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Old 24-04-2014, 12:10   #1
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Advice on Rigging for a Spinnaker

Looking for some advice on how I might rig up a spinnaker to my boat. Currently we do not have a spinnaker nor do we have any hardware for one, so we are starting from scratch here.

What I know that I do have already is a hook/loop at the mast head on starboard and port side of where the forestay connects that I could hook a block to. I also even have an extra spot on the forward chainplates where I could secure the halyard for the spinnaker while not in use. I also have extra turning blocks at the mast base, extra slots in my deck organizer and extra unused clutches that could hold the halyard. There are also unused T-tracks on the starboard and port sides. But beyond that there is really nothing else.

Attached is a diagram I did up (not exactly to scale) of the top view of the boat with all the rigging that exists and it's location. I've also attached a picture of the boat for reference.

Also, not that it matters but my mast height (I) is about 43', my J measurement is about 12' and i'm planning on a cruising asymm spinnaker of about 39' x 20'.

So IF you had this boat and were basically starting with a blank slate for a spinnaker what would you do?
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Old 24-04-2014, 14:00   #2
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

What's the budget and what's the intent? Do you just want a deep running spinnaker or are you looking to fly a code zero?

For me I would want the flexability to fly a code sail. I will try to point out reasonable cost savings below...

1)Retrofit asymetric pole
Selden 99mm aluminum pole with fittings ~$1,000
You could go with a smaller pole for less projection and save here

2) Karver KSF2 top down furler $2,100
The karver is the best but is also rediculously expensive you need to know what pole you are using to figure sail area, but likely the Selden GX-10 for $1,000

3) sail ~$2,000
Get a custom A2 to start. Other sails can be added. Between the pole and the width of a tri you probably can't find a semi-custom sail that will really work well.

4) you could get away with what you have, but I would probably add padeyes to the aft corners of the boat for turning blocks. Karver K blocks are by far my favorite. There isn't even a close second. The are the only blocks that fail safe, and for high load turning applications the only thing I would recommend. Use oversized dyneema lashings to attach them to the padeyes.

So all up about $5000 top of the line route, but you could easily save some and get it down to $2,000 plus a used sail.
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Old 24-04-2014, 14:40   #3
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

Thanks Stumble. Intent for this would be for general downwind sailing, somewhere between 140deg and 180 deg. We don't really need it for anything closer since we seem to get our best speeds between about 70-130 where we typically top out at about 10-11 knotts in a 20 knott wind but once past about 130 our efficiency drops off real quick where we typically end up having to just turn the motor on to get anywhere.

Budget is somewhat limited but I also don't mind spending more over time to build up to something better. However, we are very practical in that I would rather spend another $1000 to have better management of the sails rather than better speed.

I have in mind a used sail which measures 38'x35'9"x20'11" which is around $1000. Beyond that I would prefer to not spend more than about an additional $1000 to get it (or something like it) up in the air and sailing. I can certainly spend more later to add pieces but would like the bare minimum to get going. Neither of us have ever flown a spinnaker before so I think I am really going for spending the bare minimum to begin to learn and hopefully be able to expand and modify as we get a better understanding of the sail and what our real requirements are.
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Old 24-04-2014, 15:16   #4
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

In that case the first priority is the pole. You will never get the chute to fly well without the projection. For a deep runner you don't need the bigger pole, but the mid size is only a hundred bucks or so cheaper so if you have the room I would still put the largest pole on you can. The longer the projection the cleaner the air the sail flys in, and the easier it is to jibe.

Then all you need is some sheets and a halyard. The outboard aft most tracks will work.

Finally get the furler. It isn't required, but it makes things much easier. You pull the sail up at the dock when you get onboard and leave it there untill you get home. When you want to use the sail you unfurl it, when you are done you furl the sail back up.

Last is a new spinnaker. For deep reaching a custom sail is less important, and I don't know the numbers of your boat well enough to judge if the one you have selected will work or not. Talk to a local sail maker and ask him his recommendations. In my eyes spending $1000 on a used sail seems pretty high unless it was very close to exactly what I really wanted. We bought a new semi-custom asym for a Columbia 50 for $2,200 I think it was.
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Old 24-04-2014, 15:23   #5
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

I went ahead and looked it up. Using some very guesstimate numbers for your boat a new North Direct Asym will run about $1,100. No way would I buy a used sail for $1,000.
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Old 24-04-2014, 15:32   #6
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

You could get away without a pole. The point of the pole is to get the spinnaker out from behind the main, since you have a trimaran you have places to weather to attach the guy. Not the ideal but would keep costs down until you wanted to get more exact trim.
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Old 24-04-2014, 15:45   #7
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

Natew,

Well, for lines besides the sheet and guy for the spinnaker, you need a pole topping lift, and a pole downhaul. You'll need a block and backing plate on the foredeck for the pole downhaul line. I agree with Stumble that you'll need pad eyes with backing plates on the aft corners for turning blocks to go to the secondary winches in the cockpit. Do you have them? A pair of winches will add significantly to the cost if you need them.

(FWIW, if you have the use of a large clear floor (kids' gym for instance?) you could make your own spinnaker from spinnaker cloth seconds. Jim did this once, using an old Singer sewing machine. Saved a lot of money. And the leftover cloth made lots of other stuff, as well.)

You may be able to put together your own pole and ends less expensively than buying a spinnaker pole ready-made. You will need a secure way of mounting the spinnaker pole to the mast, but also on deck, so it cannot escape. The two places long enough are up the mast or lying on the side deck. The mast placement is more convenient for operation, but involves more hardware, hence costs, for traveler, cheek blocks, and up-downhaul lines, and the purchase of t-track and the screws, nylon washers, and end tips. However, if you go for installing the track on the mast, make sure that you have enough height to be able to do dip-pole gybes.

Since you want all this for running really deep, why are you going with an assymetrical rather than a full shouldered running kite with a sock? Also, I'm wondering whether a Code 0 sort of deal might meet your needs better?

Sounds like a fun project.
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:19   #8
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Re: Advice on Rigging for a Spinnaker

Awesome guys.

Did not know you could have a new spinnaker for around that price. I was leaning towards an asym simply because I have read that they are a bit easier to manage and typically do not require a pole. BUt if a symmetrical spinnaker would work better or as well i'm not totally opposed, they seem to be significantly cheaper anyway leaving money for the actual rigging.

What lines, and how many, actually need winches? I have 4 winches on deck in total all of my reefing lines, halyards, main sheets, topping lift etc. all have clutches to hold them so typically my smaller two winches are virtually unused. The two larger winches are used exclusively for the genoa and my general understanding would be that you wouldn't run a spinnaker and a genoa together anyway or atleast not at the wind angles i'm considering using it on so those would be available.

I'm thinking I need a spinnaker 101 class, these things sound way more complicated than I had ever thought.
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:39   #9
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Re: Advice on Rigging for a Spinnaker

Ann,

Everything you describe is necessary for a symmetrical spinnaker not for a asymetric. Asym's fly with no topping lift, down haul, guys, mast attachment, ect. All they need is a point forward of the forstay to attach to, a tack line, halyard and sheets.

The existing primaries should be fine for trimming the asymetric, but turning blocks could be necessary. It really depends on exactly how the boat is layer out, where the gear is ect... But to get started I wouldn't worry about it.

As for spinnaker selection... While a Code 0 is a great weapon for a racing boat they are of limited value while cruising. They are really a light air upwind sail that generates power from massive sail area. Think a 200% jib rather than a chute. They require the pole to be very strong, and non-carbon poles require a bobstay to keep them from lifting due to the huge halyard tensions required to fly correctly. When they are useful they are amazing, but far from the first thing I would consider.

Ideally I would probably recommend a North A2 which has a useful AWA of about 100 to 170 degrees. The sweet spot is right at 135 AWA which on a tri should allow you to sail pretty deep relative to true wind direction. (A code 0 is more like 34-50AWA).
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:43   #10
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Re: Advice on rigging for a spinnaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
You could get away without a pole. The point of the pole is to get the spinnaker out from behind the main, since you have a trimaran you have places to weather to attach the guy. Not the ideal but would keep costs down until you wanted to get more exact trim.
You could but there are issues....

1) the longer the pole the bigger the sail. A 5' pole on a 10' J adds about 400 sq foot of sail area on a 40' mast.
2) the sails are probably not interchangeable.
3) jibeing a chute flown from the bow is a real pain in the but. The entire spinnaker has to be pulled thru the area defined by the forestay and the leach. Assuming the spinnaker halyard is 6" above the forestay and the bow pulpit is 6" forward of the forestay attachment point... You have a slot 6" wide and 50' long to pull the entire sail thru. Abrasion and twisting the sail around the forestay become common.
4) price difference for the sail itself is only about $200. So why not go big.
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:48   #11
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Re: Advice on Rigging for a Spinnaker

Nate,

Asymetrics are worlds easier than symmetrical to fly, require less new gear, and are a lot less temperamental.

But to get a symmetric flying you need...

1) topping lift for the pole
2) down haul for the pole
3) spinnaker pole (longer than the asym, about the same price)
4) two sheets (same)
5) two guys
6) turning blocks added midship (typically outboard of the shrouds)
7) aft turning blocks (same for the asym. Either you have them or need them)
8) halyard
9) various control and trip lines.


Asym's are much simpler. Require less stuff, and frankly are my preference for cruising. They aren't quite as fast dead down wind, but are much faster on a reach.

Just for curiosity sake do you know the rig dimensions on the boat? I looked for them and couldn't find anything reliable.
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Old 25-04-2014, 00:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post

You could but there are issues....

1) the longer the pole the bigger the sail. A 5' pole on a 10' J adds about 400 sq foot of sail area on a 40' mast.
2) the sails are probably not interchangeable.
3) jibeing a chute flown from the bow is a real pain in the but. The entire spinnaker has to be pulled thru the area defined by the forestay and the leach. Assuming the spinnaker halyard is 6" above the forestay and the bow pulpit is 6" forward of the forestay attachment point... You have a slot 6" wide and 50' long to pull the entire sail thru. Abrasion and twisting the sail around the forestay become common.
4) price difference for the sail itself is only about $200. So why not go big.
I run an assym with no pole and our works fine. A pole would be better, but I can't figure out how to add one with my foredeck being so full of other stuff. You just gybe around the outside and try not to run over the sheet.

A stock is also half the cost of a furler but you have to drop it on deck when you go to white sails.

Also no need for secondary winches. Just use the primaries. You can probably get set up for one boat buck.
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Old 25-04-2014, 12:17   #13
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Re: Advice on Rigging for a Spinnaker

For the turning blocks that go on the aft corners would it work well enough to attach them to those T-tracks I have back there? Or should I consider adding a pad eye somewhere (where?) The stern quarters are significantly lower than the forward deck so it would be kind of awkward to attach anything there if it is running from the foredeck.
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Old 25-04-2014, 12:21   #14
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Re: Advice on Rigging for a Spinnaker

As for rig dimensions i can give some approximations based the plans and a few measurements I have taken. I have never actually taken the time to precisely measure everything.

Deck to mast head is about 43'
Boom top to mast head is 40-41' (distance between deck and boom is quite short less than 3 feet I think)
Mast to bow tip is approx 12'
Mast to end of boom is around 22'
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Old 25-04-2014, 12:45   #15
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Originally Posted by natew View Post
For the turning blocks that go on the aft corners would it work well enough to attach them to those T-tracks I have back there? Or should I consider adding a pad eye somewhere (where?) The stern quarters are significantly lower than the forward deck so it would be kind of awkward to attach anything there if it is running from the foredeck.
Turning blocks are for the sheets and should be as far back as possible. Mine are opposite my primary winches which isn't ideal but works fine
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