The Reaching Staysail - Get the Edge

Quantum's new reaching staysail designs give an edge to any distance racing inventory. These aren't your everyday staysails.

For offshore racers looking to gain a competitive edge, reaching staysails can offer a significant advantage in various racing scenarios on your boat. In recent offshore competitions, boats with a wide range of staysail inventory have routinely been at the top of the podium and of their classes. Specifically, many of these boats have been flying a multiple-staysail setup to optimize their headsail performance further. Staysails have been around for ages, but new Quantum designs give wider apparent wind angle ranges and more variety of sail combinations and scenarios based on inventory. 

Quantum's Jeff Thorpe has been spearheading this initiative. Using his experience from his thousands of logged offshore miles and 25 years at the heart of sailing innovation at Quantum Sails, he has been working alongside our global team to continuously tweak, push, and test the limits of new sail design. 

"Before these innovations, you couldn’t fly a genoa staysail unless you were at a wider angle, or the flow would ventilate between the two sails," says Thorpe. "With thorough modeling and testing, we've been able to better preserve the flow and optimize slotting to broaden the range of these sails in the crossover charts."


At Quantum, we're working broadly with three categories of staysails, though every design and setup is customizable to your particular boat, performance goals, or other standards. These are the Inner Genoa Staysail (IGS), the Square-top Genoa Staysail (SGS) and the Oversized Genoa Staysail (OGS):

Inner Genoa Staysail (IGS): A small square-top short hoist staysail with full battens that tacks close to the mast. This sail allows for closer reaching because the leech stays close to the mainsail profile and allows the flow to stay attached to the lower part of the mainsail. This sail typically flies closer to the mast than a typical genoa staysail, so this requires a farther aft tack position at approximately 43% of J. This sail can tack to the centerline or to weather. 

Square top Genoa Staysail (SGS): A large square-top short hoist staysail with two full battens. The SGS can also tack to the centerline or to weather. The SGS helps close the crossover gap to a code zero. This sail typically tacks in the "regular" genoa staysail location at 70% of J.

Oversized Genoa Staysail (OGS): An oversized furling staysail. It's a bigger and flatter spinnaker staysail that fits the range between a code zero and A2, and tacks at 82% of J.  

Staysails broaden the range of your sails in your crossover charts. For example, if you're using a double staysail setup with a genoa-style boat, the staysails allow you to bring the range of the genoa down to a deeper angle so you can avoid having to put your code zero up at too tight of an angle, preserving efficient flow. If you're using the staysail with your code zero up, it causes the code zero angle to widen, allowing you to sail at a deeper angle, until you get into your soft sails. Working together, these sails help in the flow of the slot for more power, and open up the angles of the other sails to reduce gaps in your crossover chart. 


These designs have three distinct advantages: They augment sail power, creating more slotting without excess sail area up high, which can close the slot on larger sails; they help break down the total sail area into smaller working components; and the shorter sails allow for more efficient slotting and minimize ventilating between headsails and any code zeros or reaching headsails. 

"Rule adjustments, fabric changes, and testing innovations have expanded our capabilities in what staysails we can design, the angles at which we can carry them, and how many you can carry in a race or in a class," says Doug Stewart from our Annapolis Loft. "Staysails aren't just for spinnakers anymore — every racer can take advantage of these new designs, with an inventory tailored to your racing calendar."

Quantum's improved reaching staysails offer a significant performance advantage for offshore racers. With their versatility, durability, and performance, these sails are a valuable addition to any distance racing inventory. Whether you want to improve your speed, maintain a competitive edge, or simply enjoy the thrill of racing, a Quantum staysail could be the key to success.

Ready to take your racing game to the next level? Around the globe, our teams are at the forefront of staysail development and design. We're here to provide expert input every step of the way, whether your inventory budget allows for one highly efficient staysail or for multiple sails you can carry across different angles and wind ranges. The development in the offshore world with staysail is happening rapidly; contact your local loft or rep today to learn more and take advantage of a staysail inventory tailored to you.

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