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Old 26-08-2009, 00:12   #1
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How to Fold a Spinnaker?

Hi all,
Silly question (or not), I own an Elan 43 and haven't used my spinnaker for quite a while. Now after using it again I wanted to fold and pack it correctly but can't remeber how I did it. It's a symmetrical spi. Thanks in advance for your replys.
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Old 26-08-2009, 00:56   #2
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What we used to do was get a bucket and cut the bottom out. Get lots of elastic bands and place them around the outside of the bucket. Pull the head of the sail though the bucket, and keep pulling so that it forms a sausage, but making sure you do not get any twists . Add lots of elastic bands to the sausage as it goes through by rolling off the outside of the bucket.

Then stow in a bag with head and clews easily accessable from the top of the bag.

You will end with a long sausage that you can hoist easily straight out of the bag, and will break out and fill by just tightening up the spinnaker sheet (the rubber bands just break away).

However I would not store like that. As I would not want to store with the rubber bands in place if it was not going to be used.

I would fold by folding the two clews together , and then folding the foot of the sail again to the two clews, with the folds going from the foot of the sail up to the head. keep folding until it is of managaeble size, Then fold head to clews, and continue until manageable length. Store in bag.

This will also allow access to the head and both clews, and enable launch directly from the bag, but will be more of a pain to hoist.
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:04   #3
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It more correctly is "packing" the spinnaker rather than folding it.

Your bag likely has a set of ties that tie it to the lifelines. The long side with the ties is the "back" and site against the lifelines prior to deployment.

The idea is to pack the spinnaker with the head in the middle the starboard tack on the right and the port tack on the left when you are facing the front. Then when you secure the spinnaker bag to the lifelines in preparation for hoist the correct tack is closest to the bow regardless of which side you hoist from.

The second goal is to have the tapes down each side straight. This is done by running the tapes.

Start at the head with the aft side of the head facing you and go down either side sliding your hand along the tape, removing twist and straighening the tape. It doesn't much matter if the sail bunches up on the floor as long as the tape is straight.

Once done you know the spinnaker is straight down one side.

Do the other side starting at the head, running the other tape removing twist until you reach the tack. Be careful not to add twist to the tack you have already run.

Then you can basically stuff the bag, making sure the aft side of the sail faces the frontof the bag, trying to start in the middle of the sail, making sure you don't introduce twist, leaving the head and tacks out of the bag until last. When the bag is stuffed most bags will have 3 ties that you attach the rings to so they don't get messed up later. If not it is wise to tie the three rings together.

When you take the bag to the deck and orient it on the lifeline the head and tacks should be propoerly oriented for a twist free hoist.
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:06   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY CoSinus View Post
I wanted to fold and pack it correctly but can't remeber how I did it. It's a symmetrical spi. Thanks in advance for your replys.

If you want to wool it and pack it into your spinnaker bag for its next deployment then I can tell you how... its easier to show you, but I'll give it a go ... I can't do drawings because the internet here is so slow and we are on MB usage

Try this first on a large lawn instead of the saloon of a heaving yacht (you'll heave too!)

Lay out the spinnaker so its forward belly is on the grass. Head up, port and starboard tacks out to port and starboard. Many kites have a red and green tape on the luffs.

starting from each of the 3 corners:

Take the corner and about 1 meter above it roll all the sail from outside inwards till its a roll. Then tie a piece of 2 ply wool to keep the roll together.
Move along another meter and tie again.
At some stage you will see you are running out of tape on the side you are rolling. Thats time to stop and work from another corner.

After doing the 3 corners inwards you will have a big star shape on the lawn with a bit of a bunch at the belly.

Get your sail bag and slide it under the belly and push the belly into the bottom of the bag.
Now start to pull your roll of sail that geas to the head and lay that in your bag. Keep going till just the head board is poking out.

Now fold in one of the tacks leaving its head board out.
Finally fold in the other tack.

Now the whole sail is in the bag with the 3 headboards poking out.

Thread the sailbag lanyard through one tack, then the head then the other tack. Keep the Head in the middle.

When you want to deploy your spinnaker you must place your spinnaker bag so the port tack is on the port; starboard to starboard and the head in front.

Click on your sheets/braces & Pole; clip on your halyard.

Turn downwind, 150 degrees to 160 is good.

Hoist your halyard;

Pole ON!

Sheet on!

Look the wool has broken, the sail is flying and your boat is taking off!



Alternate: Brace on your pole first before raising your halyard. Or at the same time if you have the crew
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:14   #5
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If I knew everyone else would be replying!

Yes, Talbot, they are clews not tacks! Go to the top of the Class! Dan and I will go to the pub and kick each other
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:37   #6
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
tie a piece of 2 ply wool to keep the roll together.
The wool is a better option for a longer period between deployments, but the rubber band is a better deployment and break out.

Using the bucket as the means of keeping the tapes together, and everything else lined up, is a very efficient manner. It is also a lot faster during racing to just roll down an elastic from round the bucket, than having to tie it off every 18 inches.
(it also keeps scissors/knives away from the very vulnerable sailcloth)
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Old 26-08-2009, 01:50   #7
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Thanks all!!!
I am a cruiser not a racer so I don't have one of those bags that tie up to the life line. Thanks MarkJ. I'll try the lawn with the cleats :-)
The idea with the bucket sounds great when out at sea Talbot. Thanks.
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Old 26-08-2009, 03:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY CoSinus View Post
The idea with the bucket sounds great when out at sea Talbot. Thanks.
Personally for the cruising life, a sock is a MUCH better concept. Not only does it pack naturally, and allow deployment in as simple a manner as the wool/rubber band system described before, but (and probably the most important aspect) it makes control and dowsing of a spinnaker so much simpler and safer that deployment and removal of a spinnaker can be done singlehanded.

I would not consider such a sail (or an assymetric) without a sock, unless racing.
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Old 26-08-2009, 04:28   #9
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To fold it, brick it, for long term stroage.

Fold it in half, clew to clew.
Next, fold as you would a genny.
Finally roll it from centerline out to the luffs.

Folding a kite is not the same as packing a kite. We always dried and folded the kites after every race. We packed the kites prior to every race or throughout the race as we used them.

A folded kite will be a fraction of its packed size.
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Old 26-08-2009, 19:12   #10
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Tack vs. Clew - My sailmaker is in trouble. Both corners are labelled "tack"

And becuase it is a symetrical don't they change depending on the gybe?

I like the bucket idea. On the J24 there is a technique to fold it into a little square with rubber bands. For the first deployment it literally "pops" open.

All the methods so far are cool. We've been racing a bit the last couple of weekends and doing 3 spinnaker packs per race 3 races a day. 9 spinnaker packs in the salon on the beat requires a simple method that doesn't require a lot of space. Running the tapes and stuffing the bag is pretty easily. Oh - it's also no fun with a wet spin.

The main thing is to make sure that the tapes are straight so there is no twist. Also, Mark's suggestion to sail deep on the hoist is a good one. Also drop the genny after the hoist. The genny shadows the spinnaker until it is well hoisted making the hoist a little easier.
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Old 26-08-2009, 19:52   #11
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Quote:
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Tack vs. Clew - My sailmaker is in trouble. Both corners are labelled "tack" .
A tack is fixed to the boat, so untill it has been clipped to the pole is a clew. As its laid out on the dock/grass/saloon they are both clews.

But we are lucky we don't need to be oh-so-correct as cruisers! Anyway, Nic is in the kitchen and I need to lie down in the bedroom... after going to the bathroom!!


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Old 26-08-2009, 19:55   #12
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That's gonna make gybing a lot slower in the future. Drop pole, gybe boat, attach pole, pole back, sheet on, transfer labels from the ring thingies near the corners...
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Old 26-08-2009, 22:22   #13
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Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
Personally for the cruising life, a sock is a MUCH better concept. Not only does it pack naturally, and allow deployment in as simple a manner as the wool/rubber band system described before, but (and probably the most important aspect) it makes control and dowsing of a spinnaker so much simpler and safer that deployment and removal of a spinnaker can be done singlehanded.

I would not consider such a sail (or an assymetric) without a sock, unless racing.
I also keep my asymetrical in a sock for singlehanding during setup and deployment/dowsing. I keep the sock folded inside a large sail bag, sheets and downhaul first, head last. The negative- that is a big bulky bag to handle from the aft cockpit locker where it is stored to the bow while rolling about underway. Not to mention the effort trying to get the bulky bag out of the locker...
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Old 27-08-2009, 07:27   #14
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J's typically use a bag on a rope slide from the main companionway. Launch and retieve is under the boom. No packing required.

Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) - Spin Launch Turtle w/Halyd Keeper

On bigger boats we ran the foot and one luff then stuffed, just trying to keep the luffs from twisting. If it was blowing we banded or turtled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Tack vs. Clew - My sailmaker is in trouble. Both corners are labelled "tack"

And becuase it is a symetrical don't they change depending on the gybe?

I like the bucket idea. On the J24 there is a technique to fold it into a little square with rubber bands. For the first deployment it literally "pops" open.

All the methods so far are cool. We've been racing a bit the last couple of weekends and doing 3 spinnaker packs per race 3 races a day. 9 spinnaker packs in the salon on the beat requires a simple method that doesn't require a lot of space. Running the tapes and stuffing the bag is pretty easily. Oh - it's also no fun with a wet spin.

The main thing is to make sure that the tapes are straight so there is no twist. Also, Mark's suggestion to sail deep on the hoist is a good one. Also drop the genny after the hoist. The genny shadows the spinnaker until it is well hoisted making the hoist a little easier.
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