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Old 09-08-2010, 10:55   #1
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Asymmetrical Spinnaker

Managed to fly the spinnaker for the first time this weekend, as I had someone onboard who was pretty competent with the spinnaker, but had never used an asymmetrical.
We flew the kite from the spinnaker pole, with the tack of the kite on the pole. Obviously, unlike a symmetrcial, tack and clew will not be at same height, in our case, the clew is going to be higher.
Question: What height is the pole set. We went for as low as possible on the reach, and on the run, raised it until it looked right. I recall reading somewhere that the pole height is set so that when the luff curls, the curl is at about mid length. If it curls too high, then raise the pole

Is this right, or have I got it completely wrong
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Old 09-08-2010, 13:08   #2
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Asymmetrical Spinnaker

Unless you are using a bow sprit then you don't need a pole for an Asym. The tack is on the bow close to the deck.
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Old 09-08-2010, 13:25   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
I recall reading somewhere that the pole height is set so that when the luff curls, the curl is at about mid length. If it curls too high, then raise the pole

Is this right, or have I got it completely wrong
You are 100% correct. Most people never raise the tack far enough.

If you're using a pole you can sometimes sail deeper by pulling the pole to windward a few feet.

Good sailing!
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Old 09-08-2010, 14:45   #4
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Nigel, I'm curious as to how you gybed, if you did. I would think the sail would look goofy with the clew serving as the "tack" on the pole cocked upward, though it would work (?)

I too had to learn how to set and fly an assym off a retractable bowsprit after years of unobjectionable pole work with a good old "reversible" spin. Frankly, I think the assyms are more work, harder to jibe without fouling the headstay, and don't run worth a crap since they get blanketed even on a deep broad reach, and collapse. The only way to go downwind is wing and wing, which requires lots of concentration on the helm.

But, it's "modern".
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Old 09-08-2010, 15:01   #5
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But, it's "modern".[/QUOTE]

The idea is that 'modern' boats are fast enough that the apparent is always more forward. Those who still sail slow boats might be better off with symmetrical chutes.

One gybes an asymmetrical flying from a pole the same way as from a sprit. The pole does not move. Nor does the pole need to be up at some angle ... think 'pole as sprit.'

A-sails are more work than a symmetrical? There are around five fewer control lines.
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Old 09-08-2010, 15:17   #6
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I take your meaning for racing and racing boats, but for cruising many of us are slower, and more interested in being able to follow a rhumb line without having to jibe a lot (and have varied course on chart to replot) just to keep the kite filled over a long downwind leg, and not having it collapse just because I wanted to bear off some. When I've cruised I have preferred the sym for those reasons. It makes a boring 2-3 knot light air run into a useful 4-5 knot one, so I don't have to eat my exhaust all day motorsailing.


PS you're right, I was thinking of the pole being used to get the sail out from the blanket of the main, and not on centerline.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:01   #7
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You're spot on with the trim - If it's breaking at the top, the tack goes up, breaking at the bottom, the tack goes down. Breaking evenly is where you want to be.

The biggest mistake with asyms is that many tend to sheet them on too hard. Easing sheet will give you more power, will enable you to go deeper (because the sail will roll around the front) and will be easier to gybe (because the clew is already up by the forestay.

If you don't have a prod or a retractable bowsprit, you'll get the most out of the sail by putting it on the pole, because it keeps the tack to windward and (as pointed out earlier) you can get the pole back to get further downwind (Thompson even played around with rotating bowsprits to achieve this on some of his designs).

BUT - It's a bit of a hassle to gybe - you'll need a strop to change to for the gybe. (tackline down, clip on strop, ease tackline to strop, take off pole/tackline, gybe, move pole to other side of forestay and re-attach, take off strop) That's why for cruising, I never bother putting it on a pole - I just run a tackline off the bow roller.

Another good guide is the angle of the tack line from the bow - you want to get it perpendicular to the deck (or even to windward in the light stuff). If it's dropping off to leeward, you're either sheeted in to much or driving too high (assuming the objective is to get down wind)
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:04   #8
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This is how it should look like



Edit: where did the pic go?

OK, that's twice it's been in the preview and not come up - not sure what I'm doing wrong

Can't get it to load here for some reason - click on my name and look at Spin gallery if you want to see
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:27   #9
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Thanks for the info, as I sail with only 1 or 2 others, and its cruising, not racing, gybing is done very safely, sock the kite, release the tack/guy, set pole on other side, hook on tack/guy, bring sheet to other side, then raise sock. Its slow, awkward, but do not plan to gybe, if the course line indicates lots of gybes, then I wont bother with the tack.
When I used it the other day, on a dead run, the pole was set abeam, and then raised to get the luff to curl about mid length, it seemed to work. I was only asking, as with a symmetrical kite, the pole is raised to the same height as the clew. As the clew on the assym is already higher than the tack, I was not 100% sure at what height to set the pole
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Old 10-08-2010, 18:22   #10
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here's a good introduction to sailing a cruising a-sail

http://www.ukhalsey.com/download/pdf/FlasherTipsUKH.pdf
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