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Old 03-08-2016, 03:10   #16
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

I think that the bigger issue is to keep up with the chafe on your sacrificial chafe patches, before any damage occurs to the primary fabric of one's sails. Which sometimes means dropping them on deck when underway, to add new material to their "skid plates" (chafe patches). And occassionally pulling the sails off of the spar or furler, & running them through the sewing machine. Even mid-passage, needs be. That, or throwing up your spare main or jib.

What kind of boat are we discussing? As some boats really need mainsails for decent handling, though often less so downwind, but... It's obviously important to preserve one's main for when it's really needed. Though I'm also curious how much dropping it would cost performance wise? Which might be significant depending on the boat's design, & polars. And of course the weather/conditions.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:45   #17
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

I would expect your rigger to fit leather thingos to the end of the spreaders as a matter of course. That should sort the headsail issues.

With the main... I have 3/4 ( 2/3s?) length battens , standard unswept spreaders.

The lowers tend to be the issue as when sailing downhill I am normally pretty well reefed. Sail against lowers leads to marking of the sail but thats no biggy

The only chafe I have ever had to deal with is where the batten pockets lie against the lowers. Sorted by just using 'sticky back' patches....

Sorry... no experience with swept back spreaders.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:53   #18
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

With back swept spreaders chafing is definitely a problem when running! To avoid the problem, I didn't have the main sail properly trimmed most of the time. I only looked at boats with perpendicular spreaders when I changed boat last time.
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:40   #19
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

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Originally Posted by savoir View Post
Just make sure that the sail has a chafe patch on each side where the spreaders touch.
I'll second the answer. My sail has patches at the spreaders and I don't get concerned about putting the sail aganist the spreaders. Sails are 15years old and the patches haven't even needed replacing yet.
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Old 03-08-2016, 06:39   #20
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

Further to the OP's question, I've read that a tightly trimmed headsail should sit close to the spreaders, the guidance offered in the book says two fists. Does this apply to catamarans? The spreaders on a cat are usually swept back and the sheets are often placed wider on either side.
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Old 03-08-2016, 06:48   #21
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

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Originally Posted by Privilege View Post
Further to the OP's question, I've read that a tightly trimmed headsail should sit close to the spreaders, the guidance offered in the book says two fists. Does this apply to catamarans? The spreaders on a cat are usually swept back and the sheets are often placed wider on either side.

This only applies to boats that have spreader tips that happen to align with the close hauled position of the headsail. Pinch the slot too much and you are no longer efficient.


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Old 03-08-2016, 08:41   #22
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

With my 110% Genoa it wasn't an issue, now with my 130% Genoa, it is, it is what limits how close I can sail to the wind, but not by a whole lot, cause if i'm that close I have lost a lot of drive anyway.
I had thought about sacrificial wear patches, but on my boat, with my sails, it's just not really an issue, I just fall off a tiny bit and or loosen the sheet, I'm never racing.
I do not have the experience that most do, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say I think it depends heavily on your boat and your sails, as a generic question I don't think it can be answered.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:55   #23
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

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I guess I should have said "running" as the point of sail. It seems there will always be a problem with swept back spreaders and down wind running. Is the solution to rely on a headsail like a spinnaker or asym, not the mainsail (especially if swept spreaders) for running?
You can drop the main for downwind, of course, and rely as you say on spinnaker or other monster out front. I'd probably do that. I have not sailed with those swept spreaders but if I did I'd be sure all contact points were well covered with something softer than the sail and sacrificial. I think if you are going to leave the main up you are stuck with it laying against the rigging downwind. If there is chafe protection I wouldn't worry about it. With a vang on the main usually just sits there against the rigging. "It is what it is" But also the main does provide drive from a big headsail on a broad reach and I'd bet that is also compromised when spreaders don't let the main take a clean shape. I've always thought that designers intended the boat to go so fast that apparent wind would always keep the main trimmed back.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:22   #24
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
I guess I should have said "running" as the point of sail. It seems there will always be a problem with swept back spreaders and down wind running. Is the solution to rely on a headsail like a spinnaker or asym, not the mainsail (especially if swept spreaders) for running?
Whatever you do, don't pin the spinny against the spreaders
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Old 03-08-2016, 19:21   #25
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

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Whatever you do, don't pin the spinny against the spreaders


What's the matter, you don't like "Going down the mine" ? AKA sliding down the face of a wave at 30kts, so that the kite's pinned aft by the boat's sudden (forward) apparent wind.
It can be "interesting". And about that time you hope that you have someone who hangs with Laird Hamilton a lot, on the helm. So that he knows how to put the boat on the proper spot on the wave, in order to avoid that nasty bow burying thing at the bottom (of the wave).
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Old 03-08-2016, 20:59   #26
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

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What's the matter, you don't like "Going down the mine" ? AKA sliding down the face of a wave at 30kts, so that the kite's pinned aft by the boat's sudden (forward) apparent wind.
It can be "interesting". And about that time you hope that you have someone who hangs with Laird Hamilton a lot, on the helm. So that he knows how to put the boat on the proper spot on the wave, in order to avoid that nasty bow burying thing at the bottom (of the wave).
Uhhh, no.

I've had some bad spin wraps (on other people's boats -- once with all knives on deck cutting everything away, and the other we motored back to drop the mast because it was so knotted on the forestay) but NEVER while sliding down a wave. That would be terrifying to say the least. Did I mention I hate spinnakers? Which is probably why I have a huge driving main that's as far forward as it can go, no spreaders, and plans to re-sell the spinnaker back to its original owner. Which also makes me wonder why I'm even reading a post about spreaders Apologies to the OP. What kind of boat do you have? One of things that I've learned about sail trim is to trim the main (and genoa, as need be) to stay off the spreaders or stays. Tighten the back stay or vang a bit or else bring the main in. Just say no to chafe.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:47   #27
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Re: How bad is it to have sails against spreaders?

Maybe I missed it, but the OP needs to state if she is talking about a mono or a cat - the two are different animals for downwind sailing.
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