What to do when very strong wind starts to blow? If the reefing headsail has to be reduced to such an extent that it no longer provides a propulsive profile, let alone can be made way to windward with the remaining sail. Modern furling mains will be usable for longer, but as a rule, trimming via the mainsheet becomes ineffective and overcoming seas increases the risk of a complete failure of the mainsail.
Special sails should be on board in case of storm Normal mains are often equipped with too few reefing lines, so that it is not even possible for the crew to properly prepare the yacht for a coming storm. In any case, as a responsible skipper, you should try to avoid such conditions if you only have sails of normal cloth and workmanship quality. To sum up? Against the background of increasing storm frequency and smaller, but surprisingly occurring strong wind fronts, strong and reliable cloths such as the storm jib and the trysail belong on board.
A small triangular storm sail made of particularly resistant and heavy sailcloth, which is set in place of the mainsail
Smaller jib with a higher clew, made of particularly resistant cloth
Regatta and cruising sailors A sailor's life is usually not enough to experience a storm that "blows the cloth off the deck". But who can guarantee that? It is not without reason that the regulations for regatta sailors clearly require the carrying of storm sails and obviously the sensitivity for appropriate storm preparation and storm tactics seems to be growing again also among cruising sailors - after all, they can become "life savers" in case of the worst.
Setting and handling should be practiced Globally operating rig and furling system manufacturers have equipped their mainsail reefing systems with extra stay rails to accommodate the trysail. The sail is then set with the Dirk, which should be designed accordingly in advance. Basically, the trysail is run without a boom, which would only be an additional danger when furling in heavy seas anyway. For this, however, the sail needs sheets on both sides, which must be pulled tight after each tack in difficult conditions. The trysail must be adapted in its details to the conditions on board, and this applies especially to problem-free setting and handling.