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Old 14-11-2013, 19:13   #1
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Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

I am looking to improve our spinnaker pole downhaul from a forward deck block with a line attached from the pole, through the block and back to the cockpit.

We sail offshore shorthanded, hence a more secure system would be helpful, especially if we had to gybe unexpectedly...

Any experiences/tips or ideas would be appreciated...
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Old 14-11-2013, 19:20   #2
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

What is not secure about what you have? It sounds pretty typical for a foreguy. Did you want to change it to a downhaul?

To me a foreguy leads forward and down, a downhaul has the block below where the spinnaker pole pivots at the front of the mast. A downhaul does not have to be adjusted when you adjust the afterguy, but it does not pull the spinnaker pole forward to the spinnaker like a foreguy does, you sometimes have to push the pole forward.
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Old 14-11-2013, 20:21   #3
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Why do need to improve it?

What problem are you trying to solve or prevent?

I single hand our 40' Caliber with a 1245' spinnaker and use a simple foreguy that runs only to the forward anchor cleat. I get the height set as I need, launch the kite, adjust the height, secure the foreguy again and return to the cockpit.

We've been flying the spinnaker that way for 19 years.

I used to be an IOR spinnaker guy and knew a lot about optimizing spinnaker power but, when cruising, I set it and forget it.
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Old 14-11-2013, 20:22   #4
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Silver,

What you have is pretty much standard, I can't really see what you think about. Moving the block off center makes a terrible run for the other side. Too far forward or back can cause significant bending of the pole resulting in breaking.

Is there something specific you a re trying to achieve? There are some non-traditional rigs used for different race boats that may be applicable, but they can have major negative consequences except in very limited circumstances. Typically a mid bow, centerline attachment is prefered.
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Old 15-11-2013, 08:40   #5
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

I don't have a padeye on the foredeck and have also been thinking about ways to rig a foreguy. I thought about rigging a line with eye between the cleats. The idea of using the opposite bow cleat just might work!
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Old 15-11-2013, 11:13   #6
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Don,

It will work, but you won't be able to jibe the pole easily with it. You would need to detach the down haul jibe the pole them reattach it. Having the down haul attached to a bridle and to a block in the middle of the deck means that end for end nothing changes, when the pole starts to get asymetric it add more steps.

For long distance it probably won't matter much, but installing a pad eye is typically pretty simple business.
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Old 15-11-2013, 16:31   #7
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Thanks all, great info here!

My idea is to independently stabilize the pole in case we need to jibe the jib or the spin.

One good idea I was given is to have a snap shackled block on the pole bottom with a double ended foreguy going through the pole block, then through a double block on the foredeck and then aft to clutches on both sides of the cockpit. I addition, a topping lift and an afterguy for the pole would add additional support...

Any opinions?
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Old 15-11-2013, 16:40   #8
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Don,

It will work, but you won't be able to jibe the pole easily with it. You would need to detach the down haul jibe the pole them reattach it. Having the down haul attached to a bridle and to a block in the middle of the deck means that end for end nothing changes, when the pole starts to get asymetric it add more steps.

For long distance it probably won't matter much, but installing a pad eye is typically pretty simple business.
Understood. I'm trying to stabilize the spinnaker pole without cutting holes in my v-berth's headliner for backing plate What do you think about rigging a line with an eye between the bow cleats? That would center the foreguy, without drilling holes?
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Old 15-11-2013, 17:45   #9
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Are we talking about racing, "performance sailing", or cruising? When we cruise we set the spinnaker and hold that course for hours at a time, or sometimes days. Jibeing is a rare event and if takes up five minutes to safely, comfortably, and easily accomplish - that is a well spent five minutes.

I am still having trouble understanding what problem you are trying to solve or prevent.

I have a lot of miles and hours single handing a relatively big spinnaker (1200+ feet and a 24' pole). Much of it was in the relatively confined waters of Puget Sound. Much of the rest is in the wide open waters of the Pacific Ocean between Cape Scott at the north end of Vancouver Island and Zijuantenejo.

When I need to jibe the spinnaker, either single handed or with my wife as the only crew person, I use the following technique

-bear off and bring the spinnaker tack (pole end) forward to where I can reach it
(don't need to do anything with fore guy - it just ends up being slack)
- if necessary, (stronger wind or sloppy seas) take in / make tight the foreguy
- release chute from pole
- douse the chute with the sock
- pull the sock around to the other side
- hoist inboard end of pole so pole will clear forestay
- move pole to opposite side of forestay
- lower inboard end of pole
- get the boat on the desired course the other way
- put the approximate necessary tension on foreguy
- hoist the sock and inflate the spinnaker
- attach the pole to spinnaker
- put some slack in the foreguy
- bear off a little and bring the pole back
- get boat on desired course
- bring pole / spinnaker to desired position
- secure foreguy and topping lift to form rigid triangle

Of course this procedure requires a very good autopilot or accurate helmsman

It also necessitates a lot of running back and forth between the foredeck and cockpit

And... sometimes the pole bangs against the foreguy while I am switching spinnaker from side to side or running back and forth to the cockpit. Sometimes several trips forward and back to cockpit are needed to get the inboard pole height / foreguy / topping lift to just the right spot.

I've used the procedure single handed in apparent wind up to 17 knots and double handed to 30 knots with little difficulty. I spent years as the foreguy guy on IOR boats and even more years as a big wave board sailor so I am used to, and enjoy, the challenge of working on a moving foredeck. I don't mind staggering around up there, even offshore in fairly rough stuff.

I'm not sure what would be gained by running lines back to the cockpit.
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Old 17-11-2013, 08:33   #10
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Re: Downhaul for spinnaker Pole

Sorry, I should have mentioned that the pole is used for the jib. We are not using our symmetric anymore...
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