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Old 22-07-2015, 20:05   #1
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Spinnaker advice requested

i own a 36' Catalina in which we cruise a little and occasionally race with our local sailing club fleet. I have an asymmetrical cruising chute with one of those sock gadgets but both myself and crew consider it a pain to use. What I'd like to do is convert the sail to a 'top down furler'. My local Sailmaker can make the necessary modifications alright, but here's my dilemma; My boat has the typical forward layout with the anchor sitting on its short sprit. Some think I can attach the tack and furler directly to the bail on the sprit. Others say I'll need a removable bowsprit similar to what Forespar manufacture which is precisely what I'm trying to avoid. I believe the sail will clear the bow rail alright, but I'm concerned the uplift may be too much load for the anchor sprit and break something. The other concern is not having sufficient clearance between the spinnaker and furled genoa, but I am not too concerned about that. I'd be interested to hear from any of you that have top down furlers.
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Old 26-07-2015, 22:39   #2
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Re: Spinnaker advice requested

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Originally Posted by Baringa View Post
i own a 36' Catalina in which we cruise a little and occasionally race with our local sailing club fleet. I have an asymmetrical cruising chute with one of those sock gadgets but both myself and crew consider it a pain to use. What I'd like to do is convert the sail to a 'top down furler'. My local Sailmaker can make the necessary modifications alright, but here's my dilemma; My boat has the typical forward layout with the anchor sitting on its short sprit. Some think I can attach the tack and furler directly to the bail on the sprit. Others say I'll need a removable bowsprit similar to what Forespar manufacture which is precisely what I'm trying to avoid. I believe the sail will clear the bow rail alright, but I'm concerned the uplift may be too much load for the anchor sprit and break something. The other concern is not having sufficient clearance between the spinnaker and furled genoa, but I am not too concerned about that. I'd be interested to hear from any of you that have top down furlers.
I doubt very much that the cruising spinnaker would overload your anchor roller fitting. If you are only thinking about cruising I'd be tempted to just use the sock as it will do the job just fine. If you are thinking about racing I would buy a symmetrical chute and a pole because you will have just about zero chance of ever winning a race with a cruising chute. I know they give you a handicap but it doesn't come close to the real difference. If you have a fixed prop you have the same issue as the handicap between it and a folder will never actually come close to making up the real difference. If you want to race and be even a bit competitive then you need a folder.
If you would rather just partake in the race and enjoy the beer and hotdogs after and have no desire to ever even come close then keep your cruising chute set it without a sock and just go and have fun!
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Old 26-07-2015, 23:45   #3
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Re: Spinnaker advice requested

I think you are right to be concerned about the upwards force. Not what the anchor roller system was designed to handle, quite the reverse. However, it may be safe to do so depending on the whole design. Our asym attaches to the anchor guide but on our boat that whole assembly is nearly 6 feet deep and basically IS the bow of the boat. It is part of the bow and takes the strain of the forestays as well, so the asym is relatively trivial.

So, how is your setup attached to the boat and how strong is the bit of the boat it is attached to? If it just lying on the deck with a few bolts to take shearing forces then I think you could do some serious damage in a bad gust.

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Old 26-07-2015, 23:50   #4
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Spinnaker advice requested

I just had a look at a few catalina 36s for sale. If you have that neat little channel to the starboard side of the forestay then I would say it does not look strong enough to take the load safely. Not unless there is more to the structure below decks that is not visible in the photos.


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Old 27-07-2015, 06:30   #5
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Re: Spinnaker advice requested

We had a Asymmetrical Spinnakers with a sock on our 1984 C-36 (Standard rig)and used it for cruising.


I attached a shackle and block to the anchor roller and used that as the downhaul for the kite.


You didn't say if you were using a Tall rig, BUT, if I were racing the spinnaker, I would consider placing a bobstay on the sprit if it doesn't have one.


The reasoning is, you will tend to use the spinnaker in higher winds when racing and put more force on the sprit.


Good Luck!
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Old 27-07-2015, 07:36   #6
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Re: Spinnaker advice requested

Flying my achute yesterday off my bow I had an issue with the tack line rubbing on the rail and the bow light and I was worried about chafe. A bow spirit would definitely be a plus and also allow it to get clear to catch the wind better.

But it falls into the "everything on a boat can be fixed with the application of cash" world.
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Old 27-07-2015, 10:55   #7
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Re: Spinnaker advice requested

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
I doubt very much that the cruising spinnaker would overload your anchor roller fitting. If you are only thinking about cruising I'd be tempted to just use the sock as it will do the job just fine. ...
Each boat is a case but speaking generally I agree with you. Some years back Bavarias just mounted the asymmetrical spinnaker on the anchor that was firmly attached to the anchor roller. I used that for sometime before making a more proper attachment linked to the stay support and the anchor roller setup.
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Old 27-07-2015, 13:35   #8
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Re: Spinnaker advice requested

Have a short sprit attachment that bolts onto the anchor roller. Gets the tack for the Asym out a couple of feet from the bow. No bobstay to triangulate the upward pull of the sail. It's worked fine inshore sailing in relatively steady winds. Had issues using it when heading up close reaching on the sail to Hawaii. The Asym would collapse and fill which put a sideways jerking force on the sprit. Didn't like the looks of it so took the sail down after a couple of hours and went back to the genoa.

Our anchor roller is a beefy Simpson Lawrence affair made for 45# and larger CQR's bolted to the deck with four 3/8" fasteners. The side loads with the sail filling and collapsing would noticably torque the anchor roller. The sprit was bolted to the anchor roller at the front via a 4" or so riser welded to the sprit. That raised the sprit up and increased the moment arm for side loads. Have thought about cutting off the riser and bolt through the SS Sprit to take the twisting moment arm to zero but haven't gotten around to it. The arrangement seems to have plenty of strength in the vertical plane without a bobstay.
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