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Old 13-01-2014, 22:15   #1
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Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

Hello all,

While trying to deal with the winter time blues I'm trying to put together some projects for the spring.

After one season with the boat, and working out the bugs, its now time to play with the extras that it came with, mainly being the asymmetrical spinnaker. Having never flown one before and I figured I could come here to grab some expert advise before I get too ahead of myself.

I'm not sure the exact size of it, other than BIG! I have not opened it up, just unrolled the sock. From what I saw, it looks damn near unused. After some research, it seems the recommended size is around 1400-1450 ft². My questions revolve around the loads involved, and where to rig the tack and sheet blocks. I tried looking through pictures of my boat flying the asymmetrical, but the only ones seemed to be poor quality from the brochure I found online. The brochure for the Oceanis 500, which preceded the 510, and was essentially the same boat with an updated coach roof and cockpit, has slightly better pictures.





It looks like the sheet blocks are attached to Whichard folding padeyes that came with the boat from the factory (also used for running backstays, which seems like was an option too, but unconfirmed).



They are about as aft as they could be, just in front of the pushpit, under that pile of line in this photo. (Please ignore the dirt, that was when I first purchased the boat).



It also looks like they attached the tack to what I'm guessing is right behind the headstay, but inside the pullpit.



So it seems to me, this is how they intended the asymmetrical to be rigged. But is there a better way? Maybe installing an eye at the end of the anchor roller? I'm not sure if it would be strong enough as I don't know the loads on the tack of the sail. But it is a pretty beefy hunk of metal, all welded together with the stemhead.



If need be, I could fabricate a piece of stainless to tie the end of the roller to the striker plate, similar to what Beneteau does on the new Oceanis line.



My other thought was to have a bridle, fixed on one side of the stemhead, and a block on the other side allowing the tack downhaul to be routed aft without chaffing on the furling gear. The tack of the sail would then be attached to this bridle with one of those low friction rings. Maybe a shock cord to pull this forward when there is no load on the tack.

So my question is, is the effort worth it? Does it buy me anything to get the tack out a few inches further. I'm guessing it would make gybing easier, but I may be getting ahead of myself, I haven't even flown the sail yet!

My other questions involve the lines and blocks. The recommended sheets for the spinnaker on a boat of this size had a large range of working loads, which did not help me out much. It just confused me more. As far as blocks go, I would like something that can serve double duty as blocks for the staysail sheets (the boat is also rigged with a removable inner forestay and running backstays, and in addition to the main and 135% genoa, she came with a staysail, a Yankee jib, and a storm trisail, but thats a post for another day). When doing the sheet load calculations, what wind speed to manufactures typically use to give the recommended deck hardware.

So what say you? What is the opinion of the collective experience here?

Thanks!
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Old 14-01-2014, 00:16   #2
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

I would really recommend calling Beneteau for their advice on how to rig this. They know the boat and the loads better than anyone. Realistically you could be looking at substantial sheet and tack loads that are high enough to do real damage if the hardware isn't capable of dealing with the shock loads. A large part of speccing equipment has to do with not only knowing what size sail, but what conditions the sail will be flow in.

Assuming a 15kn breeze the formulas suggest sheet loads of about 1,300lbs, which shock loads generally 3-5 times that. Add in a safety margin, and you are looking at 11 or 12mm endurabraid for the sheets, and some very large turning blocks.

Turning blocks also have to deal with angle incident multiplier, which in a worst case scenario would be double the load on the line. I would probably go with Karver KBO30 blocks, but might go to 50's if I could get a good deal. I really line these because they fail safe (even if the block explodes the shackle will hold).

As for the tack... I have no idea what that stem looks like or how it is bolted, so I wouldn't speculate on how to attach the tack line properly. This needs to come from Beneteau (as I may have mentioned already).
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Old 14-01-2014, 00:40   #3
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

Not that complicated actually. You need a firm place to attach the tack and it should be forward of the forestay, a good sized block works well as it allows you to adjust the tack up and down as needed. Properly sized sheets and a couple of good sized snatch blocks that you can attach to the toe rail or ubolt at the most rearward part of the deck and your in business.
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Old 18-01-2014, 15:03   #4
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

Beneteau has a gennaker pdf you can find online. Basically, it involves a block at the bow roller for the tack and either a block forward of the forestay at the masthead or using the spare jib halyard for the head and 2 blocks for the aft toe rail - one for each side. Run the sheets from the clew outside the lifelines through the aft blocks and back to the genoa winches. The masthead arrangement depends on the age of your boat. More recent models have the capability to just attach the block. Older boats require installation of a crane and block or using the spare jib halyard (easier for sure) Have fun..
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Old 02-08-2014, 18:37   #5
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

So I finally got around to getting the gear for the spinnaker. Already had the masthead crane and I have two blocks coming for the stern.

My question I have now, being that I never flew an asymmetrical spinnaker before, is what kind of angles does the tack line see? Would you run it inside or outside of the pulpit?

The tack line is setup as it is in the pictures for mockup purposes only. I'm going to make a wire pendant to avoid chafing on the furling drum.

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Old 02-08-2014, 20:32   #6
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

A few things...

1) I would start with the tack line inside and see how it flies. But for deep downwind it may be preferable to move it outboard.

2) I would not use a wire lead on the tack line. Using line worst case the tack line blows and you have to bring the sail down unexpectedly. Using wire there is a possibility it could abrade the drum or furling line and cause your furler to fail (admittedly unlikely). To control chaff I would recommend using a dyneema chaff guard spliced in over that area, and just keep an eye on it. It's a very easy splice to learn and to do, so if you need to replacing the chaff guard while cruising wouldn't be a big deal.

3) nice use of an antal ring.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:23   #7
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

We have a Jeanneau 40 footer and run the tack line inside the pushpit to a U-bolt on the anchor plate (no bowsprit). Works well for us.

Our boat came equipped with the line runners etc to run the tack line back to the cockpit allowing us to trim the Gennaker tack tautness. We don't use this feature. We're not racers and we don't feel we would get much more speed from the sail by using this trim option.

WE find that we can get almost to 50 degrees on the wind without changing the tack tension - good enough for us since in even light winds, Gennaker being sailed almost close hauled drives the boat forward with a hell of a lot of power (speed).

Enjoy - Gennaker sailing is a lot of fun
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:46   #8
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

I've been struggling with my asymmetric too. I found it such a pain to sock even with 2 on the fore-deck I don't like to use it much. It is big though. I also rarely have enough capable crew to help so I have a Facnor furler on order. Hope it makes it easier to use. I am having a bowsprit made too.

I would be really surprised if your tack works there. Looks to me like the line will strain on the pulpit rail in most wind directions. These big sails can produce pretty high loads on the wind. Mine strained worryingly. Put it up on a windless day to try.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:51   #9
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

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Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I've been struggling with my asymmetric too. I found it such a pain to sock even with 2 on the fore-deck I don't like to use it much. It is big though. I also rarely have enough capable crew to help so I have a Facnor furler on order. Hope it makes it easier to use. I am having a bowsprit made too.

I would be really surprised if your tack works there. Looks to me like the line will strain on the pulpit rail in most wind directions. These big sails can produce pretty high loads on the wind. Mine strained worryingly. Put it up on a windless day to try.
I can imagine. Our gennaker (for a forty footer) is a lot to handle. I wouldn't want to try to handle one alone for a 66 footer. Do keep us informed about how the furler works - I've been thinking about getting one, but so far the sock works ok
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:34   #10
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

There are a couple of
Good articles in wind check magazine on singlehanding and rigging. They might give you some ideas. I can't remember the guys name who wrote them but they are excellent. They are from this spring.


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Old 04-08-2014, 07:12   #11
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

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Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I've been struggling with my asymmetric too. I found it such a pain to sock even with 2 on the fore-deck I don't like to use it much. It is big though. I also rarely have enough capable crew to help so I have a Facnor furler on order. Hope it makes it easier to use. I am having a bowsprit made too.

I would be really surprised if your tack works there. Looks to me like the line will strain on the pulpit rail in most wind directions. These big sails can produce pretty high loads on the wind. Mine strained worryingly. Put it up on a windless day to try.
It should be very easy to handle the sock. Drive downwind so the main blankets the sail. Trim the sheet tobring the clew near the shrouds. Release the tack so there is no pressure at all on the sail ( it should fly out like a flag, but not too violently as it is behind the main). Walk back to the shrouds and pull down the sock.

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Old 04-08-2014, 08:43   #12
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

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It should be very easy to handle the sock. Drive downwind so the main blankets the sail. Trim the sheet tobring the clew near the shrouds. Release the tack so there is no pressure at all on the sail ( it should fly out like a flag, but not too violently as it is behind the main). Walk back to the shrouds and pull down the sock.

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I tried that once - it is doable but still not easy. I also found it rather scary as the tack fitting would swing back dangerously towards the end. Stressful too as the sail is out of control and you are reliant on accurate helming. It also has to be a function of sail area, wind and manpower. The Caribbean is always windy. The bigger the sail, the more power you need to get the sock down and I'm not happy to do it without two minimum on the fore-deck. Half the sail and half the manpower. Half the wind's force and half it again.
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Old 04-08-2014, 14:51   #13
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

First post- but I'm reading this with great interest.

We sail an X-412 with an AS (or as we call it a cruising spinnaker or gennaker) and fly it regularly "relatively" singlehandedly- my crew knows how to steer but that's about it.

I'm seeing a few comments about having issues socking the AS in stronger wind- From some of the lingo in here I'm going to assume more than a few of you know what you're about... so when I say this it's purely a little personal experience that might help those who are reading from a distance.

Being that it is designed as a light air sail, when conditions start to deteriorate (or actually get better ie: the wind picks up) I stall the AS by entering more of a running course- this blocks the sail with the main and effectively disengages it. This can make controlling it during the sock drop and roll.
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Old 04-08-2014, 19:05   #14
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

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It should be very easy to handle the sock. Drive downwind so the main blankets the sail. Trim the sheet tobring the clew near the shrouds. Release the tack so there is no pressure at all on the sail ( it should fly out like a flag, but not too violently as it is behind the main). Walk back to the shrouds and pull down the sock.

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At can help to use the lazy sheet (or any handy line) to pull the leach tight and hold it right behind the main. Take it down to a snatch block, clip, jib car or similar near the lee chainplates. And winch it tight, after popping the tack.

A remote clip release like the 'pinapple sails' site shows for spinakers would make this safe and controlled, even from the cockpit. Still got the tack whipping about, but it will really depower the sail.
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Old 05-08-2014, 00:49   #15
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker Rigging Questions

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Originally Posted by Eno_75 View Post
First post- but I'm reading this with great interest.

We sail an X-412 with an AS (or as we call it a cruising spinnaker or gennaker) and fly it regularly "relatively" singlehandedly- my crew knows how to steer but that's about it.

I'm seeing a few comments about having issues socking the AS in stronger wind- From some of the lingo in here I'm going to assume more than a few of you know what you're about... so when I say this it's purely a little personal experience that might help those who are reading from a distance.

Being that it is designed as a light air sail, when conditions start to deteriorate (or actually get better ie: the wind picks up) I stall the AS by entering more of a running course- this blocks the sail with the main and effectively disengages it. This can make controlling it during the sock drop and roll.
Great first post. Exactly right.

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