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Old 02-01-2011, 20:13   #16
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I've had an asymmetrical spinnaker for roughly 3 years and only used it a couple of times, with poor results. Just recently installed an adjustable bridle, anchored to the tip of each bow, that moves the tack of the sail from the port bow tip to the starboard bow tip, on a Lagoon 380 catamaran. What an improvement! Doubled the usefulness of the sail.

Before installation of the bridle, I wouldn't recommend the asymmetrical spinnaker, but now it gets used.

I single hand the boat and wouldn't feel comfortable flying it without the sock.
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Old 02-01-2011, 20:21   #17
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A code 0 isn't much use on a cruiser it's a reaching sail. Not the same as either an asymmetric or a symmetrical spinny . Maybe you mean something like a roll gen

Dave
I meant a code 0. I also mentioned a fuller asymmetrical for more downwind work.

I think a code 0 is a highly useful sail on a cruising boat. Probably more so than a spinnaker. Cruising boats also need to sail closer than a broad reach or run in light winds, and often find that those times are the ones where a light air sail makes the largest difference and will get the most use.

Even with a large symmetrical spinnaker and the means to operate it, most cruising boats will turn on the engines when the wind is dead behind less than 10kts. And most won't even get it out at all if it requires a pole and related lines, or if it will quickly become a handful if the wind builds or you need to make a quick course change.

We have the Doyle UPS, which is between a flat code 0 and an asymmetrical. It works from 50-135*, although it can be tweaked up to 35* and can be used below 135* with less efficiency (particularly on a catamaran, where the tack can be moved to the windward bow and the halyard slacked a bit). It is flat enough to work on a furler - in fact, it is designed for this.

Personally, we find a code 0 type sail to be the best compromise for light air. It is very usable on a continuous furler and very good for close to moderately broad reaching. Running dead down wind in 10kt or less, is a crawl for us regardless of the sail and we either motor or reach up and sail hotter jibe angles.

If you want a light air sail that you will use often and is no more difficult to use short handed than your jib, a code 0 type sail is what you want. The trade off will be less performance than a large symmetrical or asymmetrical when the wind is directly behind you. But unlike those sails, you simply pull the furling line when you want it dowsed.

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Old 02-01-2011, 20:47   #18
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Another thought. Just read an article in the December edition of Cruising Helmsman (Aussie sailing mag) titled 'Downwind sailing with a parachute' where they rave about how easy it is. That's a parachute you jump out of a plane with, the round ones. Might be worth looking into.
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Old 02-01-2011, 21:03   #19
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Much of the problem with flying spinnakers while cruising stems from cruisers attempting to use the huge floppy spinnakers designed for race crews. As mentioned above, it is much easier to set, fly and douse a spinnaker made expressly for the task. My sailmaker made a very nice stable '1A' light reacher that is easier to fly, and much faster, than a poled out genoa (no pole).

Simply take it down when the breeze reaches some boat-dependent limit ... say 12 or 15 kts. On most cruising boats, there's no advantage in stronger breezes.

Also, some postings make me laugh when the say the wind is dead-aft so...something. Do posters know that the rudder can be used to change the wind angle and significantly shorten the voyage?
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Old 02-01-2011, 22:10   #20
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I guess its down to the individual. Some people like them for cruising, some don't.

If you do like them, there's lots of combinations to choose from.

If I started from scratch, I'd probably go for a code 0 and an Multipurpose Asymetric, which would cover most eventualities.

The code 0 being a direct replacement for a drifter these days.

At the moment I carry a drifter and a multipurpose A-sail myself. I use the A-sail often, the drifter much less so.

I don't carry a symetrical any more - the modern Asymetrics allow you to go pretty deep - not as deep as a symetrical, but not so far off. The trick is to get the clew out and a fair bit of rotation about the tack.

Edit: talking mono's
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Old 03-01-2011, 20:41   #21
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It depends on what boat you have. How's her reach, is she stiff or tender? Heavy cruisers rarely exhibit better performance than wing on wing; lighter plastic boats sit up and talk with a spinacher, genacher, or cruising sail. I prefer a genoa, but that's what our boat likes.
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Old 03-01-2011, 22:12   #22
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Does anyone have any experience with Parasailors?
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:15   #23
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I don't have any experience using a Parasailor, but like the opening in it to spill off excess wind from a puff. The biggest negative for me is the $6,000+ price tag. Bought my asymmetrical spinnaker for $400, plus shipping.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:54   #24
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If you already have the hardware? (halyard, pole, topping lift, turning blocks for sheets) then I'd say get a symmetrical spin if you're not sailing shorthanded and you are in light-wind areas.

I like the sym much better than the assym because it will actually *run*, not just broad-reach. this makes it more useful than a sail which is tacked to the boat's centerline and won't let you go low.

And it will turn a downwind light-air leg into a sail, not a motoring leg where you breathe your own exhaust all day. Just set it, overtrim slightly, and forget it (keeping an eye on the weather astern, though)

And being able to go down to almost a dead run means you won't have to be broad reaching and jibing all day with that assym. And it's higher up so you have better visibility forward.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:16   #25
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We often use our asymmetric in 15 kts or less (double-handed). I'd rather drift under the spinnaker than motor downwind, any day. However, if it's light air and lumpy seas you can forget about keeping it filled. I guess a symmetrical kite would be nice, but I don't feel like spending money on the hardware.

When I'm feeling lazy I hoist the asymmetric without the mainsail. The clean airflow results in about the same speed as the main and jib together. Plus, it's easy to trim, you can sail dead downwind, and there's no fussing with the mainsail cover, halyard, sail ties, etc.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:50   #26
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Keep the pole, or not ?

We had the symmetric chute cut to an a-symmetric.

Now the question is if we should get rid of that huge heavy mast-mounted pole. I'm really inclined to get rid of it to reduce the weight top-side, decrease mast clutter and simplify things in general. It would also free up space for the life raft canister right in front of the mast.

The response from our rigger (who is an avid racer) was a predictable "don't"

I'm still inclined to get rid of it. Thoughts ?

Thanks,


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Old 04-01-2011, 13:29   #27
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My thoughty for long range is a symetric spinaker for deep down wind. And sock it, but don't pole it.

A big genoa is fine above 120 degs.

Only a dill believes the rantings of the new gen aysym kites being useful at 60 degrees.

The best would be a kite to put up at one end of the tradewind ocean and pull it down a few thousand miles later. For that it needs to be held dead downwind, easily gybable etc.

Cats and Asymetrics mean the boat has to add hundreds of extra miles - granted at higher speeds - to do what a relaxed sailor could do whilst sucking champagne off the nipple of the crew.
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:32   #28
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(to SvenG)

I still like symmetricals as said above, but..

You've made the pole surplus and no one (except your rigger) would criticize you ditching it, but if you keep it, maybe someday, if, God forbid, everything went wrong (semi-humor intended here):

You lose the whole rig in a rogue-wave 360 and have to cut it away. The pole, rigged as a stubby mast, enables you to jury-rig a horizontal sail or two, cross the remaining ocean at two knots, and pull into port several months after your Memorial Service.

You lose your rudder and jury-rig one using your spinny pole and a floorboard, enabling you to reach port just before the notice of your Memorial Service is published.

And you're going to give up the potential for all that drama, and possibly two book opportunities, just to save some weight? ;-)
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:42   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velma View Post
Is a spinnaker on a crusing boat a good investment, and if so is a single pull system better or is a boomless crusing spinnaker a smarter choice?

Happy sailing from a future sailor,
Velma
Depends on the boat the "future sailor" ends up with.
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Old 04-01-2011, 16:01   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG
We had the symmetric chute cut to an a-symmetric.

Now the question is if we should get rid of that huge heavy mast-mounted pole. I'm really inclined to get rid of it to reduce the weight top-side, decrease mast clutter and simplify things in general. It would also free up space for the life raft canister right in front of the mast.

The response from our rigger (who is an avid racer) was a predictable "don't"

I'm still inclined to get rid of it. Thoughts ?

Thanks,

-Sven
Was this an expensive endeavor? I am thinking of doing the same and getting rid of the pole. I sail with my wife and do all the spin work myself. Two years ago I used the chute 2 times, last year 0.

Are you snuffing it or rolling it?
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