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Main vs Mizzen jib

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Franklin, Aug 9, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    When I first saw this Tayana (Blue boat) I thought it was an after market rig change but then I saw this other boat with the same setup except it had a Mizzen Main. That got me to thinking...what is more effective, a regular main on the front mast or a jib on the back mast if both has a boom and both has the same sail area. Thoughts?

    I do know that by putting the jib on the mizzen instead of having the main on, it moved the CE back so maybe that is why the owner of the Tayana took the Mizzen Main off.
     

    Attached Files:



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  2. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    255 posts, 93 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    @Franklin ,
    Many schooners were designed in an array of different rigs and layouts; the one you seem to have spotted is called a Stays'l Schooner, which are somewhat rare. It is called this because the standing rigging between the mizzen and main mast (the mizzen stay) is what yields the jib-cut sail that runs between the two masts. Thus, the mizzen Stays'l acts almost as a jib for the mizzen sail, and is very effective when it comes to light air. Your attached photos are a perfect example of this.
    Another rig for schooners doesn't necessarily have a name, but it is the original and classic way schooners have been rigged for centuries.
    [​IMG]
    Above, you see Schooner America in all her beautiful glory. Unfortunately, she is a replica, but is still one of the fastest classic-rigged vessels to date. Now, you can see the gaff-rigged main that almost reaches aft to the mizzen mast to cover as much area as possible. This rig catches far more wind on a reach or run, but provides a disadvantage of not being able to point as close to the wind as a stays'l schooner.
     


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  3. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    [​IMG]

    But how does the Stays'l compare to this?
     


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  4. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    255 posts, 93 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    @Franklin ,
    The stays'l provides more lift and directed air flow to the mizzen because the luff of the sail is angled from head to tack. This is what makes a jib effective for a mains'l on a basic sloop, or cutter. When the mains'l such as seen in your photo is rigged vertically on the mast in front of the mizzen, it doesn't provide that same lift for the mizzen sail because of its position in front of the mizzen mast instead of being attached to it.
    This boat would definitely point better into the wind than a gaff-rigged schooner, but still not quite as nicely as a stays'l schooner.
     


  5. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    There was a thread on a cruising forum about this but the poster didn't get his question clear as 90% of the posters didn't understand the question so I am trying here but from those that did understand it, there are two ways to look at it but no real conclusion.

    1) Front jib creates slot for the main so that performs better
    2) Slot is just hype and the disturbance a mast makes over the main makes the Stays'l perform better.

    I look at it and see great ease of use with the Stays'l and it has about the same sail area without the disturbance of the mast plus the sail doesn't ride on the spreaders so I kind of like it, but there aren't many of these so there has to be a reason for that.

    What is also weird is that the back mast has backstays but the front mast does not. It is rigged with swept back spreaders like my Hunter so no backstay needed, but yet so is the back mast but somebody felt it needed that ugly thing sticking off the stern to hold the backstays.
     


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  6. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    255 posts, 93 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    @Franklin ,
    Huh. Yeah, I can see that backstay-sprit coming off the transom in that photo. Very odd indeed. What's even weirder is that there isn't even a mizzen sail rigged on that second photo.
     


  7. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    Both boats have that ugly thing off the back.
     


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  8. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    255 posts, 93 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    Yeah, well, it depends on the shroud layout. Depending on sail area, in heavy winds, the canvas may produce too much pressure for a mere side and fore-stayed rig. If these guys have all their canvas flying and the winds are really gusting, the hull can handle it for sure. If they also decide to head onto a run in these circumstances, it may be necessary to have that backstay provide more rigidity for the rig to prevent mast-flex. It also may be a safety precaution for when the stays'l is being hoisted; if someone got too carried away on the halyard, it could bow the mast forward due to the lack of direct opposing force to the mizzen stay.
     


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  9. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    1,024 posts, 488 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    i'm awful with boating "terms". what does "ugly thing off the back" mean? i'm not familiar with that term.:)
     


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  10. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    They are not sideways shrouds. The spreaders seem to be at a 30 degree angle back just like my Hunter. I've ran with all my sails up in 27 knots true wind doing 9 knots so it holds on a run just fine. The lack of backstay is what makes the rig so strong against pumping. As the mast is pulled forward, that tightens the shrouds which push forward on the mast by the spreaders, but it also has shrouds attached to the mast midway pulling back. I love the B&R rig for it's strength, but no so much for having to keep the main off the spreaders. This Stays'l schooner doesn't have that problem. The jib is angled away from the spreaders.
     


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  11. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    255 posts, 93 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    Hmmmm. Well, then, I have no idea why they put it there! Maybe the designer was new ;)
     


  12. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    I am not totally sure it was the designer who put the backstays on. I had riggers asking me if I wanted to put a backstay on my boat. Said they do it a lot. Needless to say, I found a different rigger.

    After all, does the Tayana have on the back mast not just the swept back spreaders but two sets of backstays? that is what I see.
     


  13. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,512 posts, 677 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    The staysail ketch rig is normally used on vessels where a standard main would be too cumbersome and difficult for a short-handed crew to handle. That is it's only advantage. Without the main of a staysail schooner to drive the boat or the main of a ketch, they are generally dogs, if performance is your goal. That Tayana pictured probably does not sail well to windward or swiftly on any other point of sail. It is just an easy to handle 55' boat for one or two crew.
    We have a mizzen staysail, a light air, a self-stayed sail that goes from the windward main shrouds to the mizzen top and the end of the mizzen boom. It is flown in conjunction with the other sails in light airs and is extremely helpful under those conditions.
    The Pinkie schooner pictured in post 3 was a rig common for fishing boats like clam and scallop boats before engines. They were shallow draft, low freeboard, easy to handle and generally used in sheltered waters. They do not make good sea boats.
     


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  14. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    I got to thinking about the times I have gone to windward in my 6 years cruising. The apparent wind is almost always 18 knots or higher and I have 2 reefs in voth main and jib. I am thinking that would be enough wind to make 6 knots with a 45 ft waterline, right?

    Reaching it has a 130 genoa and for downwind an asymmetrical spin. I know it would need strong winds to go downwind. What I do worry about is it being out of balance on a reach with the 130 and no mizzen sail.
     


  15. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,512 posts, 677 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    I'm sorry, but there is no MIZZEN on a schooner unless she has three or more masts. A two-masted schooner has a foremast and a main mast. The sail on the foremast is called the foresail, then the after mast is the main mast with the mainsail.
    Though the replica Schooner America is of a fast design, she is far from as fast as she could be, with her bald headed rig and trailing two propellers, two struts, and shafts. Generally, the gaff schooner is fastest on a broad reach, where square foot of sail to sail, they are hard to beat. They are not especially great windward boats but ease them off a few degrees and they can hold their own over the long run.
    However, as beautiful as the rig is under sail (my absolute favourite), it is a very labor intensive rig to handle. Each gaff rigged sail has two halyards and two topping lifts, and there is rarely a halyard winch to be found. That means you would need a block and tackle on the halyards, sometimes up to 5 parts on the throat and 3 on the peak. Given a 50-foot throat haul, that would give you a bit over 250 feet of throat halyard! They were excellent cargo and fishing vessels because the equal length boom and gaff of the foresail could be used in a union purchase to load or offload cargo from the hold amidships. The main could be rigged that way too if there was a hold aft.
    The gaff schooner rig allows for a lot of small but useful sails to be added to her compliment of working sails, such as topsails and the oddly named gollywobbler.
    the-gaff-schooner-altair.jpg
     


    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 4:20 AM
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  16. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,512 posts, 677 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    A mizzen on a reach will tend to drive the bow up into the wind, making it very hard to balance the boat. When sailing a ketch with the mizzen up on any point of sail, one must balance the mizzen's natural inclination to drive the bow to windward against the jib's to pull the bow down. Going to windward or even on a beam reach, this is pretty easy to do by easing the mizzen sheet, but as the wind moves aft it becomes much more difficult, which is why you will often see ketches sailing without their mizzens, when sailing off the wind. If you want more speed off the wind on a ketch, you would use a mizzen staysail, sort of like a half spinnaker, which goes as I described above. I can pretty much count on a knot or a bit more of increased speed when I put up the mizzen on Skipping Stone. We will often run with a reefed main and put up the mizzen if the wind drops below 18 knots, rather than shaking out the reef on the main. Once it drops below 16 knots, then we'll add the full main. We are always shooting for a 7 knot average or above on our day sails between anchorages in the Windwards.
     


    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  17. dziedzicmj

    dziedzicmj

    Joined Aug 13, 2012
    447 posts, 73 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Ottawa
    I was reading this discussion and was wondering who would say this first. So @capta beat me to it by an hour or so.

    Btw. if they are performing so poorly why Jean-Yves Terlain used one (Vendredi Treize) in his OSTAR race in 1972? And he got the second place.

    [​IMG]
     


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  18. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,512 posts, 677 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    Perhaps it had something to do with a 126-foot long vessel in a race where the average size of his competitors' vessels was 54 feet? By all rights, he should have won! 2nd was a really miserable showing if you crunch the numbers. And he used her for exactly the reason I gave regarding the Tayana; small crew on a BIG boat.
     


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  19. Franklin

    Franklin

    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,409 posts, 115 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    Well, to be fair, I call it a mizzen because if there is a sail behind it(main?) Then it would be small. This schooner is not your typical schooner. The mast are the same height and the are evenly spaced much farther aft than your typical schooner. In fact, it is closer to a ketch than a schooner and I am sure for the voat that has the sail back there, they do not use it as their driver but like a mizzen sail to control lee and weather helm.

    In my opinion these boats are schooners in name only.
     


  20. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,512 posts, 677 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    Many modern schooners have equal masts. They are not 'schooners in name only', They are bonafide schooners. There have been schooners with up to 7 masts (named after the days of the week, by the way) and they are true schooners too. A schooner is a schooner, not a ketch no matter what you choose to call it, just like having two stays (jibs) in front of the main mast does not make a sloop a cutter.
    If you want to make up your own nautical terms, that is, of course, your right, but don't expect others to understand what you are saying, or put much stock in your knowledge and comprehension of the subject.
     



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