Parachute spinnaker first "flight" went well. Here's a link to the You Tube videos.
The conditions were quite benign. About 6.5kts of apparent wind
giving a boat
speed of 2.7 kts ... not earth shattering but it was almost hypnotic watching the spinnaker move gently from side to side as the wind
varied about 30* of astern.
The hardest part was working out how to retrieve the chute which in the fairly light winds we've tried so far has not been a problem.
The way we set the chute up allows us to collapse the chute very easily. To do this there is a line connecting the top and bottom parachute cord bundles. IE half the parachute cords go to the top and half go to the bottom. The top cord bundle is attached to the spinnaker halyard
and the bottom bundle to a line that goes to the foredeck. We also installed a line that connects the top and bottom bundles and stops the chute from opening too wide when flying thereby reducing the strain on the panel in between. A line is also connected from the deck
to where the spinnaker halyard
joins the top parachute cord bundle which remains loose when flying the parachute. By taking some tension on the deck
to halyard line and easing the tension on the deck to bottom cord bundle line the bottom of the parachute floats up and collapses the chute. You keep the parachute out of the water
by adjusting the spinnaker halyard up or down (in our case we have to raise the halyard), then go forward, grab some of the spinnaker and pull onto the deck.
We'll get braver and I'll try to keep the forum updated with regard to experience in stronger winds.