Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Storm Sails"
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Thread: "Storm Sails"

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


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Storm Sails

Terence Singh

I am soon heading offshore in SV Liberate. This spring/summer will be spent in preperation. I have a strong desire to purchase a Storm Jib (to be flown on the staysail stay) and and a Trysail, to be flown on the second mast track.
Can anyone suggest the total suqare footage for each?
Are there any specific design considerations the the loft needs to be aware of?

Don and Margaret Lacoste

Consider having a reef put into your inner staysail. This will allow you to use the same sail if the wind gets too strong for the whole sail. It won't cost you much and you won't have to store another sail. You should however, invest in a Trysail OR I have seen some mains with three reefs for high wind conditions

Dave Kall

Second the vote for a reef in the the staysail. Had that on our WS 32 and sailed 2 1/2 days with reefed staysail and storm main. Great combo and great balance.

Invest in a storm trysail. Don't put the third reef in the main. The reason is: what happens if you blow out the main. Do you carry a spare? Doubt it. The main gets plenty of use anyway. Save it for the calmer and marginal wx, not the extreme. The main is an underrated sail, try sailing for a day without one. Need it to keep the vessel moving on most all points of sail. Basically; don't unnecessarily risk the main.

Dave King

Ahoy Terry,
The square footage of my storm jib is 61. The dimensions are: Luff=20'4", Leech=13'10", Foot=9'9". There is an additional 2' SS pendant permanently attached to the Tack. This is necessary to raise the tack above the furled staysail.
The square footage of my Trysail is 96. The dimensions are: Luff=17'8", Leech=23'7", Foot=11'5".
Both of these sails are built according to the original W-32 specs. Both are 9oz material (I think)
A couple of thoughts: Since the Trysail was designed to sheet to the aft mooring cleats, A large dodger will interfere with the sheeting. It is necessary to get this problem solved intellectually ahead of time. Also, I have found it convenient to keep the Trysail on the track, at the mast, all of the time while cruising. The normal sail bag will work for this but a better solution is to have a custom made Sunbrella bag. The bag needs to have a slot on the side for the Luff to attach and an opening lid to hoist the sail out. This is all very similar to a racing boats spinnaker bag.

I have some thoughts on the subject of spare sails also. It makes a huge difference whether you are using roller furling or not. I currently am on the headsail only. I am a "percentage" player while cruising. As an example, I will carry the Yankee to Hawaii but replace it with the jib for the return. The less a sail is furled, while flying, the better.
I completely agree with Dave Kall's, and Don's remarks. I do, however, carry a spare, and battenless, Mainsail while cruising.
Good luck with your choices,

Dave King

Ahoy Dave,
I've been sailing these boats from their beginning but it's been such a long time that I no longer remember how I learned some things. I remember putting up the Trysail for the first time about 35 years ago, at the dock, and wondering where to sheet it. I discovered that the aft mooring cleats were at a perfect fairlead. And they were very strong. I later talked with another W-32 owner and he/she agreed that that was a good location. Somewhere through the years, I THINK I heard Bud T. mention the same thing. I therefore concluded, using no conscience thought at all, that it must have been intended that way.
All this time, from the beginning, I had heard of sheeting the clew of the Trysail to the main boom. I thought of this but did not like that idea, preferring instead to immobilizing the boom in the gallows.
Is it possible I've been sailing my boats WRONG all these years? I'm going to go out again tomorrow and practice some more.
Thanks for the comeback, Dave

Dave Kall

Dave King, You said someting I wasn't aware of...... The tack on the storm main is to be sheeted to the aft mooring cleats? I can't remember how we attached ours when we flew it; it was 20 odd years ago, but I do know it wasn't the aft mooring cleat. I had rigged something up on the main boom and controlled it that way.

Either I'm blind or I've never seen information on controling the sail that way. Any other info on such is greatly appreciated.

Lee and Nancy Perry

Dave and Dave,
I've used my trysail twice in storm conditions and have it sheeted through a snatch block at the rear sampson post to a sheet winch for adjustment.I agree with dave K. you dont want the boom thrashing about in storm conditions.Tie it down to the gallows.Secure the sheet before hoisting the sail.
fair winds,Lee

Mike McCoy

You have a rear sampson post?

Where is it located/anchored?

Lee and Nancy Perry

Some of the older boats have rear sampson posts (two).They are bolted through the laz. wall each side of the laz.I like them when heaving to I just back the headsail and drop the tiller over one of the posts.They also serve as mooring posts-no cleats.

Dave Kall

Dking. Don't think you've been doing anything "wrong" all these years. Just never saw or read anything about it. I do like the idea of an imobilized boom.

On this boat, a WS 42 I'm going to have to look at the "other options". Just had never thunk outa the box on that one. Don't know why.

Michael Dougan

Here is a shot, Mike

sampson posts

Terence Singh

Thank you all ofr the informative comments. Two things will be purchased this summer. 1, Storm Jib 2. Trysail.
One remaining question. My staysail already has one reef point and is hanked on. My Yankee is on furling gear. My only option to fly a Storm Jib is on the Staysail stay. Would the square footage of tis sail have to be increased if flown in this location? I do no want to play around with reefing a headsail, I'd rather hank the right sail on.

Aaron Norlund


The term "storm jib" is just a name. It should be flown on the stays'l stay.

Fair leads,
Aaron N.

Terence Singh

You have all been very helpful. I will be off to my local loft in the next 60 days for Flourscent Orange storm sails.
One last Q..Does anyone doubt the capabilities of the WS32 as a boat to non stop circumnavigate?

Terence Singh

You have all been very helpful. I will be off to my local loft in the next 60 days for Flourscent Orange storm sails.
One last Q..Does anyone doubt the capabilities of the WS32 as a boat to non stop circumnavigate?

George and Rayna Shaunfield

Terence, if you are interested in circumnavigation then you may want to get the film "With Jean-du-Sud Around the World" by Yves Gelinas. This is a good film made during his single-handed attempted non-stop circumnavigation in early 1980's in an Alberg 30.
$20 for the 100-minute DVD.


Terence Singh

Thank you George and Rayna.I will certainly pick this DVD up....
Funny how life plays out....Yves designed the Capehorn steering gear for the Westsail 32 based on my boat. I have all the "mail" correspondence with dimensional drawings and suggestions! At the time she was called Toucana.....hence the model name of this device for our boats.

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