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Old 30-04-2011, 20:45   #1
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Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

What is the difference in these sails? Is one a better choice over another for cruising? And can one of these be too large?
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Old 30-04-2011, 21:43   #2
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Assymetric

Drifter: great for light air. Can't quite close haul and can't quite run downwind but on a beam reach or a broad reach it's impossible to beat down wind.

Genaker and asymmetric spinnakers are very close; they have a bit of difference in their camber but their sailing characteristics are almost identical. Asymmetric spinnakers are typically more common on cruising boats but that's mostly because people see the word spinnaker in there (my opinion).

A drifter will keep you from turning on your engine a lot; I love them. You can go downwind well enough and in light air you can't beat them. If the wind is strong abaft the beam, you (at least I) wouldn't have a downwind sail up anyway so the performance gain to having an asymmetrical (or standard) spinnaker just isn't there for me.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:23   #3
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Assymetric

We don't have an asymentrical spin, but do have two flying sails - a code zero, and just got a "blast reacher" on a furler. The Peregrine Sea: The Blast Reacher Haven't decided if a spinnaker pole is useful ....?
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:55   #4
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Assymetric

My $0.02:

Spinnaker and whisker poles are necessary if you have two tacks or you need to pole the clew out. I've never been into carrying a pole. Too much stuff / work.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:49   #5
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Captain eric --- we are thinking the same ..... I used to do foredeck back in my racing days. If I don't have a pole, I would stay off the foredeck. Still thinking about it though.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:54   #6
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Usually a drifter hanks on the stay so you would need to remove the jib unless you have an extra stay. An Asymmetrical doesn't hank on, it just attaches at the foot..
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Old 03-05-2011, 16:36   #7
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeregrineSea View Post
Captain eric --- we are thinking the same ..... I used to do foredeck back in my racing days. If I don't have a pole, I would stay off the foredeck. Still thinking about it though.
Yeah it definitely accomplishes a task. I had a whisker pole on my last boat and it was nice for keeping the genoa from collapsing. Never really needed it when I ran the drifter.

For racing that's a whole different ball of wax because you've got the people and skills (and need) to hustle around and squeeze every ounce of performance out you can.
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Old 03-05-2011, 16:38   #8
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

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Usually a drifter hanks on the stay so you would need to remove the jib unless you have an extra stay. An Asymmetrical doesn't hank on, it just attaches at the foot..
My current drifter just has a tack/head/clew ; I run it up the spinnaker halyard right next to the furled up yankee out on the bowsprit. So far no problems but it's one of the reasons I want to dump the furler. At least in San Diego there is so much light air that I'd like the drifter to have a near-permanent home up there with hanks and all.
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Old 03-05-2011, 17:07   #9
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Can someone tell me how a drifter should be cut and what weight cloth to use? Should it be 150%, 160% or what? Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2011, 17:19   #10
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Drifter is essentially a med-lg to large genoa (150% or more). It generally has a few hanks (1-4), is made of nylon and is cut a bit fuller than a dacron genoa.

A cruising chute is a normal chute cut with a slight to moderate asymetry and is intended to be tacked to the bow of the boat with a pendant rather than a pole. It is made of nylon, often a heavy 1-1/2 cloth, smaller than a normal sysmetrical spinaker and perhaps a bit flatter.

An asymetrical chute is larger and more asymetrical than a cruising chute. It is often tacked to a bowsprit or retractible pole. Genaker started out as a proprietary name for an an asymetrical chute and may be more optimized for beam reaching than a normal asym which is optimized for broad reaching and running.

As I understand it a Code Zero is an asymetrical cut very flat to improve it's ability to point. Often they are built with a high-tech luff rope to and are set on a furler.

A blast reacher is a drifter cut more for beam reaching than a normal drifter.

A drifter will point the best and probably be the cheapest as it is easiest to construct.

An asym will have the largest area and be the costliest due to the more complex cut. A code zero being the most expensive because of the extra furling hardware.

All of these are a lot less work than a regular chute.
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Old 03-05-2011, 17:43   #11
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

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Originally Posted by nial View Post
Can someone tell me how a drifter should be cut and what weight cloth to use? Should it be 150%, 160% or what? Thanks.
nial
actually, smaller is often better in light-air sails. If you make the sail too big, it won't be able to fly its own weight.
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Old 03-05-2011, 21:04   #12
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Here's my ill-fitting high foot drifter. It's small but as mentioned I just wanted something that can keep going at around ~ 1-2 knots of wind.

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Old 03-05-2011, 21:06   #13
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Here are a couple more shots. In the last one you can see the free luff line and how it's just the tack/head keeping it up there.





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Old 04-05-2011, 05:00   #14
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

I like the drifter - and it makes a lot of sense. It is also a lot cheaper than alternatives like mine - a code zero and a blast reacher. Either was a light sail keeps your boat going and you are less likely to tun on the bloody engine. Here is the blast reacher - and here is the code zero - both use the same furler.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:22   #15
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Re: Drifter, Genaker or Asymmetric

Oops -here is the blast reacher -note the high cut foot -
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