Re: Downwind sailing on Amel 54 and storm jibs

Porter McRoberts

There are many ways to use the single pole system. And nuances which make it work well or poorly on the 54. It is indeed a pig to set. To do it alone you need relatively calm seas.  It is heavy and that’s the main issue, the mass produces significant tortional resistance to the axial movement of the ship. This loads the guys, and their attachment points significantly: usually the cleats. Using 4 down guys helps. I would also re-rig with dynamic lines as opposed to the very unforgiving dynema lines which come standard, reducing the jerks and high momentary loads of rolling. 

However, once set, past the drama, the pole works well. Getting the angle right is critical for the shape of the Genoa, but too low and you risk dipping the tip in the ocean on a big roll.   Even with a gybe the sail does not collapse. We can sail pole set to wind up to about 150 degrees.  If you’re feeling lucky, you can set the pole to wind and then an asymmetric spinnaker on the Lee side. You go really fast in light winds. 

The problem comes with fickle winds from the stern. Past that 150 degrees the sail cavitates and now you’re limited to a degree to reset the sail on the opposite side, the non pole side. Good to have a little extra length in the Genoa sheet. 

Commonly that happens at night. In the rain. While your crew is asleep.   So you change the boat angle to accommodate the wind, or turn on the motor, or suit up and go on deck in dangerous conditions.  But this is the case with any single pole setup. 

I suspect the dual pole gives a wider angle of potential sailing relative to those deep wind angles. I’m not unhappy with the single pole setup. At 50 in pretty good shape I deal with it. But it might be different at 65. Hopefully I have the chance to know!  

Porter McRoberts 
S/V IBIS A54-152
WhatsApp:+1 754 265 2206

On May 29, 2021, at 10:56 PM, Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:

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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