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Old 07-07-2012, 01:39   #1
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Spinakers, single handed?

Hello all

I am a guy with only 3yrs exsperience sailing my 29ft Hughes. I have just recieved a spinaker pole and already had the spinaker and am now wondering if a guy should even try to set this sail when single handed most of the time.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:30   #2
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

You cannot do it without a good autopilot and/or selfsteering vane if you are solo. Other than that it's not a big deal in moderate conditions as long as you have a snuffing sock like the ATN. Haven't used mine much but occasionally will set the Asym. if condtions warrant. Asym. is a little easier to deal with but not a whole lot less than a symetrical spinnaker. Without a snuffer, a lot of drama can develop in the interim between hoisting the spinnaker and getting back to the cockpit to trim it.

I wouldn't want to try and fly a spinnaker solo if conditions are boisterous unless you are a hardcore racer type. If you intend to race, you best invest in the anti-wrap netting between the forestay and mast to keep the spinnaker from wrapping around the headstay when the A/P can't handle the heading well enough or sudden wind shifts. The guys that do the single handed TransPac swear by the anti-wrap hardware.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:53   #3
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Doing a kite one your own is asking for trouble. You might do it 9 out of ten times but an out of control kite is one of those sails you don't want.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:09   #4
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

Look into the new top down furling systems by Carver or Facnor. Expensive but better than a snuffer sock for single handing.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:19   #5
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Bottom line with a sym or asym kite single handing....

If you are prepared to cut it free should it all go to **** then go for it.

With 3 years under your belt and asking advice about kites and single handing means you dont have alot of experience with a kite.

The only way to get experience is to do it, however it maybe better for you to hop on as some crew in your local yacht or sailing club with the racing crew to not only see how to do it correctly but more importantly see what can go wrong....

....and it can go seriously wrong, to the point where a single hander who made a bad decision or a mistake may have to cut or fully lose halyard and sheets and the kite itself or risk losing the mast or boat.

Only flying the kite in light airs and using a self dousing system like an ATN/sock will seriously reduce big problems.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:30   #6
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

Don't do much singlehanding myself, but my friend is right now in the middle of his second singlehanded Transpac race, so he's been sharing his experiences. He pointed out this free online book by a longtime single hand racer

http://sfbaysss.org/tipsbook/SinglehandedTips.pdf

John
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:46   #7
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

I have done it on a J-24 in light air and flat water and it is difficult. On a larger boat or in moderate to heavy airs and it would be impossible.

What would be much more managable for going solo off the wind is to get a gennaker.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:10   #8
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

With a snuffer I've found a asymmetrical easy to use. With a symmetrical we don't use a pole on the tri because of the beam but extra control lines so jibing is done from the cockpit. The pole complicates things......singlehanded I would think about snuffing the chute, then jibing the pole, main etc......then reestting the chute on the new tack.
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Old 07-07-2012, 15:13   #9
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

Something a beginner should do - probably not
Learning about spinnakers with a full crew first - probably a good idea
Something you can do without an autopilot - probably not
Something I'm interested in doing - No
Impossible - No


Here's part 1 of a blog of Idefix's owner going out to do his qualification run for the 2010 single handed transpac, doesn't go all that well:

The Tell Tale: Facing Open Ocean Alone, Part 1

Showing my Cal 40 prejudice, I like this picture of a Cal 40 in some wind under the Golden Gate bridge on the single handed transpac some years ago with its chute up.

Bottom of the page:
Sailing the Cal 40 homepage


July 6 2012, yesterday Green Buffalo, a Cal 40 on the singlehanded transpac discussing doing jibes either dip pole or double pole:
Updates | Singlehanded Transpac | 34 years of racing history!
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Old 07-07-2012, 15:27   #10
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

I've just starting sailing with a symmetrical spinnaker and have learned that getting it flying is easy. Jibing and dousing are a different animal. I would not think of trying to fly it by myself. NO WAY!
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Old 07-07-2012, 15:28   #11
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
Something a beginner should do - probably not
Learning about spinnakers with a full crew first - probably a good idea
Something you can do without an autopilot - probably not
Something I'm interested in doing - No
Impossible - No


Here's part 1 of a blog of Idefix's owner going out to do his qualification run for the 2010 single handed transpac, doesn't go all that well:

The Tell Tale: Facing Open Ocean Alone, Part 1

Showing my Cal 40 prejudice, I like this picture of a Cal 40 in some wind under the Golden Gate bridge on the single handed transpac some years ago with its chute up.

Bottom of the page:
Sailing the Cal 40 homepage


July 6 2012, yesterday Green Buffalo, a Cal 40 on the singlehanded transpac discussing doing jibes either dip pole or double pole:
Updates | Singlehanded Transpac | 34 years of racing history!
Great story shows very concisely WHAT can happen, lol it reminds me of our first efforts with a kite WITH crew.....
Cal40 pic's under kite it's steaming, great photo nice boats!!!!

Cheers Frank
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Old 07-07-2012, 17:27   #12
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

I fly our kite solo here. But it is just such a (censored) that I made another one (of the chute type) and this one is much easier. Even so, I believe the solo set up is to have the kite on a furler - then it can be done comfortably by one person.

To sum up, I would say a spinnaker is only good with a crew and the crew must understand what is going on.

b.
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Old 07-07-2012, 17:40   #13
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

A line furler would be the modern approach, I won't even mention that I lash the helm......definitely only for moderate winds as the genoa does well when it picks up.
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Old 08-07-2012, 13:21   #14
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

One tip a winner of a solo race gave me was to throw the halyard in to the water behind the boat before taking the spinnaker down.
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Old 08-07-2012, 13:43   #15
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Re: Spinakers, single handed?

I must say i'm a bit mistified by some of the answers here, he's only talking about a 29ft boat, so the spinaker isn't going to be that large.

I single hand alot of the time and my spinaker deployment on my 30ft cat is ALL self taught, simply using time, patience and trial and error to get it right. The most important bit of advise I can give you is make sure it's packed properly in the bag first, take your time getting everything set and most importantly, run the main spinaker halyard back to the cockpit.

That way, you can then go back to the safety of the cockpit and raise the sail with or without an outohelm. Get her dead downwind and then pull like crazy! So long as everything is connected where it should be, it should just pop open about half way up and you can then use a winch to get it fully raised.

No, I wouldnt do this alone in bad conditions, that would be crazy BUT you shouldnt really be raising it in those conditions anyway. The way I see them, a spinaker is a sail to take full advantage of lighter winds and not to be used in a gale.
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