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Old 22-09-2017, 10:55   #1
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To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

I'm in the final throes of completing the purchase of my Salina, and I've been working up a list of upgrades I want. The boat has a complete lack of downwind sails and sailing gear, and I'm wondering if I should think about installing a bow sprit.

Is the sprit something you use often when sailing your boat, and is it going to be worth the $$$$ to install it after the fact?
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Old 22-09-2017, 14:22   #2
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

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Originally Posted by Tornadosailing View Post
I'm in the final throes of completing the purchase of my Salina, and I've been working up a list of upgrades I want. The boat has a complete lack of downwind sails and sailing gear, and I'm wondering if I should think about installing a bow sprit.

Is the sprit something you use often when sailing your boat, and is it going to be worth the $$$$ to install it after the fact?
I think the answer to that is going to depend on whether you're a light air motor-user or light air sailer. Nothing wrong with either approach, but if you're going to invest $x thousands in the spirit and light air sails, think of the relative cost in fuel/engine hours/enjoyment and then make the decision. Or do without for a time and then decide if you need them.

I've had a grand time with a sprit and twizzle rig on a Mahe in the past, and would think it would be worth it, but have never sailed on a cat your size.
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Old 22-09-2017, 14:25   #3
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

I purchased an aftermarket bowsprit and roller furling asym spinnaker for my Lipari 41 from Mack Sails in Stuart Florida. She didn't have the factory made built in bowsprit unfortunately. If you are purchasing new, it is well worth the price. That being said, Mack Sails were significantly less expensive than other quotes and came up to Annapolis (twice) to install it without extra charge. I am very happy with the install and quality. I dealt with Colin 772-283-2306 or 772.260.4912
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Old 22-09-2017, 15:01   #4
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

You should check out Impi's setup. No sprit and seems to be just fine.

https://youtu.be/ZcXok79EeGI
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Old 22-09-2017, 15:49   #5
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

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You should check out Impi's setup. No sprit and seems to be just fine.

https://youtu.be/ZcXok79EeGI
Thanks. Looks like it flies pretty well with no sprit. I guess it comes down to how important it would be to have a furler vs a sock. Seems like a sock might be the way to go for a whole lot less money.

I'm going to check to see if a Helia sprit will work just in case. I know Sea Dame was lost during Irma down by Miami, and if the sprit will fit, I might be able to buy it from whatever salvage yard gets it for a few hundred bucks.
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Old 22-09-2017, 16:07   #6
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

That's an interesting setup, with the asy flying off two joined lines from either bow. Looks like they have it flying outside the jib, but hard to tell. I actually fly my drifter inside my forestay a bit (no sprit, either) and it has worked well for me. Easier to setup, actually, without the need to lean over the stem.
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Old 22-09-2017, 19:10   #7
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

On our Lipari we have fitted a bridle that we use to fly the asymmetrical or we split it to become the guys for our parasail. Parasail is our all time favourite sail for 90 degree to 90 degree. Expensive but no need for a bowsprit and works exceptionally well
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Old 22-09-2017, 20:32   #8
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

If you run the numbers, most sailing is done in light air, & when you're going downwind the breeze is even less (AWS) due to the boat's speed. Some of this will depend on where you primarily sail of course, given that average wind speeds vary from region to region, & with the seasons.

Also, it's worth taking a look at the boat's Polars, so that you can compare speeds with & without a spinnaker in various wind speeds. Keeping in mind that it's not uncommon for some boats to have some disparity between their real world speeds & what the Polars say. Especially when a boat's loaded down. As it's real easy to wind up with several tons of people, stores, & toys onboard.
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Old 25-09-2017, 18:43   #9
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

Most economic option is to buy a second hand asymmetric spinnaker with sock - around $1000 to $2000 for a good one. You can attach to a pad eye on either bow, or use a bridle arrangement between the bows to make it adjustable. No need for a spinnaker pole. This will give you a real feel for downwind sailing and can be set to most angles from 70 to 170 depending on what you do with the mainsail. If heavy cloth say 2 Oz this could be run in up to 20 knots. If you wreck it or hate it the dollars won't be anything like a new pole and furling code 0. For hassle free DDW drop the main and sail a few degrees off DDW. Plenty of ex mono racing asymmetrics for sale. Do that for a year and then see if you think it necessary to get a furling version, you could also explore top down furling as an option.
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Old 28-09-2017, 08:34   #10
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

I'm with Bean Counter here.Just delivered my 42' Outremer from NW Spain to Sicily. Although we had a big asymmetric flown from a pole, we'd have done better with the setup on my last cat, which was an old symmetrical kite (v. cheap) flown from the two padeyes with double lines and the main furled. Easy, surprisingly close-winded below about 100 apparent and if it breaks, so? Also as Bean Counter says, a heavily loaded cruising cat sails way differently to the advertised version and apparent wind is likely to be usually much further aft, when the asymmetric shape becomes less helpful.
There is also a downside to a pole which happened to me a couple of years ago, namely that it buried in a wave and tore the diamond stay (to which it was tied) off the front beam. An anxious hundred miles followed. Shouldn't have happened but it did. I'm now very cautious with the pole out and no halliard attached.
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Old 28-09-2017, 09:00   #11
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

I have one and glad to have one.
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Old 28-09-2017, 09:16   #12
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

I second the used symmetric chute idea. Bacon sails in Annapolis has tons of used spinnakers from racers who turn them over frequently. I fly mine poleless on deep reaches off of bowsprit and it helps a lot. no need for full gear. A asymmetric chute will let you "heat it up" more on close reaches but once apparent wind is at beam I find these sails less helpful at least for my boat which will sail at wind speed in light air generally with usual sails on reach.


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Old 28-09-2017, 09:31   #13
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

We had great fun running out asym down the Oregon coast in 15-20 until the waves bulit up. The dock worked fine in 10-15 but at 20-25 the hoop would just pull down making it very hard to collapse the sail. Ended up dropping it in a big mess.
Any input on using a sock when the winds pick up?
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Old 28-09-2017, 09:36   #14
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

Attach the tack using a Tylaska snap shackle. Release the tack and let it flag. Sock it.
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Old 28-09-2017, 09:44   #15
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Re: To Bow Sprit or not to Bow Sprit

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We had great fun running out asym down the Oregon coast in 15-20 until the waves bulit up. The dock worked fine in 10-15 but at 20-25 the hoop would just pull down making it very hard to collapse the sail. Ended up dropping it in a big mess.
Any input on using a sock when the winds pick up?
Most often, we turn DDW, blanket the chute behind the main, then blow the tack line about 8' (our bowsprit is about 8' long). This collapses the sail effectively. Just keep it behind the main, get the tack off, and it should snuff just fine, even in higher winds.
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