The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Q&A: Staysail Stay: Roller Furling And Fixed Vs Hanks And Removable

Question: I’m refining the deck layout on the 41′ voyaging boat I’m fitting out from bare hull. She will be sailed as a sloop, but fitted with an inner forestay for heavy weather. I am currently weighing the benefits of keeping that sail on a furling unit versus hanking it on to a removable stay. As she will be sailed shorthanded and pointed away from the equator, I like the safety and flexibility of having the sail ready to go on a furler, but worry about the problems of tacking the genoa through the 5′ slot between headstay and inner stay when sailing in normal to light conditions. I am wondering what your experience is with this, and how you balanced the equation.

Login to continue reading (scroll down)

More Articles From Online Book: Sail Handling and Rigging Made Easy:

  1. Six Reasons To Leave The Cockpit Often
  2. Don’t Forget About The Sails
  3. Your Mainsail Is Your Friend
  4. Hoisting the Mainsail Made Easy—Simplicity in Action
  5. Reefs: How Many and How Deep
  6. Reefing Made Easy
  7. Reefing From The Cockpit 2.0—Thinking Things Through
  8. Reefing Questions and Answers
  9. A Dangerous Myth about Reefing
  10. Mainsail Handling Made Easy with Lazyjacks
  11. Topping Lift Tips and a Hack
  12. 12 Reasons The Cutter Is A Great Offshore Voyaging Rig
  13. Cutter Rig—Should You Buy or Convert?
  14. Cutter Rig—Optimizing and/or Converting
  15. Cruising Rigs—Sloop, Cutter, or Solent?
  16. Sailboat Deck Layouts
  17. The Case For Roller-Furling Headsails
  18. UV Protection For Roller Furling Sails
  19. In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing—Convenience and Reliability
  20. In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing —Performance, Cost and Safety
  21. The Case For Hank On Headsails
  22. Making Life Easier—Roller Reefing/Furling
  23. Making Life Easier—Storm Jib
  24. Gennaker Furlers Come Of Age
  25. Swept-Back Spreaders—We Just Don’t Get It!
  26. Q&A: Staysail Stay: Roller Furling And Fixed Vs Hanks And Removable
  27. Rigid Vangs
  28. Rigging a Proper Preventer, Part 1
  29. Rigging a Proper Preventer—Part 2
  30. Amidships “Preventers”—A Bad Idea That Can Kill
  31. Keeping The Boom Under Control—Boom Brakes
  32. Downwind Sailing, Tips and Tricks
  33. Downwind Sailing—Poling Out The Jib
  34. Setting and Striking a Spinnaker Made Easy and Safe
  35. Ten Tips To Fix Weather Helm
  36. Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 1
  37. Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 2
  38. Two Dangerous Rigging Mistakes
  39. Rig Tuning, Part 1—Preparation
  40. Rig Tuning, Part 2—Understanding Rake and Bend
  41. Rig Tuning, Part 3—6 Steps to a Great Tune
  42. Rig Tuning, Part 4—Mast Blocking, Stay Tension, and Spreaders
  43. Rig Tuning, Part 5—Sailing Tune
  44. 12 Great Rigging Hacks
  45. 9 Tips To Make Unstepping a Sailboat Mast Easier
  46. Cruising Sailboat Spar Inspection
  47. Cruising Sailboat Standing Rigging Inspection
  48. Cruising Sailboat Running Rigging Inspection
  49. Cruising Sailboat Rig Wiring and Lighting Inspection
  50. Cruising Sailboat Roller Furler and Track Inspection
  51. Download Cruising Sailboat Rig Checklist
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bill Robinson

On my boat, a heavy displacement 36ft cutter, that I sail single handed or with one crew, I have a removable inner forestay, on which I hank on the staysail or the storm jib. This system is very secure, nothing to jam etc. In my opinion, this is far more important than being able to furl a staysail. The thought of trying to fit a storm jib to a furler, when you really need it i.e. in high winds and seas, frightens me. In light conditions, I move the inner forstay, and the bagged staysail to a tang on the port side deck. I can then easily tack the genoa. Incidently, I also have a trysail, on a separate dedicated track, bagged on deck. In 17 years of voyaging, I have seldom needed these systems, but when I have, they have proved invaluable.

tom habanek

Youi will learn how to swing the bow over and pull like hell to get the sail through the slot. Sometimes the wind does it for you 1st time and it’s like winning the lottery. Yeah sometimes it just doesn’t go thru, or so it seems, so you adjust and learn (to circle, so the wind does the work.)

Mike Pitzer

i am in the process of a DIY standing rigging project. My headsail furler is original equipment on my Nordic 44, a Harken MK I or II. The picture of yours looks identical. It has always been a hard pull. I have cleaned out the upper swivel bearings and washed out the lowers as well and both units spin freely and well. I recall reading that you had yours rebuilt twice. What was rebuilt? My concern is that the foil links or those parts that rotate around the forestay, may be worn out. I haven’t taken them apart as I understand Harken no longer supports the old furler I have. So, did you replace the connectors in your foil? Your thoughts will help me decide what to do while the mast is out. I have really enjoyed my subscription and refer to your books often. Thank you.