setting a trysail

oldvarnish

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I have a trysail, but like most people have never set it. I've come very close, but a deep third reef always saw me through.

However, the day may come and I'm not certain how easy it would be to set with lazyjacks and a stackpack.

I have a track in which to hoist it, and a spare halyard or two. But I can't fathom a way of flying it which would allow me to tack without striking it and resetting it on the other side - I think I would sheet it to the quarter, which seems to be the accepted way of doing it.

I could lower the lazyjacks and bring them f'ward to the mast, but then the mainsail would be free to spill out, which is not what you want in a gale.

Any wisdom to share, anyone?
 
D

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Assuming you have the lazy jacks out the way then you will just have to sail-tie the mainsail around the boom. The only time I have used a tri-sail we lowered the boom right down onto the deck on one side and lashed it to a stanchion. The tri-sail was sheeted to the quarter via the spinnaker sheet blocks.
 

prv

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I'd have thought that in trysail conditions you would want the stackpack closed to keep the sail from escaping - or at least throw some sail ties round the whole lot if reaching the zip is too difficult in the prevailing conditions. Then you'd be able to slack off the lazyjacks and secure them to the mast out of the way. The tack of a trysail is traditionally some way above the gooseneck so it should be clear of the stackpack etc on the boom (and indeed the boom is traditionally lowered and the end lashed to the deck, but you might have a rod kicker preventing this).

Personally I've made a conscious decision not to mess about with a trysail - we have a very deep third reef which should do the same job without clambering around trying to re-rig the boat in a rising gale.

Pete
 

RobbieW

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Assuming you have the lazy jacks out the way then you will just have to sail-tie the mainsail around the boom. The only time I have used a tri-sail we lowered the boom right down onto the deck on one side and lashed it to a stanchion. The tri-sail was sheeted to the quarter via the spinnaker sheet blocks.

All that sounds about right. The only thing I'd add is that practice is essential; set up a trysail on a mates boat one day when racing was cancelled with F9s (Southampton Water), it took us over an hour to get it all rigged on a pontoon before going out to try the thing. I cant remember what we did with the boom, I'm pretty sure the boat was a rod kicker though.
 

Wansworth

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A number of crusty ocean crossers seem to have a set up whereby the Tri sail is permanently set up on its own track etc and used often to save wear on the main, If it comes to me I'll remember the book I saw it in.......I think you have to go below and smoke a pipe, according to the picture.
 

john_morris_uk

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Assuming you have the lazy jacks out the way then you will just have to sail-tie the mainsail around the boom. The only time I have used a tri-sail we lowered the boom right down onto the deck on one side and lashed it to a stanchion. The tri-sail was sheeted to the quarter via the spinnaker sheet blocks.

That's the way I've done it - and as other posters have said its the way most do it.

When I chatted through sail plans with Pete Sanders ant Sanders Sails, he suggested a deep third reef was adequate for nearly all circumstances in our boat. We have a storm job to hank on and I need to revisit the method of getting a second forestay sorted out since I removed the (wire) spare halyard which I was going to brace up and use if needs must.
 

saltylegs

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Assuming you have the lazy jacks out the way then you will just have to sail-tie the mainsail around the boom. The only time I have used a tri-sail we lowered the boom right down onto the deck on one side and lashed it to a stanchion. The tri-sail was sheeted to the quarter via the spinnaker sheet blocks.

Put some fenders under it or it will wear its way into the deck with the mast panting, Dont ask me how I know this.:ambivalence:
 

Uricanejack

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Perhaps I will be appearing rather ignorant or daft.
My preferred choice would be a 3rd reef, Which I have used in the past. I have used a trysail a couple of times long ago. We put it up on a separate track on the Starboard side on the main track. It was stiff as an old board. The head was obviously on a halyard, we used the same main halyard but could have just as easily used the spare. The tack was lashed down to the boom beside the stowed main. The Clew was also lashed down to the boom beside the main. and a lashing to pull it out towards the end off the boom.
We set it like a loose footed main, on the boom.

I was considering putting a 3rd reef in my current main. The local sail maker advised me not to. In his opinion my main was designed and made for up to two reefs. Its not strong enough to be used with a 3rd reef. the cloth is not heavy enough and it only has two rows of stitching. so its likely the sail would be damaged.
He suggested 3 options.
The simplest and cheapest is a try-sail.
The next 2 involve a new heavier main with a 3rd reef.
Its sort of the same option best is just a heavier main with heavier cloth and at least 3 rows of stitching. or a main with only the heavy cloth and stitching at the top above the 3rd reef.
Cost wise, My main being in good shape. A try-sail seams the best. but I have no separate track. If I went this route my intended method would be to leave main on the boom. take it out of the track and hoist in the same track and secure tack and clew to the boom.
Unless I completely misunderstood the sail maker

Current plan, avoid going out in nasty weather. I am a relatively fair weather sailor.

Although I have thought about an option of having a smaller heavy main made sort of a cross between a try-sail and my regular main. I am rather a daft b!@##!r. I have furling Genoa but change it and hoist a blade if strong winds are expected two reefs and the blade I am good going to windward in F7. I also have a storm sail have not tried it yet.
It is easier to change before I head out. or before it gets dark.
 
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D

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The reason that a tri-sail may be a better option than a 3rd reef (60% reduction in sail area) is that it does away with the boom. In a big sea the boom can dig in on a roll and slam back again as the yacht rolls the other way or just slam about when in the lee in big seas. For just about all coastal situations a 3rd reef is likely to be suitable.
 
D

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.... I have no separate track. If I went this route my intended method would be to leave main on the boom. take it out of the track and hoist in the same track and secure tack and clew to the boom. ...

Some folks have set a tight wire offset from the centre line and used piston hanks on a tri-sail. In your case you could fit a high gate to feed the luff sliders in. Normally that gate height will be set so it can reached from deck. This may mean that a few slides remain above the gate when the mainsail is down, therefore these have to be removed before the tri-sail is set.
 

Uricanejack

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I am not claiming I know any better. Just not picturing the problem.
As I say I don't intend to go out in nasty weather. I did sail up the west coast against winds up to about 30kn with a pretty big swell.
Heading to windward the main was sheeted hard in. If my deck edge had been going under regularly I would have dropped the main.
I have washed the windows a couple of times and even gotten a load of water in the cockpit. When I have been caught. but never had the boom get close to the water.(with my boat) My rudder will come out and I will round up before it happens.
If running off or down wind I would just drop the main and be done with it.
I have a notion to head out to Gwaii Hannas so was contemplating being better set JIK.
 

prv

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The reason that a tri-sail may be a better option than a 3rd reef (60% reduction in sail area) is that it does away with the boom. In a big sea the boom can dig in on a roll and slam back again as the yacht rolls the other way or just slam about when in the lee in big seas. For just about all coastal situations a 3rd reef is likely to be suitable.

Good point.

As a coastal sailor I fall firmly into your final sentence :)

Doing a bit of calculation based on measurements I took when the mast was down, I find that my mainsail area (assuming a straight-sided right-angled triangle) is 25.6m2 unreefed, or 8.44m2 with the third reef hauled down. That's near as dammit a third of the original area.

I'm curious now what the typical proportion of a trysail versus the mainsail it replaces would be. Anyone have a figure?

Pete
 

Woodlouse

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I'm curious now what the typical proportion of a trysail versus the mainsail it replaces would be. Anyone have a figure?

Pete

Around 40% of the size of the full main is normal I think which is why a 60% reef is considered an adequate alternative. To be honest unless the weather was absolutely exceptional I think the only thing that would lead to me hoisting a tri sail instead of just using a deep reef would be if the boom failed when offshore.
 

prv

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Around 40% of the size of the full main is normal I think

If so, my third reef is smaller than a trysail would be :)

I always thought it looked reassuringly tiny when squinting at it up the fully-set sail :D

(Of course perspective/foreshortening helps with that too.)

Pete
 

capnsensible

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Personally, I am not a fan of trying to get upwind in heavy airs if there is a slightest chance of running off. That means a small part of the headsail unfurled to keep the yacht at a different speed to waves to keep rudder control.

Whenever I have had storm sails available, I have practised how to set them plenty before setting off. But.... never used them.

Having spent very uncomfortable times changing old style hanked on headsails, I really don't fancy rigging storm canvas in a proper storm!.

Tip. When you sail west to east across the Atlantic at the normal cruisers time of year, brace yourself for probably two storms. This keeps Mid Atlantic Yacht Services in Horta in good profitability!!!
 

oldvarnish

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Assuming you have the lazy jacks out the way then you will just have to sail-tie the mainsail around the boom. The only time I have used a tri-sail we lowered the boom right down onto the deck on one side and lashed it to a stanchion. The tri-sail was sheeted to the quarter via the spinnaker sheet blocks.

Of course, but that's what I'm keen to avoid - fiddling with lazyjacks and sail ties on a bouncing coachroof in a rising storm. Also, lowering the boom involves a happy half hour with pliers trying to extract the split pins from the kicker at a time when it's the place you'd least like to be.

I
 
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