• 315. Top Tips Tuesday - Escape Route


    I don't 'normally' work Mondays but have done so for the last three, but that's another story. I left work at 4pm to call into our local marina to see, believe it or not, a man about a boat. Met and discussed with him a course of action and then got collared by another three customers! Result? Home after 6pm and still Tuesday's blog to write. Arrived home and Jen greeted me with the words "Power cut today, no internet and your dinner's in the dog!" I had been expecting her to say "Good day in the sail loft? Have poured you a glass of wine and dinner's on the table". My blogs are written on my ancient iPad then, after Jen has corrected my spelling, grammar and punctuation (which I blame on my dyslexia) it's sent through to boss man Andy for final approval and editing before being sent to Claire to add all the images and transform it into the blog which gets sent out on Tuesday. Last night's was written on the iPad, corrected then screenshotted and texted through to Andy for him to type out again before sending on. It's great when things go to plan but if not, do you have an escape route to get yourself out of trouble?


    In the last 2 weeks we have sold 4 Storm Bags to participants in this year's ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to the Carribean). The Storm Bag is a very clever storm sail which is very easy to deploy should you get caught out. The beauty of the Storm Bag is it is very cost effective and efficient. Why? There is no need to strengthen the foredeck to take the load of an inner forestay, nor purchase one and the appropriate tensioner or modify the mast by fitting a tang to take it. No need to worry about the extra weight and windage! No need to spend 30 minutes or more on the foredeck attaching and tensioning the stay, hanking on the storm jib and leading the sheets aft. And finally no need to worry about the genoa unfurling at the height of the storm as the genoa is encapsulated by the Storm Bag. But and it’s a big but, by deploying a Storm Bag around a fully furled genoa its unique design of a sleeve makes for much improved performance over a conventional sail deployed directly behind a ‘rolled headsail’.



    * In the absence of regulations, this table gives a recommended STORM-BAG ® for a given length of vessel. The development of each model was based on an average boat profile for each category. It is the responsibility of the user to select the sail which is best suited to their particular vessel. Bespoke sails can be manufactured upon request - contact us with your requirements.

  • 168. Top Tips Tuesday - Stormy Weather, StormBag


    One of the first storm jibs that we ever made (after Alan Bax and I left Musto & Hyde sailmakers) was back in the mid seventies. It was destined for a rather pretty Harrison Butler and was, of course, a hank-on sail; needless to say the owner never used it in anger for some considerable time! On Hindsight, our Mystery 35, on our delivery trip from Marseille to Corfu we carried a storm jib in the guise of a STORM-BAG and guess what, little wind for the six days and what little there was on the nose so no need to use it however if we hadn’t carried one no doubt we would have needed it.  The storm jib we fitted to Dshigit (the Mystery 35 that I first fell in love with and set Jenny and I down the self build route) was a conventional hank-on storm sail. But why didn't we, seven years later, go down the storm sail route? Apart from the lack of performance  ie once you start rolling or furling your Genoa  that vital ability to claw to windward disappears rapidly and I am not talking about a few degrees! If you go down what I consider to be the old fashioned route... the 'inner forestay with a hank on storm sail scenario' yes you get a better windward performance than that from a furled Genoa. However compared to a STORM-BAG the cost implication of fitting an inner forestay which includes modifying the mast, strengthening the deck etc to ensure a strong anchorage plus some method of tensioning the new inner forestay will probably set you back  £1500-00 at least for your average 35 footer plus of course there is the cost of the sail. Over that shock? Consider the weight and windage of the inner forestay and the tensioner (over centre lever) the stowing of the forestay and then there is the safety aspect. There is at least a 1/2 hour out on the foredeck possibly in horrendous conditions away from the safety of the cockpit... it is a 'trip' forward to rig the forestay and tension it, back to the cockpit to collect the jib and then there is the hanking on (one hand for the sail, one for the boat?) of the sail, sheets to be transferred (rolled genoa secured) and then led aft and then that jib is hoisted behind a bulky furled genoa which is in itself creating turbulence. Why didn’t we go down the Storm Bag route for Dshigit? Sadly they didn't exist back then!

    Fitting the StormBag

    The STORM-BAG storm sail was designed as a safe, efficient but economical way of flying a storm sail from a furled genoa, safe in so much as minimum time on the foredeck, no chance of furled genoa coming loose, efficient - no turbulence as set on the furled genoa and with a blunt leading edge so much easier to keep the sail drawing in confused seas, less weight and windage at all times. Economical as no deck or mast mods needed, no inner forestay required nor tensioning device, jib sheets are self contained. Plus and its a big one, your existing genoa will maintain its designed shape longer as its not being used in strong winds! The STORM-BAG is available in five different sizes suitable for boats 20 to 60 feet long (custom models are possible upon request) it comes complete fully equipped with sheets, tack strop, snap shackles; its very compact and takes up very little space on a yacht. With today's weather being so unpredictable who knows when you might need one!

  • 118. Top Tips Tuesday - Maintaining Windward Performance with Storm-Bag

    As a competitive dinghy racer I have always valued my boat's pointing ability, especially competing in a championship of some 200 boats (those were the days of the big Enterprise fleets) as you can imagine the ability to get a good start was paramount! Winter racing on the river Tyne likewise, be it dinghies like National 12’s in the seventies or eighties. Nowadays we value good pointing ability on the Sports boats that we race.

    For my new build project the Mystery 35, when we eventually launch her, and with typical North East weather, the going will get tough, I obviously want to maintain the excellent windward ability these Stephen Jones designed yachts are renowned for. Instead of a very furled genoa and virtually no pointing ability or setting a storm jib on an inner forestay I am going down the Storm Bag route. An Inner forestay, apart from the cost, is extra weight and windage aloft which is something I hate, never mind modifying the mast and the purchase of a Wichard Babystay Adjuster to put tension into the stay. It invariably means strengthening the deck or bulkhead aft of the anchor locker and the purchase of a hank-on storm jib and sheets. Cost of all this for a 35 footer is going to be quite a bit over a couple of thousand pounds depending on the cost of a mast lift out/in and deck/bulkhead mods.

    From a safety aspect, with the breeze up, the less time you or your crew spend out of the cockpit the better; clip on then go forward to set up the inner forestay, come aft then take a storm sail forward, hank it on, then take sheets back and hoist probably more than 20 minutes during daylight, quite a bit longer when its pitch black! Then of course there is the turbulence coming off the fully furled genoa.

    For heavy weather sailing the Storm Bag gives superb pointing ability as its deployed round the furled genoa (no danger of the furled genoa coming adrift should the reefing line let go). Cost at £849.00 for a light displacement 35 footer is far less than the price of modifying mast/deck, purchasing an inner forestay assembly as well as the sail and sheets. Plus, and its a big one, the safety factor - on average less than eight minutes on the foredeck!


  • Going down a storm!

    With this very windy weather that we have been getting at the start of the season, one thing that it has been doing is stimulating is the sale of Storm Bags!

    Most modern yachts are fitted with furling headsails and have no satisfactory method of deploying a storm sail when the s..t hits the fan! Furthermore, once you have half a dozen wraps of the headsail round the foil your progress to windward is almost not existent. The solution?

    1) Spend a fortune on getting the deck strengthened, mast modified, inner forestay and lever made up, then purchase a hanked storm sail and a fearless crew member to go forward and spend a considerable amount of time wresting to hank it on and attach the sheets!

    2) Purchase one of these hanked/wrap round around sleeve storm sails (which are a nightmare to attach on a bucking foredeck never mind hoist)

    3) Or purchase a Storm Bag which comes complete in a self contained bag, sheets already attached. Very safe, five minutes on the foredeck max from leaving the security of the cockpit, as for performance to windward, superb! There is a short demonstration video at the bottom of this page for those who are curious....

    Storm Bag


4 Item(s)