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Ariadne was handed over to us in February 1995. There was a string of gales charging up the Channel, so Dairne and I, together with our sons, Iain and Neil, waited for a break in the weather, After 4 days, there was a sort of lull, so we set off in the late afternoon. There was still a big sea running, and the wind was brisk - at times we had 42kts true. With only a reefed genoa, we made over 5 kts through the long winter night. After rounding Portland, well outside the race, we were able to set a double reefed main. The trip from Falmouth to the Needles took about 24 hours. Our confidence in the boat and its ability to look after us rose, and we have never had any reason since then to doubt it.

Some years ago, we added a trysail. This was done after talking to Mike Thoyts, who has circumnavigated a Rustler. He says that the boat will maintain 5+ kts under trysail and heavy weather jib in winds over 30kts, without heeling much; and he also hoists it when running under genoa only as its helps stop the rolling. If you hoisted the main, the genoa would collapse.

As the boat doesn’t heel, it is very fast. The sail is sized so that if it is hoisted right to the top of the track (i.e. to the spreaders), it sheets to the boom end. In a real storm it can be set lower sheeted to the toe rail, with the boom held by the gallows. I just rang Sanders at Lymington and asked for a twin of the sail they had made for Mike! An extra track was put on the mast and the sail lives permanently on this track with its own cover.

All that is needed to hoist the trysail is to

 - undo the cover

 - transfer the halyard from the mainsail to the trysail

 - transfer the no 3 reef tackline to the tack of the trysail

 - transfer the no 3 reef clew line to the clew of the trysail

Then hoist away. If you have single line reefing, the sail can be controlled from the cockpit.

In storm conditions replace the clewline with a new sheet via a snatchblock on the toerail to the winch

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