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Old 27-12-2012, 15:51   #16
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
ATN recommends blowing the tack (letting it all the way out), and I've been doing that method.
I concur. Rookies seem to want to blow the sheet instead, but that's a great way to get a spinnaker wrap when you least want it.
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Old 27-12-2012, 16:12   #17
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
If it were me, I'd use the snuffer for a season first to get good at it, then see if you want to upgrade. We have a snuffer and love it. We won't be upgrading due to cost, though the convenience of the furler would be fantastic. We also have a 35' boat, though, so the forces are quite different from your situation. I still think the snuffer should work, though, if you do it right.

First, you want to make sure you have a good snuffer and you understand how to use it. My sailmaker told me he feels that ATN is far and away the best, and I do love our new ATN snuffer. Way better than the crappy original one we had.

To hoist:
  1. Run your spinnaker sheets, make sure your spinnaker halyard is running free and attach it somewhere near where you will set up, and get the spinnaker bag up on deck and clipped to the lifelines. I always set up while sitting on the front of the cabin top.

    We have to hoist on Port tack since we have a starboard spinnker crane (the spinnaker block is offset to Starboard, and it twists up if we run the halyard over the top of the Genoa). If we really want to hoist on Stbd tack, we still hoist on Port tack, then gybe the socked sail by hand before raising the sock.
  2. Open up the spinnaker bag and you'll find the tack, clew, and head on top, right where you left them (after the last time you used it, you stuffed the sock in the bag, starting just below the head, but leaving the head out of the bag. You also made sure there were no twists as you stuffed). Tie or clip on the sheets, making sure you run them outside of everything.
  3. Attach and tension the tack line. You now have to make a choice of whether you're going to gybe the sail on the inside or outside, but that's another post.
  4. Drive the boat deep, almost running DDW, to blanket the Genoa and the spinnaker sock. Furl the Genoa. Clip the halyard on (running it outside the Genoa sheet), and hoist the spinnaker in the sock.
  5. Drive up to more of a broad reach so the wind can get in the spinnaker (even a beam reach on a very light day).
  6. Raise the sock and tension the sheet, more or less at the same time. As the wind catches the bottom of the sail, it will finish the job for you. The sail bunches up in the sock a bit sometimes in low wind and you may have to jimmy the sock up and down a bit or pull down on the luff, but this is easy to do and rare.
  7. Tie off the snuffing lines at a convenient place amidships. I use our midship docking cleat.
Notice you never went to the bow except when running the sheets (which can stay run for your whole trip) and to attach the tack line (which could also be set up to be available at the midship point).

Now the important bit: Taking it down.
  1. Drive down to blanket the spinnaker. Trim the sheet in until the clew is at midships where you will be working.
  2. Blow the tack, not the sheet. The spinnaker is now completely depowered, blanketed by the main and flapping like a flag.
  3. Pull down the sock and then drop the sock on the deck.
  4. Roll out the Genny and off you go.
We leave the spinnaker bag on deck clipped to the lifelines and the sheets run. With a bit of practice, you can have the spinnaker up or down in about a minute. Takes more like two minutes single handed because you have to go back and adjust the autopilot once.

That turned into a bit of a novel. Hope it helps.
I handle the chute in an ATN sock alittle differently than you do.
1. I raise tbe sail in the sock without the tack or sheets connected. Once up I look a long the colored stripe on the bag and take out any twists. Then attach sheets and tack.
2. I raise the sock quickly, making sure the sheet does not get trimmed till the bag is almost all the way up.
3. I only blow the tack on a take down if there is some problem where tbe winds are too high and I can't blanket tbe sail with the main. Normally pulling the bag control line down while slacking the sheet works fine.
4. While cruising we sock the sail to gybe it. This avoids any chance of getting a wrap and is pretty easy to do.
5. Since we sock to gybe, we often only use one sheet. Less fuss, less mess.
6. One caution flying a big sail like this is to keep an eye on the true wind speed. It can creep up pretty high as the boat speed increases with it, leaving the appernt wind the same. Pick a true wind speed where you'll sock the sail, even if you are having fun.
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Old 27-12-2012, 16:43   #18
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

Ken, after reading your initial inquiry, all the responses and your additional posts, I think it would be a huge mistake to fly your asym with a chute. The forces on a sail the size you describe are enormous and the problems that can arise while flying an asym are myriad. I fly an asym on my Hanse 37 with a sock when cruising and without when racing with a crew of 5. The Spinex looks like an interesting product. I would work directly with a supplier (sailmaker or rigger) who would be responsible for assuring that the end product works for your boat and your sail.

However, if you do decide to try out the sock, do it on a light air day when you are sailing with several experienced sailors with knowledge of how the system works. Have at least 2 (you plus another) at he mast to hoist and drop the chute, one at the wheel and a 4th at the spin halyard, main sheet/traveler.

Flown under control, the asym is a great sail. Out of control, it's a monster.
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Old 27-12-2012, 16:58   #19
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

The sock can work fine. On a large rig they are heavy to hoist. Deployment can be problematic with jams and such. The douse is trivial. I have never released the tack or sheet, sounds like a mess, and no style points, but people say it helps.

Definitely douse before the true wind gets up unless you have a full crew.

The furlers are really nice. Worth all the dollars. They work best with the sail modified appropriately. The sail will furl in any conditions and when furled is not bulky and heavy like a sock - more like a firehose. No tangles, twists, jams, or lost dousing lines.
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Old 27-12-2012, 22:44   #20
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I handle the chute in an ATN sock alittle differently than you do.
1. I raise tbe sail in the sock without the tack or sheets connected. Once up I look a long the colored stripe on the bag and take out any twists. Then attach sheets and tack.
2. I raise the sock quickly, making sure the sheet does not get trimmed till the bag is almost all the way up.
3. I only blow the tack on a take down if there is some problem where tbe winds are too high and I can't blanket tbe sail with the main. Normally pulling the bag control line down while slacking the sheet works fine.
4. While cruising we sock the sail to gybe it. This avoids any chance of getting a wrap and is pretty easy to do.
5. Since we sock to gybe, we often only use one sheet. Less fuss, less mess.
6. One caution flying a big sail like this is to keep an eye on the true wind speed. It can creep up pretty high as the boat speed increases with it, leaving the appernt wind the same. Pick a true wind speed where you'll sock the sail, even if you are having fun.
If that works for you, that's great. It doesn't really work for me. Other than your gybe, you're describing almost exactly how I started out using the sock.

I tried doing the hoist, untwist, then tie on sheets and tack line (still don't have shackles on the sheets), but the end of the sock is up at waist height and I'm looking upwards trying to keep control of the sock as the boat is moving around, then I get dizzy from looking up and trying to spin the spin around to line up the gray line... In short, I find it easier to just pack the chute straight. It's also faster to do since I don't hoist until the Genny's put away, and I want to minimize the time between my hoist and pulling up the sock.

Interesting that you can hoist the sock all the way up without trimming the sheet. I find that the sail bunches up if I do that. Must be something different about my assym or my sock? More power to you if your setup works that way. More controlled, I think.

I far prefer to just gybe the chute instead of running up on the foredeck and losing all the time dousing, flipping and re-deploying. It is a bit finnicky, but we've only run over a sheet once, and it's easy enough to fix when you do.

The main reason I like to blow the tack is that I want to be sitting on cabin top when I douse. If the tack line is long enough to allow that, then no worries, but I don't much like sitting at the bow to pull down the sock. I think I'm safer at the cabin top, and the spin is more fully blanketed behind the main. I always undo the tack when I'm done anyways since otherwise there's some sail sticking out ready to get caught by wind or wave. Sheets can stay tied on if I think I'll need the spin again soon and seas aren't too large.
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Old 28-12-2012, 13:06   #21
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

I have used the socks before, and find them moderately acceptable.

The Karver top down system is absolutely amazing, but as mentioned is also extremely expensive

Take a look at the fancor FX top down furlers. They are about 1/3 the price of the Karver, and work fine. Not as effortlessly as the Karver, but still work fine. To me the Fancor is like a Toyota, nice cars, nothing wrong with them, but they don't have quite the polish of a Rolls Royce (Karver).
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Old 28-12-2012, 13:09   #22
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

No personal experience at all in this regard, but I have been musing over the same question (as regards a Code Zero). I found this article interesting and am looking at a Facnor myself.

High seas drifter: The code zero solution - Ocean Navigator - Ocean Voyager 2011
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Old 28-12-2012, 14:35   #23
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Re: Spinnaker Furling System Question

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No personal experience at all in this regard, but I have been musing over the same question (as regards a Code Zero). I found this article interesting and am looking at a Facnor myself.

High seas drifter: The code zero solution - Ocean Navigator - Ocean Voyager 2011
Cool article.

It should be pointed out, though, that the OP is looking at a furling Assymetric Spinnaker, not a Code Zero. The latter has a captive luff and is really an upwind sail. The former has a free luff and is a downwind sail. In a perfect world, I'd like to have one of each.
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Old 28-12-2012, 16:33   #24
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I've used several. The Facnor works well, but the sail really needs to be cut to suit. The endless line furlers really are miles better then a sock, but don't suit all sails

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