Re: Downwind sailing on Amel 54 and storm jibs

Arno Luijten

Our 54 has the twin headsail downwind option. It has the custom forestay foil with three grooves and the swivel with the latching system. We have two whisker poles which are huge and heavy. One is mounted at the mast and the second one is on deck. They are a pig to handle.
They work differently compared to the Super Maramu as they are attached to the base of the mast when in operation and one-piece. The reason for this is that the rigging is different with swept-back spreaders and a different stay set up.
I think it works as well as on the Super Maramu but I have not used in in anger yet. We also have a gennaker on a top-down furler. It all was part of the boat when we bought her.
Setting up the whisker-pole is quite the effort as you need to attach a lot of lines at the tip of the pole being in front of the forestay at that moment. The weight and size of the pole makes it intimidating. I had a look at replacing the aluminum tubes with carbon fibre but found that intimidating as well, on financial level...
Once you manage to set up the poles it works pretty easy and you can furl both sails together.

Using the staysail is easy, You just need to use the running back-stays in high wind situations. As the cars for the sheets are movable you can also furl this sail to a smaller area, removing the need for a storm-jib. At least that is my opinion.

I don’t think the is a significant difference in the rolling motion for the 54 compared to the SM. Although the underwatership is a bit more rounded, it also has a bit more stability aft because of the wider hull at that point.  I guess is these factors cancel each other out in this respect.
That does not mean the rolling motion cannot be annoying at times on a 54. I fell almost out of bed once when anchored at Guadeloupe. I’m afraid that is one of the perks of owning a monohull. 

Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,

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