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Old 05-28-2020, 01:50 PM   #1
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Keep Stabilizing Sails?

Our Cheoy Lee 55 is at the end of a long refit and we never reinstalled the mast or boom since we donít have need of so much hoisting power up top (switched to an inflatable for a tender).

However, the old setup also served as a stabilizing system with a staysail, and I want to check before deciding to discard the boom and mast and rigging. I know the boat is prone to rolling (which Iíve experienced already in a Gulf crossing), but I donít anticipate doing much, if any, open water cruising in the foreseeable future. Most use will be weekend trips around Long Island Sound and maybe up the coast of New England. I hate to invest the time and deck space up top to reinstall all that equipment if Iím not likely to need it.

Does anyone have a sense of how useful the staysail is in terms of actually stabilizing the roll? Am I underestimating how much difference it will make?

Thanks for any advice!

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Old 05-28-2020, 02:29 PM   #2
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Does anyone have a sense of how useful the staysail is in terms of actually stabilizing the roll? Am I underestimating how much difference it will make?
Stabilizing sails are a hot topic amongst Willard owners. My W36 came with a small main and a foresail. And the W30 I owned previously also had a small mainsail.

Both took a half-a-hurricane to have any effect. In my opinion, they were not worth the effort to set, and this from a guy who did most of his personal boating on San Francisco Bay which is notoriously windy.

If I owned your boat and planned to cruise her, I would consider Paravanes which would be the least expensive active stabilization contraption you could install. It's also very simple and low maintenance. It does require some muscle to deploy/retrieve, and there's an air-draft consideration, but reasonably priced.

Nice boat - did you do a thread on your refit?

Peter
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:32 PM   #3
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Every trawler design is a bit different and so are the sail setups....

Most boaters don't really understand their proper use.....so beware of general opinions

The stabilizing effect can be calculated...pretty complicated though.....up to a challenge?
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:59 PM   #4
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..... I can't wait to see where this is going. I used to drive a client's Cheoy Lee 60, roughly same boat. She was a beast. That said, Cheoy Lee made a ton of motorsailors. If the rig were oem, might have some merit. Doubt it, but who knows.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:16 PM   #5
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Most recreational trawlers that are equipped with sails do not have enough sail area to make them effective.
If you have 30-50 square feet of sail per ton of boat they will significantly reduce any rolling motion in 15+ knots of wind. That would equate to around 1500 square feet of sail for a Cheoy Lee 55. I would guess the original rig is less than 500 square feet.

As mvweebles pointed out, the sail may have some steadying effect in gale force winds (if the rigging holds up), but the main reason for the sail is to sell boats and maybe lift the occasional dinghy.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:26 PM   #6
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Maybe keep it for the next owner?
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:18 PM   #7
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Most use will be weekend trips around Long Island Sound and maybe up the coast of New England.
The prevailing summer wind in that area is from the South. A lot of beam-to waves if you're running East-West along the southern NE coast. You will be rolling.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:07 PM   #8
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I removed my mast and boom and replaced them with a much shorter mast and no boom.

Your boat looks naked without some type of mast.

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Old 05-28-2020, 05:20 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Mr. tk. Sails and their effectiveness or lack thereof aside, a mast is a good place to mount radar, lightening rods, spreader lights, anchor light etc. Just something else to consider
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:20 PM   #10
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:23 PM   #11
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Found the effects of steadying sails to be be subtle, but still noticeable. Our sails can increase speed by half a knot if the propeller isn't moving the boat at or near hull speed. (Got radar, lightning rod, and vhf antenna, as well as running light, spreader lights and flag hoists on mast.)
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:01 AM   #12
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IF the boars bottom is close to round I would reinstall the gear.


If the bottom is barge like they probably wont help.
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:28 AM   #13
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Found the effects of steadying sails to be be subtle, but still noticeable. Our sails can increase speed by half a knot if the propeller isn't moving the boat at or near hull speed. (Got radar, lightning rod, and vhf antenna, as well as running light, spreader lights and flag hoists on mast.)
Seahorse Marine does a decent job of fitting-out Diesel Ducks with credible sail rigs that appear to be suitable not just for stability, but for auxiliary get-somewhere propulsion (Note: get somewhere versus get-home). Your boat also looks like it probably has proper running rigging, and the roller furling is a nice feature. I would hazard a guess that the few trawlers with decent headsails rarely have adequate running rigging as winches and fairleads are expensive.

Attached picture is of a 1969 Willard 36 Pilothouse (versus my Sedan version). She shows a mast and boom of adequate size to provide roll attenuation. Quite a ways forward compared to the DD Coot, but adequate. I believe this was the W36 that went from California to Hawaii and back in 1987 and burned 0.9gph. I would imagine she had her sails flying as that is pretty low fuel burn in open ocean.

The original owner of my 1970 14-ton Willard 36 was likely the one who equipped her with sails. She had a somewhat tall mast (since removed). From memory, the boom/mast triangle was probably about 15--16 feet tall by 12-13 feet along the mast. Around 100sf of available sail area. But by the time you subtract rigging fittings for the sail and hollow roach of the leech, I'd be surprised if the sail was 60sf. I'm sure it had to have some effect, but not worth setting the sail unless on a long passage to pass the time.

The boat also came with head-sails, including a large twin-headsail - more or less a pair of genoas of 150sf each (guess). But was really only usable for something resembling straight downwind. It looked brand new despite being 50-years old. Like the mainsail, the working blade-jib was also pretty small - maybe 40-45 sf. Similar to OP, mast and boom were used for lifting dinghy. As the boat is moving to Florida where there are low bridges and big sunshine, I opted to remove the mast in favor of a pipe-davit/hoist which also allows me to install a nice hardtop and use a short Edson radar base to mount radar.

My boat has hydraulic stabilizers, so stabilizing sails are not needed. Good thing - I found them mostly baubles of questionable utility. Given the heft and windage on a Cheoy Lee, I'd be stunned of you could do anything beyond barely perceptible roll attenuation, and then only within a narrow band of conditions. A beam swell from a distant weather system often doesn't have accompanying wind from the same direction. At best, a whisper in a rock concert. At best.

The above said, you will need a place to mount radar and antennae. Perhaps consider reducing mast height to 10-feet or so for mounting.

These older Cheoy Lee Trawlers are nice boats though like Willards, have often been worn down by years of successive owners who have good intentions but few skills. Good to see you breathing new life into her.

Peter

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Old 05-29-2020, 05:39 AM   #14
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Steadying sails and propulsion sails can be variations of one another but a true steadying sail is flat as a board and so heavy a cloth, no propulsion is even reasonable.

A steadying sail could be made of thin plywood for all the shape that is needed.
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:33 AM   #15
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A steadying sail could be made of thin plywood for all the shape that is needed.
Like cabin sides? That Cheoy Lee appears to have plenty - should be 'steady' as a rock
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:46 AM   #16
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I agree with two previous posts. You should consider the desires of future owners and the effect this has on resale. Also, if you could post a before picture of the boat with the mast up that would help confirm this opinion- your boat will look better with the rigging up. It looks like it is missing something without it. While air draft could become an issue at some point, I do not see a good reason for not putting the original equipment back on the boat. Not sure about your man overboard capabilities, but a hoist can be a valuable tool sometimes. Bill
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:50 AM   #17
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Greetings,
Mr. mv. Round bottom on that CL, I expect. Rolls in a beam sea. Some "advantages" of no mast are lower air draft and, as mentioned, elimination of rigging rigamarole. The addition of paravanes would negate those "advantages".
To my eye, she just doesn't look quite right without a mast and boom. I see you've still got the tabernacle for the mast installed. THAT'S an omen, right there! MY vote: reinstall the lot but leave it down. If you don't have one already, a simple cradle can be made to stow the rigging in a horizontal position.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:10 AM   #18
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That big boat would take a huge rig to steady it. Itís more suited for paravanes IMO.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:37 AM   #19
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This is interesting on steadying sails. ......

T&T: Steadying sails
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:28 AM   #20
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This is interesting on steadying sails. ......

T&T: Steadying sails
Larry Zeitlin was one of the most prolific authors on the Willard Boat Owners Group site. He went dark 5+ years ago after he sold Puffin, his W30 motorsailor. I never met him in person, but he was an incredibly bright and prolific writer as you can tell from the attached T&T post. WBO archives are chock full of Larry Z's thoughts on all sorts of esoteric subjects such roll periods, etc. He seemed to have devoured Skene's yacht design and committed it to memory.

That said, virtually all W30's and most W36's came with some flavor of steadying sails. Comparatively, the W30 sails were larger than the hanky's I've seen on GB36s and their counterparts. Still, very, very few owners report satisfactory results. Sure, under some conditions, some minor roll attenuation (Larry Z's favorite term).

For the OP, a short mast for radar etc would improve the appearance and functionality. But unless his Cheoy Lee had a 40-foot mast (which would look interesting itself!), he will see very little if any attenuation. But hey, happy to be proven wrong. I would add that I've flown steadying sails on probably a half dozen Willards, sails that were OEM so presumably correctly sized and cut.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane -

Peter
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