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Old 12-13-2019, 09:36 PM   #1
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steadying sail?

I am planning on adding a boom and steadying sail to the mast on my Bristol 42 trawler. I installed the mast with this in mind so it is rigged appropriately. I hope to get two things from this sail. It should help the boat weather cock at anchor (although it tacks way less since I switched to all chain). Mainly I hope it will help reduce the roll. The sail will be about 75 sq ft, and the mast steps on the flying bridge, mast head height of 22'6", so it is fairly high up and far aft, where I imagine it will have the most effect on both roll and weather cocking.Anybody have one on their boat? I've heard opinions ranging from it's great to don't waste your time. Thanks in advance, Woodscrew

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Old 12-14-2019, 12:05 AM   #2
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I don't believe 75 square feet will be a great help.
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:20 AM   #3
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Many Willards carry a sail of approximately that relative size. I've had both a W36 and a W30 which both had sails. I found them to be of little value - some minor roll attenuation if there's a half a hurricane on the beam. A few owners are more enthusiastic. Most are not.

My W36 also came with a twin head sail setup which was not really practical and was never set. Unlikely many trawlers have a strong enough mast to support a sail of adequate size.

I'm also skeptical of benefit of riding sails. Assumption is a boat will point up into the wind like a weather vane. It doesn't. If left to its own, it will lie broadside. A riding sail may effect that a little, but not significantly. Does it really make a difference if the boats natural attitude is 90- degrees to the wind or 70-degrees?
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:27 AM   #4
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If you are willing to do the effort of a mast , perhaps a paravane setup would be worth the effort?
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:44 AM   #5
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Riding sails and steadying sails are different enough that they really aren't good at doing both. A steadying sail should be tall enough to give the neccessary anti rolling force but can't be too far astern without causing corkscrewing, and that's exactly where a riding sail needs to be (as far aft as possible).

A good riding sail doesn't need any wind, its flat shape should provide the rolling resistance without wind. The size and height are the keys to a good riding sail. Most of us will never put a mast on tall enough for a truly great steadying sail. However smaller ones in beam winds do have some effect on some boats reportedly, which has had me consider one too.

I think 75 sq ft would start to be effective.... but would best be taller than long at the boom based on my readings.
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:11 AM   #6
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I agree with other comments. 75 square feet is nowhere near enough for a 42 foot boat. I have a 200 sq ft mainsail and a 100 sq ft jib on my 30 foot boat and it works very well for a steadying sail. Iíve tried with jib alone and the stabilisation effects are minimal.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:26 AM   #7
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My "steadying" sail looks great and is about that size, but I couldn't really tell the difference when using it or not.
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:58 AM   #8
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Fully batten sail to keep it flat.
No plans to use the boom for lifting 'stuff'?
You might consider a "loose foot sail" aka, no boom.

Did Noah have a get home-engine?
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