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Self-tending staysail

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    Our NC36 BenneVita (Hull #101) has a self-tending staysail. Although we have learned to use (and like) this sail to assist in climbing upwind and to decrease sailarea by replacing the jib in higher winds, I am not sure how it is intended to be, or is best, rigged. NC Manual makes no reference. Have Selden masts, but the “free traveler” is not like anything shown on their site.

    Suggestions, advice appreciated.

    Jim Perry
    S/V BenneVita
    Myrtle Beach, SC, US

    Piers Covill

    Hi Jim

    How are you rigging it at the moment – on a detachable inner forestay?

    I have one on my NC43 and actually changed it to a permanently rigged staysail on a furler, and had a new sail cut that worked better upwind. I use mine as an upwind sail and through to reaching and then tend to furl it when the wind goes aft of the beam. I also use the running backstays if only using the staysail to better support the middle of the mast, especially if beating upwind with no genoa, just staysail and a reef or two in the main.

    As regards the free traveller, mine is a curved stainless steel bar with a pulley type arrangement. I had to cut off and replace the pulley as mine had fallen apart and I replaced it with a dyneema loop. I rig the sheet from the clew down to a block on the dyneema loop on the bar, and then to a block in front of the windless on the foredeck and then via blocks back to the cockpit. This geometry allows the sail to tack keeping the sheet at a constant tension. Sometimes I move the block on the foredeck up onto the top of the windless that means the tacking sheet clears the forehatch.

    Happy to give more info if this is relevant

    Best wishes




    I apologize for the delay in response.

    Thank you; your advice is the solution needed. With our permanent inner forestay, I will rig control lines as you describe.


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