jackline system on the staysail

  • September 27, 2023 1:32 AM
    Message # 13259671

    I have 2 identical staysails and both of them have this kind of the hanks and jackline setup:


    I looked through the whole internet and there is no word nor description of what it is, or how it works. I cannot find any practical reason for this without the further modification of the sail and lines. I don't have a storm staysail and I would like to use this system for reefing the sail, but how?

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    Last modified: September 27, 2023 3:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • September 27, 2023 5:56 PM
    Reply # 13260100 on 13259671

    Hello Klet.  Bear with me, this will be a bit wordie and disjointed.  

    The Jackline is for only one purpose.  It allows the Staysail to be lowered instantly WITHOUT changing the clew adjustment. If a person doesn’t mind dealing with the clew every time then the Jackline is not necessary.  

    The issue is this:  the LP (luff perpendicular) of the sail is less than the foot length.  That means that if you were to just release the halyard, the sail would not drop completely down. It would only drop about 1/2 the way down because the foot is still stretched out forcing the luff to tighten and stopping its movement toward the tack.  

    The Jackline allows the luff to move toward the clew,  making its effective distance less than the foot and allowing the luff to come all the way down.   It all works great when properly adjusted and is virtually never a problem.

    About reefing the staysail:  The Jackline has nothing to do with that. If you want to reef the staysail then you must modify it for that. You will need a number of things:  a reef cringle on the luff.  That is, a 2nd tack.  A hook near the original tack to grab ahold of the reef tack. A cringle on the leech. That is, a 2nd clew.  

    About 4 reefing grommets spaced between the new cringles. When reefing you will need to release the halyard a few feet, release the clew, secure the new tack, secure the new clew, tie in the reef points, and rehoist the halyard. Easy Peazy.

    In my case, I have no Jackline. I must readjust my clew every time I do anything with the staysail. I do have a reef. I have a large snap shackle that is secured to the turnbuckle.  It “floats” on a short pendant that positions it at the right height to attach to the reef cringle on the luff. I untie my clew (the foot out haul) and retie to the new clew after lowering the sail a few feet. Typically, I will rehoist the sail before I tie in the reef lines.

    My suggestion is: Keep the best of your staysails and keep the Jackline. You should not need to carry a spare. If you have any questions I will try again at articulating.    

    Good luck,   Dave

    JB reformatted per DK request.

    Last modified: September 27, 2023 6:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • October 26, 2023 4:32 AM
    Reply # 13271737 on 13259671

    Thanks Dave, I dont have a boom nor a track for the self tacking system, so I couldn't perceive the necessity of the jackline. Now I understand perfectly :)

    I noticed a strong need of a storm staysail for some heavy conditions, when the original staysail is too big to put up and the boat is not balanced carrying only fully reefed mainsail.

    I have 2 options:

    1. Use my spare staysail, cut it along the luff to get a smaller, flatter foil, and change the sails whenever necessary.

    2. Make a furling staysail - which appears to be a lot better solution in terms of easyness of use and less mess on board, but ...

    Will the partly furled staysail have the shape, efficiency and strenght to withstand heavy winds?

    Can it be a soft stay system, without a stiff aluminum stay?

    Regards, Klet
  • October 27, 2023 11:55 AM
    Reply # 13272481 on 13259671

    Hello klet,  yes, without a staysail boom there is certainly no need for a Jackline.   I still use the boom and it’s traveller.  A common furling system would be able to handle a well furled staysail.  I have delivered W-32’s with the furling.  My staysail is 7oz material.  That is heavy and leaves no concerns.  The original staysails, I think, were 5oz.   I use a separate storm jib when appropriate.   I do not recall its weight or size, but it is equal to about a triple reefed staysail.  It is hanked on and flown above the furled staysail on the boom.  It has a pendant on the tack to properly position its height.   It very conveniently sheets to the jib block on deck.   Your 2nd staysail may or may not be able to be used for a storm jib. The sail maker will know.                 I do not have any personal experience with a soft furling system.       Good luck,   Dave

    Last modified: October 27, 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous member
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