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Old 14-05-2008, 17:50   #1
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Spinnaker guys

Does anyone know if there is a formula for the length of the guys for a 40' sloop's spinnaker?

thanks,
wind thief
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Old 14-05-2008, 18:56   #2
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It's been awhile, but I seem to remember that it is between LOA x 1.5 and LOA x 2. It depends on where you launch the chute from and how you intend to douse. Launching from the leeward rail, just forward of the mast is common; so that the mainsail blankets the chute until it is most of the way up. The guy leads around the headstay, through the pole end, and back to the cockpit with enough tail left over. I’d guess that most of the time on a 40’ boat you will trip the guy when dousing, which doesn’t affect the decision of guy length. There may be times when you want to douse by letting the guy run, in which case LOA x 2 is a better bet.
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Old 14-05-2008, 20:11   #3
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Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
There may be times when you want to douse by letting the guy run, in which case LOA x 2 is a better bet.
Better buy extras then since the kite will shake off anything attached to them. Ever see a dog shake a rat?

Better to blow the halyard and keep the kite to the pole.
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Old 14-05-2008, 20:51   #4
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My rule of thumb would be:
The length of the foot of your spinnaker, plus
The distance from where the forestay hits the deck to the winch, via whatever route the rope takes,
Plus 4'

This assumes that you are dip-poling and using a sheet and a guy on both clews of the kite.
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Old 14-05-2008, 21:00   #5
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Sorry, but I haven’t seen a dog shake a rat. It is without question that you blow the halyard when dousing the chute. I find it doesn't douse so well without doing so.

Perhaps there is a misunderstanding, because there are occasions in which letting the guy run is the only option. Ever see a bowman (person) not able to reach or apply enough force to trip the guy shackle when trying to douse? Ever experience a 180 degree wind shift and need to drop the kite quicker then the bowman can get there to safely trip the guy. Ever see a kite explode and shake so violently, as in a dog shaking a rat, that you cannot safely trip the guy? Ever see a boat overwhelmed in a squall and need to immediately eliminate the forces exerted by the spinnaker. Ever see a person knocked unconscious by the spinnaker pole when it recoils after the spinnaker guy is tripped?

To douse a spinnaker, 2 corners must be released; and gathered at the 3rd corner. Windward takedowns are fine in the right AWA and AWS. So the other 95% of the time, when dousing a spinnaker you are obligated to trip the guy at the pole (most of the time) or let the guy run when safety for vessel and crew are an issue.
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Old 14-05-2008, 22:00   #6
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Spinnaker guys

Thank you all for the responses which basically say don't run out of line. I will take the various answers and put a length together and see what happens.

Wind Thief
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Old 15-05-2008, 01:23   #7
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Yes LOA X 2 + a little, so you can douse into the cockpit by letting the guy run.

Joe S
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Old 15-05-2008, 01:42   #8
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All I know is that ours are short - LOL. More is better. We launch from the mast because we have to as the guy is not long enough to reach around the forestay, and back to the bag in the cockpit.

So while our boat is rigged to be operated from the cockpit with everything else, we would like the only person on the bow to be the pole/halyard man and have the Jibman do the launching and dousing from the cockpit.

Long story short - if we could launch from the front end of the cockpit we could be effective with 3 crew as it is we need 4.
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Old 15-05-2008, 01:58   #9
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I'd go winch thru the end of the kite pole when it's positioned 90 degrees to centre line to the forestay plus a big handfull (8ft ish) times 2 each.

I can tell you that probably 1 out of 3 get the wrong length i.e too short, and have to come back for more.

svTOTEM - seen more than a few KOed by kite poles, spent 10 minutes odd in never-never land myself on 2 occasions. More if you bring booms into the equation. Must be a slow learner.... or maybe I wasn't until.... what was I talking about

Kites blown, about the cost of a nice 30fters worth over the years. Even one on a 75fter and did that make a noise. It may have been the owner or his wallet, whatever it was was big loud and nasty. Quite exciting for a few minutes as well. The lads had to have a few rumbos to settle after that one.
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Old 15-05-2008, 05:07   #10
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Cool

Blowing one corner is quicker and safer. The corner of choice is the halyard. The kite will not shrimp if the pole is kept to the headstay and the guy held to it. Once two corners are free the kite blows back and is no longer hidden, lots of misery often ensues and the back of the bus gets overwhelmed with crew ******* to elbow trying to bring the kite in.

Blow the halyard, keep the sheet and guy in position and then ease the sheet and guy to the crew as the kite is sucked in. Letterbox if you like to keep it a bit higher.

Speaking as a former frontierman I've had all of sorts of interesting times on the pointy end. IMO it is best to only let one corner (the halyard) go when doing a take down.

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Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
Sorry, but I havenít seen a dog shake a rat. It is without question that you blow the halyard when dousing the chute. I find it doesn't douse so well without doing so.

Perhaps there is a misunderstanding, because there are occasions in which letting the guy run is the only option. Ever see a bowman (person) not able to reach or apply enough force to trip the guy shackle when trying to douse? Ever experience a 180 degree wind shift and need to drop the kite quicker then the bowman can get there to safely trip the guy. Ever see a kite explode and shake so violently, as in a dog shaking a rat, that you cannot safely trip the guy? Ever see a boat overwhelmed in a squall and need to immediately eliminate the forces exerted by the spinnaker. Ever see a person knocked unconscious by the spinnaker pole when it recoils after the spinnaker guy is tripped?

To douse a spinnaker, 2 corners must be released; and gathered at the 3rd corner. Windward takedowns are fine in the right AWA and AWS. So the other 95% of the time, when dousing a spinnaker you are obligated to trip the guy at the pole (most of the time) or let the guy run when safety for vessel and crew are an issue.
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Old 15-05-2008, 05:35   #11
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I am with Totem. You need LOA x 2 for both sheets and guys. You must be able to douse behind the main at the stern of the boat with a guy attached in an emergency no matter how you douse normally.

The emergency?

Broken sheet


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Old 15-05-2008, 05:43   #12
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Nope, not buying buying it. If the guy parts the load goes to the lazy sheet. The folks in the back of the bus should keep things square for that "emergency". Once two of the three corners are free all sorts of bad things can and do happen.

How's the cruise going? You lucky dog Mark is right sheets and guys 2 times LOA.

This is what happens when you let two corners free.


This is how you do it. Note: keep the guy at the pole. Unload the kite by blowing the halyard then ease the sheet and guy to the crew.



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I am with Totem. You need LOA x 2 for both sheets and guys. You must be able to douse behind the main at the stern of the boat with a guy attached in an emergency no matter how you douse normally.

The emergency?

Broken sheet


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Old 15-05-2008, 08:37   #13
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Yes, lets compare an out of control boat with one guy underwater on the leeward rail "prepared" to haul in the kite himself when it's blowing stink, to funny; to a professional crew in light air and an unlimited budget for new sails.

I have some experience myself. I was a sailmaker, sail designer, and professional racing crew - on J/24 to 120' mega yachts, and about everything in between. If in the first picture they did as you say and with 1 guy to haul it in, they would have had a badly ripped chute, in the water, and the crewmember in a very dangerous position.
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Old 15-05-2008, 09:18   #14
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Sorry, I have a bit of experience also. When the kite is no longer shy to the rig you have bigger problems.

Tell me, how many guys did it take to pull the kite down from the back of the 120 foot boat when you smoked the guy and the halyard?


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Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
Yes, lets compare an out of control boat with one guy underwater on the leeward rail "prepared" to haul in the kite himself when it's blowing stink, to funny; to a professional crew in light air and an unlimited budget for new sails.

I have some experience myself. I was a sailmaker, sail designer, and professional racing crew - on J/24 to 120' mega yachts, and about everything in between. If in the first picture they did as you say and with 1 guy to haul it in, they would have had a badly ripped chute, in the water, and the crewmember in a very dangerous position.
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Old 15-05-2008, 10:35   #15
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More then 1 person to be sure -usually 6 or 8, more if breezy; although as I said, most of the time you trip the guy shackle. Big boats also often use a retreiving line attached to a belly button patch on centerline up from the foot. This adds control when retreiving and distributes the load over a bigger so you don't tear or distort the material in the foot.

The bit about "when you smoked the guy and the halyard", I don't recall mentioning. We could engage in a pedantic, drawn out debate about the hundreds of different scenarios in which one may employ a particular technique or variations on it when handling a spinnaker, but who is to benefit? I have no doubt that you are good at sail handling. The goal is the same. If a method works for you, terrific.
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