Put up the staysail and gain half a knot of speed. Take down the staysail and gain half a knot of speed. – Anonymous
This weekend I took out Blue Magic again when I probably should have been working on it, but the day was too nice to pass up. This was the first time that I’ve really sailed the boat in light airs (5-10 knot winds), so I decided to throw up the staysail along with the jib and the mainsail.O
Overall the boat sailed great on a beam reach for most of the day, but I did encounter some new challenges. The most glaring one was tacking. The staysail is self tacking and had no issues, but for the first time my jib would constantly get caught on the forestay or butt up against the staysail when I tried to tack. I had to manually go up to the front of the deck and push the jib to the other side of the boat, losing speed in the process.
After doing some Google research, this seems like a common problem for cutter rigs in light airs. I found three possible solutions: remove the forestay during heavy tacking, roll in the jib a little bit before the tack and push through with the reduced sail, or just roll up the jib completely and rely on the staysail exclusively for tacking up narrow channels.
None of these situations seem ideal so I’m still looking for answers on this. It seems pointless to have a roller furling if I have to go up and push the sail through myself every time the wind dies a little bit. Anybody else out there dealing with a cutter rig in light airs that’s overcome this issue, or have any thoughts on how to better handle this? Let me know in the comments below.