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Old 06-09-2019, 03:38 PM   #1
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A Sail for my trawler?

Hi there - I just made an offer on a 34' CHB, my first trawler! While aboard I couldn't help noticing it has a mast and boom, but I can't find much info on using a sail on this boat out there. So I decided I should ask all of you here who know a great deal more about trawlers...so thanks in advance!!!
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:49 PM   #2
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Be very careful about hoisting a sail on a trawler's mast unless you explicitly know it was built for the heavy sail loads.


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Old 06-09-2019, 04:00 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. I would not try to put a sail up other than a small steadying sail. The mast is not built for that amount of stress. Mostly to boom a dinghy aboard, lights, radad and maybe a steadying sail. But I think the steadying sail is probably more work than it is worth based on the fact that I have never seen one hoisted and being used. Maybe I am wrong but I just havenít seen it happen. Good luck with your new baby.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Hi there - I just made an offer on a 34' CHB, my first trawler! While aboard I couldn't help noticing it has a mast and boom, but I can't find much info on using a sail on this boat out there. So I decided I should ask all of you here who know a great deal more about trawlers...so thanks in advance!!!
Welcome and good luck with the purchase.

As noted above, most mast and booms are designed for lifting a dinghy, not for a sail. Some are also equipped, and engineered, for a steadying sail. Iíve never had one. You may be able to find out from the current owner if a steadying sail has ever been setup for that boat.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:17 PM   #5
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All great info, thanks! And thanks for the welcome too!

What was throwing me off is that the mast and boom have slots for a sail (probably the most available sort to get their hands on and install?) and the boom is rigged with a mainsheet seemingly for sailing instead of lifting, and isn't long enough to help with a dingy anyway LOL!

When I go back I'll take a more careful look at how it's mounted, and post some photos too.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:49 PM   #6
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All great info, thanks! And thanks for the welcome too!

What was throwing me off is that the mast and boom have slots for a sail (probably the most available sort to get their hands on and install?) and the boom is rigged with a mainsheet seemingly for sailing instead of lifting, and isn't long enough to help with a dingy anyway LOL!

When I go back I'll take a more careful look at how it's mounted, and post some photos too.

Thanks again!
Sounds like it was setup for a sail then. Grab some good photos and share them with us.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:56 PM   #7
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My previous GB, a 36 foot had a steadying sail. I used it once and it was great. The hastle of installing it was such that I never used it again.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:35 PM   #8
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My previous GB, a 36 foot had a steadying sail. I used it once and it was great. The hastle of installing it was such that I never used it again.
That is what I suspected.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:45 PM   #9
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Yes there are sails on trawlers, I have seen them,



they are really never used for propulsion as they need to be sheeted flat and tight to work for steadying purposes,



not all have sail tracks as they are just hard sailcloth in a triangle to fill the space flat,



they do work on some boats in some conditions,



they can be rigged to be relatively easy to use but yes some work always required,


yes most boats with stayed masts and booms were probably designed and built to handle a steadying sail ........
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:51 PM   #10
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A steadying sail is a a big bonus on a trawler IF it is designed properly. It can be a very effective stabiliser, (as effective as paravanes, or active fin type or gyro stabilisers). They can also be a form of propulsion allow you to run at lower rpm or even get you home without your engine.

Unfortunately, many trawlers such as the CHB have a very small, lightweight steadying sails setup. It's limited sail area requires a lot of wind to provide force needed for stabilisation in rough seas. The rigging is not designed for high winds so the overall effectiveness is very limited.

But - they make decent lifting hoist, and a the sail looks good and helped sell a lot of boats. I'd say that was the primary purpose of these sails.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:58 PM   #11
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I could have been mislead all these years, but this is my understanding....

A steadying sail should really not be for propulsion in the sense to be effective .....in a small size, it needs to be as flat and as hard as it can be and still be rolled/folded up for storage. Flat sails stink for propulsion.

Wind is only part of the reason they help, it's the force of resisting roll that makes them effective or not, wind does help.

If you have the luxury of more mast and sail, shape can be added to also act for a little propulsion in addition to the fact it helps with roll.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:00 PM   #12
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btw - I'm surprised at the mention of time & effort required to put up a steadying sail. On my boat, it takes about 30 seconds. It depends how well your rigging is set up.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:03 AM   #13
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Should you decide to have a sail built for your boat,

I would call for heavier cloth than normal for that sail area as it will never be used in very light air , n=mostly in better breezes , 15K +.

I would also specify a fully battened sail so the sail will not flog when heading into the wind .

Inland cruising many miles will be into the wind , and its nice not to have to lower the sail after every bed in a river.

Flogging will destroy the sail faster than a heavy wind load.

Unless the sail is huge it will produce little drive force so flat cut is fine as it works better on steadying sails.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:36 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. C. Welcome aboard. We had a "sail" with our 34' MT. Hardly a sail...about 25 square feet. I flew it a couple of times and it DID steady roll, a bit, while under way in certain but very limited conditions.
While not much of a PIA to hoist, the boom was really in the way and the stink potters we boated with would NOT cede right-of-way. Not worth MY time. YMMV.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:36 AM   #15
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FF a perfectly flat (they aren't supposed to have belly to them unless you have a big enough sail area to contemplate propulsion), stiff sailcloth sail sheeted hard shouldn't really flog...except extraordinary circumstances



But batten's shouldn't hurt except a pain to store unless you leave the sail tied to the boom so not a bad idea.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:56 AM   #16
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My boat came with a very nice, brand new steadying sail. I put it up once. It is very easy to put up, but its very small and I barely noticed the difference. Maybe that's why it looks so new?


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Old 06-10-2019, 12:12 PM   #17
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a few points to add..

A steadying sail will effectively stabilize a boat only if the the wind will provide enough force on the sail to counteract the waves and momentum that are forcing the boat to roll. They waves obviously have a lot of force on a big hull. A 25 or 50 square foot hull would need gale force winds to have anywhere near as much effect.

Also - steadying sails will be more effective on soft chined, round bilge hulls. A hard chined semi displacement boat won't get as much benefit due to the greater initial stability of the hulls.

and Yes- I agree, the small steady sails on TT boats are almost always flat; but not because they steady any better than a normal propulsion sail. The reason they are used may be that flat sails would be slightly easier to trim, they roll up neatly for storage, and are more economical to manufacture.

To stop any boom mounted sail from flogging when pointing into the wind, it's just a matter of pulling the boom past the centreline until you get enough pressure on the sail to keep it tight.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:34 PM   #18
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I disagree... except for the round vs hard chine comment.


The one thing most agree on that the sail area of most production trawler steadying sails just is too small for much effect.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:53 PM   #19
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Commercial fishing I had a steadying sail with a surface area of about 25% of the side profile. It made a worthwhile difference on a 55' round bottom when running. When fishing I also had flopper stoppers. When shutdown and drifting at night with the right conditions and rudder set, it would sometimes sail at about 1 knot. Enough to keep the bow into the swell. One night made about 15 miles in 8 hours across the swell, unplanned.


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Old 06-10-2019, 02:05 PM   #20
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All really fascinating info, thank you all!

OH!!! I just got word that my offer on the trawler was accepted!!! Contingent on survey and sea trial soon.

Maybe I'll sew up a simple canvas sail to try out on her. If nothing else it could look cool...although I agree that the boom might turn out to be a PITA sometime.

Thanks again, folks!!!
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