Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Balooner usage advice



I do love the double headsail rig for a lot of reasons.  

From a safety standpoint, there are no booms to worry about accidentally gybing. The number of boats that I have seen with serious rig damage after a flying gybe is sobering.

With the Amel set up of continuous reefing of both sails, I can dial down the sail area as the wind picks up. And I can do this without needing to come up into the wind as I would need to to furl a boomed sail.

The biggest improvement over wing 'n wind sailing for me is the great reduction in the boat's tendency to roll while sailing downwind. The key is to not trim the sails in as much as you think you should.  If the top 20% or so of the sail is loose enough to twist forward, the boat's roll is greatly dampened.  I think the damping effect is improved in the Amel setup because both sails are the same size.  

We do sometimes do wing 'n wing sailing, but I don't like the roll, and I find that my VMG downwind is faster if I point up a bit (about 150º to the true wind) and reach off. This is faster than the twin headsails in winds of less than 8 knots or so.  By the time the wind is up to 10 knots, the twin sails outrun the reach.

Without the triple foil and latching mechanism, you do lack some of the flexibility, but twin headsails on twin headstays is an old, tried and true cruising rig.  

I am not sure how you can use the ballooner without the triple slot foil.  You have expressed concern about flying it without an easy reefing mechanism, and I agree!  The ballooner is not made to fly on its own luff, it needs to be in a foil.  Maybe your friendly neighborhood sailmaker could have some ideas... hanks?  or a flexible foil?

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Cat Island, Bahamas

---In amelyachtowners@..., <smilesbernard@...> wrote :

Thanks Danny and Craig

Craig it is indeed a balooner. It’s labeled and has a luff tape so I suspect it’s a legacy thing as the profurl is only about 6 yrs old 

Danny that sounds worth a try! The thing I love about the twin headsail rig when I’ve used it before is that reefing is so easy. 
On my old boat the hanked on 80% sail was poled to windward and just stayed up all the time and the furling Genoa was like the accelerator. Squally? Reed the genny. Light winds? Let it all hang out. 

Really good to hear other options for though android for though so thanks again

All the best

On 18 April 2018 at 20:12 "smiles bernard smilesbernard@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Hello there

I’m new to the Amel way and have been learning lots from this fabulous forum as I get to know my older 1985 Maramu

I’m still unsure of a the best approach to my downwind rig and would benefit hugely from this groups thoughts and experience of getting the best from the balooner sail.

Thus far I have been moving toward the option of adding a 2nd removable forestay on my older Maramu. Positioned as close to the furling Genoa as possible and as high up the mast as possible to avoid running back stays.

I’d use his mainly for a twin headsail downwind set up with independence between the furler and a smaller 80-90% jib poled to windward.

I’ve used this setup before and like it lots I chose it over the option of hoisting two sails up the furler luff groove and loved its simplicity, independence of sails, provision of a spare forestay, ability to set a storm sail etc etc

But on the group lots of people advice is to not change anything on these well though out and well tested boats and I presume my old Maramu has sailed the World already without these changes 😊

So ..... considering other options ....apparently the large spinnaker looking sail lurking in my locker is a balooner.

How do people use these?

Just in combination with the Genoa as a double headsail rig or also on its own downwind wind (perhaps with the mizzen goose winged) ?

It’s worth pointing out that unfortunately I do not have the Amel furler but a profurl electric number with only 2 luff grooves. So I don’t have the wonderful 3 luff groove independent sail hoisting and lowering option available to most of you lucky chaps!

My concern with the balooner plus Genoa is that I will be short handed with kids aboard and given my profurl furler would have to hoist and lower the balooner and Genoa on the same halyard Ie unfurl a massive total sail area if I had problems and needed to get sails down.

Thoughts and hard won experience very much appreciated

Fair winds

Maramu #162


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