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I sail with my dad on his Tiki 31 with the Wharram wingsail schooner rig (headsail, mainsail, mizzen). When I was a kid, he had a small catamaran with a double forestay. The stays were side by side. We've talked about having a similar installation on the Tiki as well.

Later this spring I'm going to crew a Tanenui with a cutter rig. Therefore I studied sailing with the running backstays and wandered to read about double forestays, mostly about cutter rigs and solent rigs. And now I hear that the side by side arrangement was a 70's thing that doesn't work and has been buried a long ago.

What's the reason for this? Someone suggested that you can't have side by side forestays with a jib furler (which we don't have). But I guess dividing the mast tension between the two stays is a factor, as probably is the aerodynamics, too.

A solent rig (with removable solent stay) seems to be everybody's favorite for a double forestay. It would be possible with a wingsail (unlike a cutter rig), but you can't tack your jib through the narrow split between the two stays. Therefore it seems to be for furling jibs only, or for trade wind sailing with very little tacking.

I don't know if we actually need a second forestay. I have no idea if two headsails (a jib and a staysail) with a solent rig would have a positive effect on sailing a Tiki. It would be nice to be able to hank on a storm jib before you actually need it, though. I suppose for that there could be a removable second forestay (Dyneema?), but would it have negative effects on the mast tension or something?

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With the stays side by side, chaff could be a serious issue.  Running "wing & wing" is fine, but when you have a jib on only one stay it could chaff on the other stay if it's flown on that side.

For the use you're describing I think I would go for a removable inner forestay (from the masthead).  As long as the tack is far enough back from the permanent forestay you'll still be able to tack or gybe a normal foresail unless it goes right to the top.  Having said that, I'm not sure you need a second one at all.  I would keep it simple !

Thanks, Robert.

I talked with my dad and found out that the whole second forestay conversation comes from the fact that his previous catamaran couldn't be steered at all without a headsail. Therefore he feels that we should be able to hoist a storm jib before lowering the jib.

Tiki 31 might be more steerable. We haven't really tried. But your idea (or a removable side by side stay) sounds good (if we don't keep it simple, which sounds even better if the steering issue isn't there).

That's the first time I've heard of a cat that can't be steered without a headsail.  The method of tacking might be a bit different because you wouldn't be able to back a jib, but still possible.  I wouldn't think it would be an issue on the T31.

Panu Väänänen said:

Thanks, Robert.

I talked with my dad and found out that the whole second forestay conversation comes from the fact that his previous catamaran couldn't be steered at all without a headsail. Therefore he feels that we should be able to hoist a storm jib before lowering the jib.

Tiki 31 might be more steerable. We haven't really tried. But your idea (or a removable side by side stay) sounds good (if we don't keep it simple, which sounds even better if the steering issue isn't there).

Typically side by side forestays were used to facilitate headsail changes prior to the advent to twin track foils.

The inner headsail could be used with an integral stay. A dynema rope inside a sleeve to give a removable forestay or, if you want to be all fancy, a structured luff.  Tacking is still a pain which is why the clew on the forward jig on a cutter tends to have a high clew to help clear the inner forestay.

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