Hi guys,

I haven’t been around for a while. But now I am back thinking and thinkering.

Salt showing her old number one jib

Problem: It is time to do some major refitting to the jibs. Problem is that my number one Genoa is more or less 6 meters at the lower end sweeping the deck. Getting it down and secured is a major job. Changing from number 1 to number 2 is at best a challenge. I hoist number 2, tack and get the number one on deck. But if it is really blowing and waves are building in the North Sea while you are trying to master the damned large sail – which is not fastened other than in the forestay profile, tack and sheet – two arms are not enough. The only way to get rid of the beast is to get it down the hatch unpacked – which will make everything wet down below.

There must be a better way to handle this!

Solution: As I said – I have been thinking. I have come to the conclusion that hank on sails must be much better and safer. So this is what I am going to do; I will fit two forestays, not fore and aft but parallel. I will fit a stainless steel triangle at the bottom and top of the two forestays. The triangles will make them parallel with no more space between them than enough to avoid letting the hanks twist into another while hoisting or taking down a jib.

The big deal about having two forestays is to let me hank on two sails at once. I will hank the number one on starboard and number two on port. If it is blowing too much for the number 2 I will hank on the number 3 on top of the packed and secured number one. This requires sail bags easily secured too the guard wires, big enough to contain each sail and sheets, with an opening for the hanks in front.

Safer, faster, better: Point is that parallel forestays will make it easier to change sails, to secure them and keep them on deck. This will save space, time and foremost make it possible to sail for a shorter time with the wrong sails set.

So – why don’t I just do like everybody else and go for a wrap around furling jib? Because roller furling always look and feel wrong on an old 70’s masthead with huge genoas. In light conditions you need a light number one, as soon as it blows you need a flat and low number two and so on. You will never need a furling jib half way up the forestay.

Why worry? Parallel  – not cutter rig – but parallel forestays was coming into fashion at the time somebody found out that roller furling was the thing to have. So it was all forgotten. However, as far as I can tell nobody really has any negative experiences with the parallel system.

This really bother me – I came up with this grand idea all by my selves and found out that it went out of fashion decades ago. If it is such a grand idea – how come nobody uses it? I can’t be that smart. So please come on – give me some advice? What’s the catch?