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Old 05-03-2014, 02:12   #46
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

I found these comments - some going back a couple of years, while "surfing" about Parasailors, and as I actually have one on my Lagoon 440 cat, I'd like to comment.
The parasailor was with the boat when I purchased it from its original German owner 18 months ago Split, Croatia. Receipts suggest the sail cost about 6500 Euros. We sailed all last year, and used the parasailor as often as we could. Our options in the sail wardrobe were a standard Lagoon 440 main, a furling genoa, and a full radial cut reacher which I unfortunately destroyed due to an error of judgement. Nothing else damaged except my pride! Lessons are sometime expensive and not forgotten quickly.
The parasailor is FANTASTIC!! We have sailed down wind in up to 25 kts - whereupon we dropped it purely as I didn't know how far we could go in terms of wind. Even then, it was stable, easy to manage, and the boat seemed under no real stress. We have sailed it through at least 90 degrees, so from 45 degrees on the quarter to 45 degrees off the other quarter, without major problems. I've set my upper limit at 25 kts, but it works well in as little as 7-10 kts which is OK if you are happy to dawdle along at about 4 kts. Below that 7 kts, we cruise on one engine at 5.5kts. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:07   #47
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

I also have experience with a 188square metre Parasailor on a 60 foot cat on passage from St Martin to Vanuatu.

I fully endorse all of the positive comments in the post above. We also ran ours in winds of 25 knots for up to 120 hours at a time & the only reason that we dropped it was when the wind was getting up near 30 or when it dropped right out.

Here is how we rigged it:-

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Old 05-03-2014, 10:41   #48
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

25 knots TRUE or APPARENT???
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:34   #49
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

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25 knots TRUE or APPARENT???
True - if you had 25 knots apparent the true wind would be high 30s. I am confident that you could still run the Parasailor in 30 knots true but we do not want to push our luck and risk the possibility of damaging it.
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:47   #50
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Has anyone ever had any difficulty with getting the sail down when the wind pick up? Or do you have some tips/tricks to make it easier?

We're looking at one of these for our new boat, but are being cautioned by a few people, who haven't spent much time with the sail, that they think it'd be difficult to bring down in heavier winds.
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Old 05-03-2014, 18:10   #51
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

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Has anyone ever had any difficulty with getting the sail down when the wind pick up? Or do you have some tips/tricks to make it easier?

We're looking at one of these for our new boat, but are being cautioned by a few people, who haven't spent much time with the sail, that they think it'd be difficult to bring down in heavier winds.
As you have a cat it is easier to drop the kite than on a mono due to your wide and stable foredeck.

If short handed put the boat on autopilot.

The sniffer sock works well but it really helps if you have a few hands for the drop if the True wind is around 25 knots. One to blow the kite sheets and the brace/guy lines and another crew to pull down the sock. In our case we put 2 crew on the sock when dropping in high winds which in our case was when the True wind was getting up near 30 knots. But our Parasailor was 188 sq Mtrs so yours would not be as large but if you are short handed you would just drop the kite at lower wind strengths based on your crew numbers, say when the True wind is over 15 knots.

The more drops you do the better you and your crew get but I don't foresee that you would have a lot of issues.
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Old 07-03-2014, 14:24   #52
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Thanks for your thoughts Ozbullwinkle. You make a great point about just dropping the sail at a lower wind speed. I guess most of my concern comes from imagining what would happen if we got caught in a sudden squall or other type of similar situation where the winds picked up quickly.

We're still doing our research, but it's hard to find someone who has sailed with a Parasailor that actually has a negative opinion.
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Old 07-03-2014, 15:38   #53
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

Its a great sail, and i do know monos/half boats, have been using it up to 35 knots of wind down of the cost of SA.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:00   #54
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Re: Parasailor Spinnaker from ISTEC

The responder who said that there will not be much true downwind sailing in the Caribbean is right. My experience in in the Windward/Leeward Islands, indicates that the Trades usually give you 15 to 25 knots from between NE and SE, which puts the wind on the beam. Winds of less than 15kts are probably less than 25%, and winds from other directions are usually caused either by the close proximity of Islands (lees and sea/land breezes), or they are part of a tropical storm system.

However I would give my eye teeth for a Parasailor for the long ocean crossings.

I find the difficulty greatest difficulty of continuous dead down wind sailing, which is what you get following the trades from Europe to the Caribbean, is being able to make ones desired course when the wind is within 10 degrees of dead astern. I always find myself going off about 30 degrees using any sort of cruising shute, asymetric spinnaker or code zero.

The only configurations which will give good speed and ability to steer the course are either double headed foresails (twin foresails and no mainsail) or a symetric spinnaker. I am always very nervous about keeping conventional symetric or asymetric spinnakers up over night because of the risk of tropical squalls.

I am told by my friends WITH parasailors, that the consequence of sudden increases in wind speed and changing direction from a squall is much reduced. I have one friend who crossed with the ARC in a 40' catermaran who kept his Parasailor up for over 80% of the crossing, including nights. Needless to say he was far ahead of similar sized boats in St Lucia.

Crossing the Pacific is likely to be even more of an advantage for a Parasailor because the track takes one across the ITCZ, where winds can be variable.
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