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Old 23-10-2011, 03:14   #16
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Hello all,
In reading this one-year-old post I find many comments but almost no real experience.
I carefully read the link "Sail Cruising" above, and comments of poor performance of the Parasailor are not accurate : in the test the Parasailor had significantly less wind than the two other sails, and if you calculate the boat speed related to wind speed, the Parasailor makes equal or better performance at almost all angles.
I am about to buy a Catana 431 which is equipped with only a symetrical spinnaker (apart main and genoa). It has obviously a lack of sail for reaching in light airs, say between 80 and 160į. I'll be mainly cruising, sometimes offshore and shorthanded most of the time.
I am questioning about the more efficient sail to add on this type of catamaran : gennaker or Parasailor ?
Considering the price, I have already the answer...
My question is purely technical.
Thank you for your advices.
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Old 23-10-2011, 04:18   #17
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Hi Teles. I used mine yesterday in fair sea conditions with around 15 knots of wind, dead down wind. The immediate effect was a steadier boat with better speed. The parasailor came with the yacht when I bought her, and I believe that it is quite an expensive piece of equipment so I don't know if it would be the first on the list when fitting out a yacht. It was easy to employ and just as easy to snuff. I didn't have to pole it out and it was able to handle the odd gust and shift in wind. I was told by the previous owner that the parasailor was a good all rounder and great for long periods of offshore cruising. Don't know if this helps as I don't have any way of comparing it with spinacker performance as I don't own one.
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Old 24-10-2011, 14:48   #18
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

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Hi Teles. I used mine yesterday in fair sea conditions with around 15 knots of wind, dead down wind. The immediate effect was a steadier boat with better speed.
This confirms many testimonies about the efficiency of this sail. If it can replace an asym and a gennaker, it is affordable. Istec is known to be very helpful and you can easily have a test on your boat. I plan to have one (when I have the boat !).
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Old 20-10-2012, 00:55   #19
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Hi, I looked into a parasailor for a new Helia44 and was quoted €10,500!

Twice the price of the factory fitted gennaker....
Is it worth it?
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Old 20-10-2012, 01:41   #20
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

They do cost more, due to made out of a much better Quality, same as a parachute is made out of, it is very strong.
it was worth it for us.
i also have a factory genakker, that is more like a code 0

here is my first test in low winds, got 5 knots on the boat from 7 knots wind. and 7 knots from 9 knots wind.



Go for it.
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Old 20-10-2012, 04:09   #21
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

FWIW, I LOVE my parasailor.

Yes, it was expensive, but it's beautifully made and frankly the only kind of downwind sail that I would feel comfortable using shorthanded on a large boat due to it's forgiving nature.

Don't forget the additional expense to rig the boat with the required downhauls and sheets, but OTOH if you don't already have a pole, you'll come out ahead and have less clutter on the deck.

My only must do, is to take up ISTECs offer of training on how to fly it. I don't have a lot of experience with conventional spinakers, but from what I know, this is a different animal and like all specialised sails, you need to gain experience on how best to fly it.

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Old 21-10-2012, 01:26   #22
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What would I need to rig it on a cat?
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Old 21-10-2012, 02:04   #23
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

What about this ?....maybe the ultimate, controllable downwind sail

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Old 21-10-2012, 02:15   #24
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Sander, I only have what you cat types call half a boat ;-) so can't comment specifically, but don't imagine it's any different to a monohull.

You need a regular (and prety long) sheet, plus a downhaul attached to each clew. The down hauls need to come back to a couple of substantial blocks mounted side by side (but independent) on the bow. Not sure how you do that on a cat, maybe someone will chime in.

I have mine mounted on the bow roller and it seems to work fine.

Of course, you really need 4 free winches and I've added additional deck organisers for the downhauls so they don't get tangled on the way back to the cockpit. But you don't need poles or sprits to rig.

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Old 21-10-2012, 02:47   #25
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Sander, just noticed that everything you need to know about using a Parasailor on a cat is on YouTube at : or search 'Parasailor University 2011'

Duncan
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Old 21-10-2012, 03:44   #26
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Great! Thanks for the link.
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Old 21-10-2012, 04:34   #27
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I just watched this video and still can't figure out how the sheets run.

It looks like there are 4 sheets in total, 2 sheets to both bows (downhauls?) and then 2 sheets running aft via blocks positioned for the winches.
I don't understand how the sheets to the bow are rigged, they can't be fixed because you then can't pull the parasailor down. Do all 4 sheets run back to the winches meaning I need clutches as well as blocks?
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Old 21-10-2012, 10:44   #28
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Interesting concept, Duncan. I would enjoy hearing more, particularly as we intend to do a lot of downwind work and long passages in the trades.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:03   #29
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

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Originally Posted by Sander View Post
I just watched this video and still can't figure out how the sheets run.

It looks like there are 4 sheets in total, 2 sheets to both bows (downhauls?) and then 2 sheets running aft via blocks positioned for the winches.
I don't understand how the sheets to the bow are rigged, they can't be fixed because you then can't pull the parasailor down. Do all 4 sheets run back to the winches meaning I need clutches as well as blocks?
I'm with ya on this ,,, I am attending the university on 11/6 and will report back .. Or maybe someone can explain,, do i need 4 total sheets or two and what lenghs on a lagoon 380... I guess its one more thing I may have to buy,, already spent a fortune on this sail hope its worth it !!
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:04   #30
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

It is rigged like a regular symmetric spinnaker with 2 sheets and 2 guys, but no pole. The guys are run through blocks at the bow. When using the sail you have 1 guy in use holding the tack down and 1 sheet trimming the clew. The other guy and sheet are lazy.
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