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Old 30-07-2006, 16:30   #1
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Sailing an assymetric spinnaker wing on wing?

I'm about to try to expand my sailing/sail repertoire by learning to use an assymetric spinnaker. In my reading I see these sails recommended for broad to beam reaching with apparent wind angles from 55 degrees to 155 degrees. Photographs similarly show them flown just like a genoa (hence, I've learned, some call these sails gennakers -genoa/spinnaker). Anyway, comments about the range of apparent wind angles indicate that beyond 155 degrees, the main blankets the foresail, which then collapses.

My question is, is it possible to run wing on wing when flying an assymetric spinnaker such that you can head further downwind?
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Old 30-07-2006, 16:59   #2
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FIrst, This is my favorite light wind sail. I have used one extensively. I have sailed effectively DDW with a gennaker, and had no problem as long as I did not excede windspeed sliding down a swell. I have run my cutter rig wing and wing with the gennaker and the main. Dropping the staysail. I have also run wing and wing with the staysail and gennaker, and the main centered. On a mono, I have run several spinnakers, and I hate them. Especially for short handed crew, (A multi is a different story) but a cruising spinnaker (Gennaker, assymetrical spinnaker, drifter, etc...) is a must in my opinion.
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Old 30-07-2006, 17:40   #3
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First off, I agree with Kai Nui that I love the sail I call an MPS. The difference between motoring and lovely 4-5 knot sail.

On our old boat the main out would make a mess of the balance, making her twichy to steer. What I did was to pole out the tack and bring it around to the windward side so to square up the CE somewhat and act more like a spinnaker. Old whiteBird liked to be pulled by the nose and self steered that way, steer with the sheet.

I loved to just experiment, tried every combination I could think of. Some boats handle sail a little different I think.

Cheers
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Old 30-07-2006, 18:12   #4
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Bob, you make a good point, every boat balances differently, and your downwind performance will vary with any sail configuration. Bottom line, though, is the sail is a good choice. I prefer a lighter gennaker, as it will draw the boat well in very light winds. It is a good feeling to be able to drift along at 2 kts while others are dead in the water.
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Old 30-07-2006, 19:32   #5
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For DDW with an asymmetrical, you 'can' fly it wing on wing (main on the lee side) so that the A-Spinn keeps ventilated and not blanketed by the mainsail.
If you have a whisker pole or spinnaker pole you can still fly it in the 'conventional' manner as a symmetrical.

Broad Reaching and 'tacking downwind' is usually the 'fastest' as the apparent wind is much higher than DDW ... and most 'all-purpose' cuts of A-Spinnikers will perform well when deep broad to above beam reaching. Specialty flat cut A-spinns will perform quite well up to close reaching - if your boat is 'fast enough' to keep the apparent wind well forward.

Depending on your foretriangle set up, you can either do an inside or the more usual 'outside' gybe; the inside gybe is simply letting the spinn come 'through' inside the foretrangle -- good when close reaching to close reaching with a Gennaker / Code 0, etc.

There are some very 'interesting' types of roller furling gear for asymmetricals starting to make their appearance in the EU. "Rollgen" is one in which the furler is flexible and can be stowed in the spinnaker bag or simply left set up in its normal bow position. http://www.rollgen.com/
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Old 31-07-2006, 01:01   #6
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Good info Richhh, thanks!

cheers
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Old 31-07-2006, 07:46   #7
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Thumbs up All right!

Thanks gentlemen for timely, informative replies. I should be able to get out and fly the sail in the next week or so.
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Old 31-07-2006, 09:07   #8
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Use it 'often' .....

Many folks are intimidated by spinnakers.
Here's a tip that may help when 'everything goes wrong' .... and the damn thing is now firmly wrapped around the forestay.

The most frightening thing for sailors that havent yet built up the 'finesse' that it takes to effortlessly fly a spinnaker is a 'forestay wrap'. Anyone who is 'trying hard' will eventually wrap a spinn around the forestay.... some times with a huge 'bubble' ( or many bubbles) of air entrapped inside as it wraps. A wrap is 'gained' by allowing the spinnaker to become 'backwinded' on the wrong side of the sail when gybing, etc. Here's my 'remedy' if this happens to you:

If you remember that the 'wind' put the spinnaker onto the forestay, consider to use the wind to 'unwrap-it'. Typical panic remedies will include screaming at the crew, uncontrolable knee shaking, sweaty palms, tugging/yanking on whats available: leech/luff/sheets, etc. .... and this procedure usually only winds up making the spinnaker more tightly wrapped (sometimes even formin a 'knot') on the forestay. Use a PREVENTER !!!!!!!!!!!! and slowly bring the boat onto the lee (with the boom held by the preventer) and s-l-o-w-l-y bring the boat through and back through the "'eye' of the wind astern" while watching the spinn to see which way the 'bubble' is starting to 'turn'. Slowly turning/'scalloping' back and forth with the boom held by the preventer will (when you watch which way the 'bubble' is going), will allow you to use the wind (on the lee) to unwrap the 'bubble(s)'. You may have to slowly 'scallop' through the eye of the wind several times to affect a 'release' of a wrapped spinn.

To prevent wraps and wrapped 'bubbles' when doing an 'out and around' gybe, use lightweight spinn sheets when possible, bring the mainsail to the centerline first, and be sure to fully let the spinn FULLY blow straight forward in front to the boat (.... spinn 'clew' leads the boat), then make your turn to the new tack. If you pull in on the 'new' sheet before the spinn is fully blown forward, then its easy for the spinn to form a 'bubble' that can easily wrap the forestay if the spinn somehows gets caught in the adverse turbulence of the main/mast; wait until the spinn clew is 'leading' and simply wait until the clew is on the 'bow quarter of the new direction' before you start puilling in the 'new' sheet. The 'wind' is what wraps a spinn to a forestay, just 'reverse' the wind (by using a preventer on the boom) to 'reverse' the wind to unwrap it.

The more and more you fly a spinnaker the easier it gets as your confidence builds ... until you arrive at the adage: Whenever in doubt fly the spinnaker !!!!!!!!

hope this helps.
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Old 31-07-2006, 13:43   #9
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FWIW, we found that getting the spinnaker wrapped around a roller-furled genoa is not the big deal that getting one wrapped around a bare stay (or foil) used to be. The relatively bulky roll and slippery surface (mine is dacron covered) of the genoa seems to prevent the spinnaker wrap from binding up tight, and we were able to get the spinnaker to unwrap itself just through appropriate helm and sheet work (this was just a regularly collapsing symmetrical spinnaker, and not while gybing it).

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Old 31-07-2006, 15:55   #10
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Just as an aside, if you "wineglass" a spinnaker during the hoist, a good way to get the wineglass out is to dump some halyard (6 - 10') before tugging on the free clew. It is a bugger to bounce/wind the halyard back up after, but it is worth it because it is preferable to wrestling with that pesky wineglass.
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Old 31-07-2006, 15:56   #11
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Heck, I wrapped my roller furling Genoa around the forestay a few weeks ago coming up the Cape Fear. Sheet line were caught in the wrap, a real OOPS. Used the wind to unwind it. Comes from trying to handle too many things while single handing. Mate was on board, but a real sailor can handle this alone . . .

Not my proudest moment.

In my defence, I was making 10 kts over the bottom and was having way too much fun to be cautious. Gradual course changes to follow the channel had the wind moving further and further aft. I was about to turn toward Snows Cut and should start motoring. Went to furl and she got away from me.

Just imagine what I could have done with the genaker.

George
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Old 31-07-2006, 16:34   #12
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Hi folks,
For what it's worth, I saw a picture recently that I can't wait to try. The sloop was sailing close to DDW with the MPS and main set in the normal position, but with the roller furling genoa poled out to windward on a spinnaker pole. That way the genoa was scooping up enough wind to fill the MPS and the total sail area must have been very large. The boat was obviously moving very quickly.
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Old 31-07-2006, 17:36   #13
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I have what the previous owner referred to as a cruising spinnaker but have not used it yet. I think it looks more like a regular spinnaker. How can I tell the difference between the two?
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Old 31-07-2006, 18:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail
I have what the previous owner referred to as a cruising spinnaker but have not used it yet. I think it looks more like a regular spinnaker. How can I tell the difference between the two?
If its on a cruising yacht, its a cruising spinnaker. If its on a racing yacht, its a racing spinnaker.
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Old 31-07-2006, 19:33   #15
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Yes I know that I always seem to be the contrary voice around here, but having sailed alot with both assymetrical and symetrical chutes, I strongly prefer symetrical chutes for single-handed (or short-handed) sailing. They are far easier to gybe without getting a wrap, and they are far easier to clear than a assym when an hourglass occurs. Assymetricals also seem to be alot less stable when flying so that much greater attention needs to be paid to steering and trim with an Assym.

I think people who have not spent much time with symetrical chutes are intimidated by having to leave the cockpit to jibe the pole, but I find it a lot more intimidating to rapidly overhaul the vast amount of line involved in jibing an assymetric before they get a wrap.

Similarly I find these socks to be a real scary thing in terms of never knowing what is going to come out of them. At least with a deck raise out of a turtle you can at least run the luffs. For a single hander there is nothing harder than trying to clear up a twisted chute before it gets a wrap. At least with a symetrical sail you can flag the sail and take it down in the lee of the mainsail at leisure.

There are very big differences between racing chutes and cruising chutes in terms of their cuts. Cruising chutes of both types are a little more docile, but not as powerful.

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