Staysail fairlead

Ok, first off the staysail dimensions on the current sail plan over at Cape George are wrong. The listed leach dimension is 21.5’ when it should be 18.5’. I just had a staysail built with the 21.5’ dimension and the sail will not trim correctly with the standard SLM staysail track on the cabin top.

That said, I have always felt that the sheeting angle for the staysail is just a wee bit narrow. So I have decided to make lemonade out of a lemon and move my fairlead down on the deck. About 1 foot inboard of the bulwarks and even with the front of the cabin (this would work as a sheeting angle with the new staysail).

Has anyone had experince with a wider sheecting angle. How about experince with a deck mounted fairlead for the staysail? Once you went down on deck, did you lead your sheet outboard of the forward lower?

Thanks all for any input.

As you know, proper staysail sheeting angle is influenced by several factors, including how close to the deck the tack is secured, leech length, foot length, whether it is reefed or not, and point of sail. I agree with you that the cabin top track gives a rather “tight” angle, especially when not close hauled and probably even then. Hard to get a proper slot between Yankee, staysail and main, and it is very easy to backwind the main. If I were racing and trying to get the last bit of optimal trim I would definitely rig a “barber hauler” putting a snatch block on the sheet with a line running to another block on the bulwark and leading back to a cleat (or a winch which does not exist on Itchen). I did do this once or twice when on a long reach I did not like the set of the stays’l but normally (always?) this is more fuss and bother than suits my mood when we are cruising and not racing. There is a vast literature for racing sail trim, my collection of which has been collecting dust since I graduated from racing to BCC cruising!

If I were buying new sails I would discuss all this with the sailmaker and try to optimize everything. I don’t think there is anything sacred abut the stock dimensions – every boat is somewhat different and likewise the sailing conditions. I like an uncluttered deck and would be cautious about adding a “trip hazard” even though a deck-mounted track might indeed give a better lead. The after-length of the sheet from deck track to cockpit winch would be much more in the way than the current arrangement. As you suggest, routing it outside the aft lower and along the gunwale would surely help, but that’s adding a lot of hardare and friction!

Well put Scott! This is exackly what I am wrestling with. Problem is I have a new sail that won’t work with my present setup.

As of now when going hard on the wind with the staysail sheeted in tight. The top is in full luff while the lower part of the sail is sheeted hard and flat. The fairlead needs to be moved forward but can’t because of the end of the track.

My other option is to have a another new staysail built for 550.00

Gary, Might it be cost-effective to just have the new sail recut --depending on the maker and the cirumstances they might cut you a deal?

Are you able haul the sail further up the say - adding a penant at the
tack? This has the same effect as sheeting further forward.

2012/2/10 BCC Forums

Thanks Jeremy & Nica,
I tried that, hosted until two-blocked.

I still have my old staysail for the time being. I will just order a new one. The old Skip Elliot sail appears to be the original that came with the boat in '88.

If anybody wants a staysail made to the specs called for in the BCC rig dimensions/BCC sailplan - here,7242 let me know. Brand new for $250+shipping. Although I don’t recommend it.

My old staysail measured
19’5" leech
21’5" luff
10’11" foot

Specs for staysail on sailplan and here,7242

Staysail luff 24’ 00"
Staysail leach 21’ 06"
Staysail foot 9’ 10"

I will calculate the new measurements for the sail that I will use and post here.


Hi Gary, If you still have that staysail, I might be interested in buying. I sent a message with contact info to your photography business. If that doesn’t work let me know here and I’ll work it out. Cheers, Ray BTW, thanks so much for sharing your vid of the interior, absolutely beautiful work(the vid and the boat).