Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Steadying Sail"
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Thread: "Steadying Sail"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Steadying Sail

Don and Margaret Lacoste

A friend of mine came by for a visit the last couple days after spending the winter in the Bahamas on his Columbia 34. He added a steadying sail to his locker and said it was one of the best things he's added for keeping his boat steady into the wind on anchor.

Just wondering if any of you Westsailors have used them or are they even necessary with our heavy boats?


Rich Morpurgo

I found the best thing for sailing at anchor is a big snatch block at the end of the bowsprit for the snubber. It really holds her nose into it at the end of that lever.

Have never used a riding sail so I don't know if it would help.


Rod Lawson

Hi Don & Margaret, I have always found my Westsail to be pretty steady whilst on anchor and from what I have read it is usually light fin keels which need a riding sail as they tend to swing around much more than our full keels. I've seen a couple of ketches and yawls use the mizen to fly a small sail and as for sloops I have seen a specific sail (or piece of sail cloth) which is flown from the back stay. The idea being that to steady the boat the sail needs to be as far aft as possible. I'm sure you will find this type of sail on the internet if you do a goole search for "riding sail". Hope this assists.

Don and Margaret Lacoste

Hi Rod,

thanks for your opinion. Yes, the sailor I spoke with has a much lighter vessel with a fin keel. For him, the riding sail made a huge difference in comfort. He made such a recommendation that I consider this option, I just wanted to see what other Westsailors thought. Thanks


Rich Morpurgo

I noticed that the addition of a roller headsail has made my boat sail more than with the hanked sails also.


Michael Dougan

my boat doesn't sail very much at anchor, but one other way to help eliminate that is to run your snubber out of the hause pipe(? where your dock lines go through the bulwerks). That should cause your bow to sit about 45 degrees off the wind.

I've done this on charter boats with great effect, but, tried once on my Westsail and couldn't quite position the snubber right, so, don't know if it works with the geometry of our boats.

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