I felt was a good position to balance the pull of the staysail halyard at the mast top. Fairly quick and easy to use and nothing's caught on them so far. You can just see one in this photo.

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I also put a horn cleat on the mizzen mast to hold the halyard when not in use. I made the halyard just long enough to allow me to hook the snap shackle over the lower horn of the cleat and cleat off the tail with a couple of turns around the cleat.

Cheers

Peter HK

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My Belhaven has a block and cam cleat on each side of the boat.  The sheet goes thru the block on the mizzen, then down to the block at the rub rail and thru the cam cleat.  I have only played with it a few times but it seem to work well. Sheeting forces are pulling the end of the mizzen boom down, which is a good thing. 

I've been tying off the staysail halyard to a eye on the either side of the seats.  I just pass the line through the eye and tie a truckers hitch to get the right tension needed to function as a mizzen mast back stay.

I just ordered a pair of Ronstan Shocks to use in place of the blocks you've got mounted to your rub rails. I'll attach them to the side deck with a rope strop. I'll report how well they work in a few weeks. At ~$15/pair delivered, it's an inexpensive experiment. 

 

http://www.ronstan.us/marine5/shocks.asp

IMG_2819.JPG

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Where the tack is attached is also important.  On a reach, I put it on the windward rail next to the main mast so that the staysail is roughly parallel with the other two sails.  

 

Going downwind (really about 20 degrees off of downwind), let the main out forward of the mast (by the lee) and attach the tack of the staysail on the lee side of the main mast on the rail - the effect being a single large sail.

 

The sheet goes to the block on the end of the mizzen boom and the halyard to an eye on the rail aft of the mizzen mast to support the mizzen mast.  I simply secure the halyard to a cleat on the forward side of the mizzen when it is not in use.

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On Pilgrim, my P22, the sheet passes through a block on the end of mizzen sprit and cleats off on a belaying pin on either side of the cabin bulkhead, depending on which tack I'm on. The halyard cleats off on a horn cleat mounted on the outside of either cockpit coming. Seems to work ok.

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I love Shocks!  I'm not planning to use them on my BRS15 (at the moment), but they're all I use on the little dinghy in my profile photo.  They are super simple, super slippery, and very inexpensive.

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Now that I've got some Shocks, I'll be using them again. They are very slippery with the Sta-set dacron line I used exclusively. They would work very well in place of the micro blocks at the base of the mainmast on my CS-17.  I may also replace the cheek blocks on the sprits for the snotters with Shocks. 

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I am still working on the rigging for the staysail.  I understand that the block is tied to the mizzen sprit and led to a belaying point somewhere on board.  However, when the boat tacks. wouldn't this necessitate rerigging the sheet.  photos from someone's boat would be appreciated.  Right now, I just run the sheet to the clew, and bypass the sprit entirely.  But, I know the sprit would help set the sail better.  I have been tying the halyard off to the docking cleats on the opposite side to serve as a running backstay.  

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Yup, you have to re run the sheet (around the mizzen mast) and the tack line (around the mainsheet) when tacking or gybing. For that reason, it's not a great sail for short gybing, better to set it up on a long run. One way to ease the pain is to use a caribener on the sheet and a rope loop on the clew of the staysail. When I gybe....

 

-let go the halyard and let it slip through my hand as I pull down the staysail into the cockpit just forward of the mizzen mast. Easier to have a crew do this while you steer.

-As soon as it's down you can gybe. 

-Now you have to switch the tack line to the other side of the bow and onto the other side of the mainsheet. You can do that by unclipping the halyard and reclipping it on the other side of the mainsheet or by doing the same with the tack line.

On my 17 there are blocks up forward on either side for the staysail tack with a line running between them and a loop in the middle. The ends lead aft to a cleat on either side of the boat. So I can uncleat the "tack line" and pull the sail back to me, switch the tack to the other side of the mainsheet, then pull in the tack line again to pull the tack of the staysail back out to the bow. I can use the cleats on either side to move the staysail tack from port to starboard without gonig forward. 

-Then I re-clip the sheet on to the clew on the correct side of the mizzen mast (leeward) and the sail is ready to re-hoist. Make sure the sheet is slack while you hoist to avoid the sail being able to fill. 

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The sheet should lead from the end of the sprit to the mast then down to a cleat.  Rigged that way you can trim mizzen and staysail together and the loading will not adversely affect the sprit trim.

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After using my rowing pins as cleats, and holding the sheet for 5 hours (R2AK 2015) I swore I would find a better way.

 

I had purchased a Racelite Block/Cleat combination http://www.duckworksbbs.com/hardware/blocks/d100/index.htm  of which I could never find a good use.. Initially I used a softshackle, and attached the block to the loop on the mizzen downhaul hook. This worked great until I lost the softshackle. Now I use a Wal-mart 100lb rated aluminum carabiner, and it is faster and works better then I could have ever imagined. Derigging and rolling everything into my canvas grocery store bag I put the staysail in is a snap.

 

For tacking I drop the sail, untie the sheet from sail, re-position around the mast, retie. Aft of main mast 1 foot, I have an eye hook on each side. With a quick release pin, it's easy to move the line back and forth. For re-hoisting, I have a figure eight in the halyard 12" above the sail head (thanks Graham for that advice).

 

All I can say is that easily removable cleat system with a block is the best advice I can give.

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Wow, these are great posts.  I have ordered the Mizzen staysail from B&B but had no idea what I was in for.

At this point I just painted the bottom of my CS17 and am ready to flip it back over and finally finish the inside, so I haven't sailed it yet. I'm really looking forward to some great sailing on Currituck and Pamlico sounds. Of course any pictures of the rigging would be appreciated.

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]I think I have it.  Thanks for the ideas.  Tack is outboard where crew can get to it quickly.  The sheet is attached to the clew with a lightweight aluminum caribiner clipped to a rope loop. This leads to a block on the mizzen then to a cleat on the mast.  The halyard gets attached to some Holt jam cleats just above the stern locker.  At some point, I will add the traveller Alan mentioned to assist with tacking.  

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post-2815-0-26029800-1472683193_thumb.jpg

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I've played with the staysail on both the Belhaven 19 and CS17 this summer and love it.  I've been cautious, but beginning now to use the staysail in slightly stronger winds with good results.  

One thing I stumbled across is that I can fly the staysail on either the inside or outside of the mainsail.  This means you can tack the main without having to crawl forward and move the tack of the staysail (pretty handy when solo).  

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Dnjost,

 

There is one more critical point that you have missed. In light air there is no problem using the staysail set-up that you have BUT in a fresh breeze you run the risk of damaging the mizzen mast. To save the clutter of permanent running back stays I make the staysail halyard do double duty. You need a stopper knot that hits the halyard block when you have the right halyard tension. This takes a couple of iterations to get the knot positioned just right.

 

The halyard then needs to be cleated in the position where it does the most good. This means that as far to windward as you can to counter the side load and far enough aft to counter the forward load. About the best position is to put a regular cleat facing down under the coaming near the aft rowing position. 

 

When the halyard is properly set, you should be able to sight up the mizzen mast and it will be fairly straight, not sagging off to leeward or pulling forward.

 

I also use the halyard tension to adjust the luff entry angle. If the luff is too tight, the entry angle will be too full and the reverse if the halyard is too slack. This is critical if the wind is just too tight to let you hold your course without the staysail luffing. Ease the luff and you will be able to point another 10 - 15 degrees higher.

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Mister Moon, if you are around, check in. I sent a couple of mails a week or more ago to what I thought was your email address and one PM and did not hear back. So hopefully it was too old and you are doing fine.

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