Ellis Clarke improves his storm rig by turning his storm jib into a trysail

A storm jib came with my second-hand 23ft (7m) Hunter Duette, but it couldn’t be run up the forestay because of the roller reefing headsail gear. Also, as I’m getting on in years, I find that just rolling in the genoa is much easier as the wind picks up.
However, I thought I’d experiment with the storm jib on the mast acting as a trysail. The piston hanks came off easily and I altered the luff rope to go up the mast groove. The clew was clipped via a strop to the outhaul (which is conveniently cleated at the gooseneck) and the boom raised on the topping lift. The tack can be clipped to the base of the mast, or above the gooseneck, according to wind strength, and the whole thing is trimmed with the outhaul and topping lift. This strange, flag-like object has several advantages in boisterous weather: it provides a longish slot, improves the pointing ability of the reefed genoa and keeps the rig nicely balanced. Gybing is never a problem and it is comparatively easy to set up and take down. So over the years I have become quite attached to my little  ‘prayer flag’ sail.

Ellis Clarke


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