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Optimising a vessels’ rig for trade-wind sailing

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What is the issue?
Trade wind sailing is synonymous with extended periods of down-wind sailing. This requires a spinnaker or goose wing sail arrangement in un-modified sailing vessels to deliver cruising performance.

Why address this?
Both these sail arrangements are high maintenance set-ups that require constant vigilance. Neither lend themselves to vessels with a small crew running down wind for extended periods, nor to a relaxed view to sailing.

How to address this?
Use a slightly modified rig set-up to optimise the yacht for down-wind sailing.

What is required? The standard yacht rig requires the following equipment to be added to the vessels rig:
1 x furling roller foil that has two tracks – if not already the case.
1 x extra spinnaker pole
1 x addition track and spinnaker pole slide on the main mast so that two poles may be connected both independently simultaneously.
2 x up-haul blocks needed to be provisioned at the crosstree level.
2 x spinnaker pole up-hauls denoted by green in the diagrams (figure 1-3 below).
2 x blocks are required at the bow (and if necessary for routing at mid-ship) for the ‘forward adjuster’
2 x forward spinnaker pole adjuster lines denoted by red in the diagram.
2 x aft spinnaker pole adjuster lines denoted by blue in the diagram.

A very large sail area can be achieved via this approach, yet all elements are fixed in place so that the sails are under complete control at all times. The lines lead back to the cockpit so most sail management can be adhered to by a solo sailor, often without leaving the safety of the cockpit. The sails can be easily and quickly reefed by the headsail furling system and the system is somewhat tolerant of wind shifts.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, with thanks to Bernie and Sue McDonald, Yacht New Liver Bird.

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