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Old 02-01-2011, 15:23   #1
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To Spinnaker or Not to Spinnaker

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
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Old 02-01-2011, 16:08   #2
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Skip the spinnaker and get a nice Ghoster/Drifter in a sock instead...
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Old 02-01-2011, 16:08   #3
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Oboy,that's a topic.Spinnakers are worth it.Millions of sailors can't be wrong.
But,the caveats are a multitudeo you have crew?Are you fit?Are you keen?Is your boat a fast one with a large foredeck and is she steady?Are you experienced?Are your pockets deep?

If none of the above-the answer is no.But even then,some kind of light large nylon ,single-sheet sail will set and pull when the other stuff slats uselessly.


If you suit one or two of the above-the answer is maybe.
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Old 02-01-2011, 16:24   #4
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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
A more appropriate question might be; how many cruisers have a spinnaker and of those that do how often do they actually get used?
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Old 02-01-2011, 16:43   #5
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When you say "single pull" I assume you mean assymetric. These are great for broad reaching but dont sail square as well as a symetrical kite unless goosewinging the ktie. So the answer will depend on where you will be sailing. If you are going to do the milk run and spend 6months broad reaching in the pacific then the assy is the way to go.

Assy's are easier to use and require less hands than a symetrical kite.

Cheers
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Old 02-01-2011, 16:43   #6
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Where will you be cruising? If the Bahamas/TC/PR or Eastern Caribbean, you won't have many opportunities for flying a chute or any type of light air sail. Anywhere else with lighter winds, I think a light air sail is a good investment, but not a true symmetrical spinnaker. Like others say, get a light air sail you can control easily. Either a modest asymmetrical in a sock or a code 0 type on a furler. You will turn on the motors if the sail isn't real easy to fly and douse.

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Old 02-01-2011, 17:23   #7
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If there will only be two of you on board, spend your money on something else. The spinnaker will improve performance, but it will put you and the boat at risk of going out of control with consequent serious damage. Its the monohull equivalent of putting up enough canvas to fly a hull on a catamaran.

I have raced boats all my life and have 10's of thousands of miles under spinnaker, including 6 races to Hawaii. However, I have used the spinnaker less than 10 times in 15 years of double-handed cruising. Putting up the kite in the South Pacific trades may sound exciting, but the reality is there is too much wind to use it safely with two people who are fatigued from standing watch on watch. After crossing to Australia we sent it home to make more room on the boat.
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Old 02-01-2011, 17:37   #8
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yeap, on a recent trans Med trip, I said to the Owner, "No good comes from that sail". Right enough after a near broach it came down and stayed down, Racers Sheesh..

Dave
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Old 02-01-2011, 17:41   #9
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I picked up this used cruising chute (no pole) in Annapolis about eight years ago for $700. I don't use it often, but it can make a thrill of a boring day.

yellows and orange up high and a big "piano keyboard" at the 33.5 foot long foot on my 41'LOA. 'very much worth it for us!
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Old 02-01-2011, 17:47   #10
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On my boat, downwind in light air I either have to resort to the spinnaker or the engine. Given that choice, I'll take the spinnaker any day, but from what I've seen an awful lot of cruisers will switch on the engine.

So what kind of cruiser do you want to be?
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Old 02-01-2011, 17:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
If there will only be two of you on board, spend your money on something else. The spinnaker will improve performance, but it will put you and the boat at risk of going out of control with consequent serious damage. Its the monohull equivalent of putting up enough canvas to fly a hull on a catamaran.
.
Maybe for a full symmetric with a pole, guy lines, etc. But there are other choices for short-handed light air work that aren't "too exciting". A code 0 type on a furling unit, such as the Doyle UPS on a continuous Facnor furler, is a tame sail that is easy to dowse if the conditions pick up. A moderate asymmetrical in a dowsing sock requires little additional effort over a furler.

In other words, there are several good, safe choices for light air sails and control systems that are easily managed by a couple in cruising mode.

The alternative for a heavily loaded cruising boat is the engine.

Most people have at least one "brown pants" moment etched deeply in their brains from using an old-style full spinnaker and related gear (usually while racing), and this propagates a fear of light air sails and their usage.

It isn't like that anymore.

Mark
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Old 02-01-2011, 18:27   #12
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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

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Old 02-01-2011, 18:55   #13
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I posted to this effect at some point in past... But IMO a symmetric chute can be flown just like an asymetric "cruising" chute. You just have to picture how you fly a chute on a reach; ie with the pole forward almost on the forestay,
I often fly my conventional symmetric chute attached to the forestay without a pole and with both sheets attached to a single clew. I fly it this way from a deep reach all the way to a beam reach. It has plenty of power for light wind....

Advantages of conventional chute: can also fly with pole dead downwind which I have even done singlehanded with a sock to help control (only in great weather), used chutes are always available about 4-6x cheaper at used sail shops like Bacon in Annapolis because racers throw them out after 1 season.

Advantage of cruising chute: in theory can fly on a tighter reach. I really can't imagine flying any chute on a tighter reach than I fly my current though, abd would switch to a genoa if reaching tighter than 90 deg
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Old 02-01-2011, 19:15   #14
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save your money, if you sail solo it is to much hassle to pull it out get a drifter or a second main it will be a better investment.
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Old 02-01-2011, 19:46   #15
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I have a asymmetrical on my CAL28.... In light air, I see similar performance out of my main and 150% Genny wing and wing downwind... The Spinny lives in a bag in storage at my warehouse.... Last time I used it was to give some youngins a ride while anchored.
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