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Old 26-12-2009, 15:00   #1
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Symmetrical Spinnaker without Pole

Maybe this question has already been posted, if yes I beg your pardon.
If not... how good is the idea of flying a conventional (symmetric) spinnaker, without a pole? That is, with its tack fastened to the headstay or, better, set around the furled genoa with an ATN Tacker or similar.
I have 2 spinnakers in my 29' boat, but don't use any because my crew (= my wife & I) is not so skilled. One of the spis is quite bulgy, the other is flatter, although a bit larger. I was wondering of using the latter in very light airs, wide reaching to running (80 - 120 deg apparent wind, from 0 to 5 kn, so that the spi is definitely stowed at 10 kn or so). Apparently, a tacker (or parrel beads) should make it work. But does anybody out there have any real experience with it? Is it worthwhile? Any problems you know of? Any particular caution?
Very often in summer we have very light airs here, which do not fill my genoa enough, and I get upset at seeing those 2 bulky & light sails sleeping in their bags...
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Old 26-12-2009, 17:26   #2
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You can use a symmetric spinnaker from 150 deg to 180 without the pole. Just rig it conventioneally with 2 sheets.

I havent tied on a broad reach.

Try the flatter one..... in light air... lol

Make sure its a snap shackle on the tack. You need to be able to get rid of it quickly.
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Old 26-12-2009, 19:05   #3
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I flew mine from the bowsprit, and from the forestay attachment too:

- beam reaching OK,
- bearing-off problematic,
- running impossible.

If one knows what they are doing to take down the kite is VERY easy, except:
- an autopilot or windvane is necessary, and
- managing the halyard shorthandedly a challenge (tricks?) easy to end up with the kite in the water.

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Old 27-12-2009, 14:38   #4
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Thank you guys, I think I'll try first with VERY light air! And if it works I'll consider a sock for ease of dousing. By the way, I think beam reaching should be ok, after all if I had a pole I'd keep it straight fwd in that case, not much difference from a tacker.
I have an autopilot so I should be able to keep the track whilst lowering.
But is it better to release the tack first (as MarkJ said and the ATN Tacker video would suggest), or the clew? It seems to me that if I release the tack then the kite is up, I MUST have the wind right on my back otherwise the kite would make a horrible mess with mast, shrouds etc.... Correct?
Maybe I could use a barber hauler to keep control of the clew when running... any suggestion?
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Old 27-12-2009, 17:02   #5
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With a kite you release the tack. Sure you make sure you FIRST haul the clew inboard (or at least have a sure way of doing it immediately after releasing the tack).

Once the tack is released the kite will spill the wind and it is easy to take it in by the clew. Just have a look what the racing dinghies do around the marks and you will get the idea all right. It is also easy to slip down the sleeve device.

If it is blowing hard you WILL want to bear off and do it all in the shade of the main.

PS If the device used to haul the clew inboard is called the barber hauler (sorry, I am not English) and if you can make sure it will not slip aft then that is exactly what you need. If it is attached so that it can glide along the sheet then haul in the clew BEFORE releasing the tack.

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Old 27-12-2009, 18:22   #6
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I saw a 38' sloop sail in flying a sym. chute attached with the "tack" attached to the bow using a snatch block to make it an adjustable tack line like you would find on an asym.

They also attached a snatch block to the boom with a snap shackle. The snap shackle had a long line run along the boom to where it could be released from the boom from inboard.

They eased the tack when going deep and took it in when going higher. They were going maybe 100-100degrees at their highest angle. Looked like the tack line was run outside the pulpit.

I didnt see them set it but to douse it they just drove down wind unfurled their genny part way for the wind shadow, popped the shackle on the boom and doused it with the sock.

I think it would work fine without a sock to douse as well. As barnakiel mentioned, and the way they had it rigged with the adjustable tack line would allow you to do that.

Havent done it myself but it seemed to work fairly well.
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Old 31-12-2009, 11:19   #7
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Lucio,
If you want to use a spinnaker without a pole, I suggest to add "barber haulers" on the sheet and guy, to prevent the chute from swinging with the roll and causing the boat to yaw.

When sailing downwind, the purpose of the pole is to keep the spinnaker away from the eddies detaching from the mainsail. If you sail by the lee, these eddies will surely wrap the spinnaker around the forestay. When this happens, the only cure is to gybe the mainsail and sail slightly by the lee on the other tack.

In light winds, it is also possible to douse the mainsail and keep only the spinnaker. After dousing the spinnaker, you will have to hoist or unfurl the genoa before hoisting the mainsail. In stronger winds, the mainsail is useful when dousing the spinnaker because it provides some masking effect.

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Old 31-12-2009, 11:36   #8
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I wonder why nobody mentions the real danger of sailing without the spinnaker pole: if the mast is deck stepped, then there is no support for the dancer at New Year's party ... A pole will come in handy ;-)))

Happy New 2010 Year to all !!!!
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:28   #9
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We have an ATN Tacker that attaches to the tack of the Spinny and wraps around the furled headstay. (One could also make up Parrel Beads on a strop to achieve the same effect.) With that and a tack-line passed through a snatch block at the prow, we can lower or allow the tack to slide up the headstay by about 7 feet. With this we can keep the tack and clew of the sail at about the same level as one would if using the pole. The arrangement is good (for us) up to about 135 apparent with up to about 12 knots of apparent wind. Frankly, I prefer a pole but that can be a bit problematic with only two of us so the Tacker and the ATN Snuffer on the symmetrical sail works reasonably well and easily.

FWIW...
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I wonder why nobody mentions the real danger of sailing without the spinnaker pole: if the mast is deck stepped, then there is no support for the dancer at New Year's party ... A pole will come in handy ;-)))
Barnakiel,
you got the right point, the only problem is to explain my wife why should I need a pole dancer at all....
anyway I do have a pole, which I keep well stowed in my garage: who knows, maybe the next time I'll give a party in my boat (one for very slim dwarfs, though, being a 29') I'll find it useful...
Seriously, I think I'll try to do as svHyLyte & Hydra say: my idea is to fly the spi only in very light airs so I think I'll drop the main and fly the spi only. Incidentally, I don't have a spinnaker halyard (one that comes out of masthead forward of the stay), but I have 2 genoa halyards (aft of stay); I'll have to raise the spi with one of these, therefore for gybing either I'll do it like with a genoa, or I'll simply douse, get to the new tack, and raise again. Correct?
A fantastic 2010 to everybody!
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:39   #11
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Lucio--

Without dedicated spinnaker haylards, you'll need to be very aware of chafe on the jib halyards at the masthead--both from the forestay but even moreso from the edges of the sheave-box. There are some coatings that one can buy that can be applied to the halyards to reduce chafe but it can happen very quickly--in only a few hours or less.

As for lowering the mainsail, you may find that leaving it hoisted but hard-sheeted amidships to cut down on roll has merit Depending on the shape of ones hull, a spinnaker that begins to oscillate in fluky air can get a horrible roll going. The main helps prevent that. You'll also find that leaving the head of the sail a foot or two from the masthead will make the sail more stable. As for retrieving the sail, I, personally, do not like the idea of freeing the tack completely as it can allow the sail to blow-off to leeward. In our case we turn the yacht down wind, free the main so that it blankets the spinney and lets it collapse; and, free the tack from the Tacker, but not the tack line, which we let run. With this we can easily haul down the Snuffer with the sail well under control. You may also find that attaching a snatch block to the Snuffer's retreiving line and fixing that to a pad-eye on deck has merit as one can more easily pull up on the line's tail than down on the line itself and by being fixed on the deck, the arrangement leads the sail inboard as it's snuffed-making it easier to lower.

FWIW...
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Old 01-01-2010, 13:43   #12
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Lucio--

I subscribe to svHyLyte comments. Esp on the chafe and keeping the main up if trimmed in. A trimmed in main keeps the boat more steady and then the kite will keep the air in a much more stable manner.

BTW your boat is a Pettersen or a Sunden? If she is a Sunden then we have similar hulls and might have similar behaviour under kites. Our boat does not sail with the kite too well at all BUT the trick with the tack tied to the bow works ok and is hassle free. It is much easier with the MPR (now that we have one), still, on the run, nothing beats the spinnaker.

Cheers,
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Old 01-01-2010, 14:30   #13
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Barnie & svHyLyte,
thank you so much for your advice: in fact, I already was a bit worried about the possible chafe on the roller upper head, which actually comes in the way of the halyard. I'll make some test to see whether it rubs too much. Hope that if used in light airs only, chafe will be moderate. I might also apply a renewable sheath on halyard in way of the chafe area, maybe that helps.
Yes, my boat is a Sunden design, King's Cruiser 29: long keel and rudder on skeg. As any boat of such design, it is not intended to run with MPS or gennakers, too much displacement and hull speed under heel is limited. However, it happens too often here in summer that wind is very scarce, not enough to fill the genoa. Under such circumstances a light & big sail should help. By no means we'll keep the kite aloft above 10 kn or so, probably we'll set it down much earlier!!
FW & ciao
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Old 01-01-2010, 14:32   #14
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When racing the smaller boat, of 26 foot, it was common to fly a kite without the pole and only using the sheets... The trick was to drive the boat under the sail instead of trimming the sail over the boat..
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Old 01-01-2010, 17:14   #15
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You might be able to address the chafe by attaching a short of bare Spectra between the halyard and the sail's head. Then it will be easy to replace only the short if it becomes chafed and Spectra (such is my experience) will chafe less than polyester.

Amazing boat you have. Sunden, the guy behind the original Folkboat and then the IF - the mother and father for all Marieholms, Contessa 26, Rustler and many others! By own boats underbody is based on the same principle, except we have full legth keel and the rudder is behind the boat. Way cool and they sail better than many people think.

Your boat will go upwind like a bat and will use the MPR very well. Avoid oversized, heavy genoa though (we had to cut down our 140% one). To me the limitation is often the narrow beam so if it is very light I will fly my foresails poled out (to the lee). Probably a very long pole to the lee (clew) of the spinnaker with its tack on the bow fitting would go a long way towards having this kind of boat sail downwind in light winds. But I do not have such a pole (maybe an old windsurfer mast would do?).

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