On the way to and from the Azores in August 2016 we experienced wind speeds of over 30 knots at times. As we reefed down the mainsail and genoa to hankie size two things seemed to happen. Firstly the genoa, not designed, to be reefed to such a small size became deformed and it became increasingly difficult to point up close to the wind. Secondly the angle of heel did not decrease as much as one would expect because the centre of effort of the sail moved higher up the mast as the sail was reefed. Also the yacht became more difficult to steer.

There's a solution to this you may be thinking - break out the storm jib. Have you considered moving to the foredeck in heaving 2/3m waves and 30 knot + winds to install the baby stay and hank on the storm jib? Even if you succeed in doing it without hurting yourself you will surely be soaked through. This may explain why every single storm jib I have ever seen on many a yacht looks brand new!

The real solution for the blue water yachtsman is to install a permanent inner forestay with a furler on which to carry a smaller heavier jib. At some point it will become necessary to furl away the genoa completely and unfurl the staysail. All of this manoeuvre can be done from the safety, comfort and relative dryness of the cockpit.

In the last couple of weeks an inner forestay with a Profurl furler has been installed on Citadel and by the end of this week I shall be out in the Straits experimenting with my new rig. Citadel has become a cutter rigged sloop - I think! If you want a sloop, cutter rigged sloop or any manner of sailing yacht priced in devalued Pounds now is the time to contact www.boatshedgibraltar.com.