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Old 30-07-2010, 09:19   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
If cruising means daysailing around with at least 3 crew, spinnakers make sense.

If cruising is passagemaking with one or two people on board, the spinnaker cons outweigh the pros. The cons are the expense, the storage room it takes up, the time to rig it, and chances that you will break something when the wind comes up.

In our case, the spinnaker comes out less than once per year.
I am not sure that there is a equation based on # of people.

This is a variable based on your experience/boat/conditions.

I believe that a spinnaker is a great sail, and with practice is easy to use, practical, and very effective in getting you where you want to go. It also decrease the use of the engine.

Also when the wind pipes up to a certain point the spinnaker is actually a safer sail because of the lift being generated.

So I will say this, no right answer here. Just depends on the sailor.

Cheers
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Old 30-07-2010, 09:56   #32
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Originally Posted by SeaKing View Post
We have used ours some, I try to use it when there is no wind and it upsets my wife. I try to get her on the helm while I adjust it. We don't often use it, I have had a couple of good days with it. Part of the problem was it is sooo big and us not having any experience with the light air sails and this rig. At first I had friends show me how to rig it, they got it wrong. I finally saw a picture of another boat like ours flying the rig, it made sense.

The tack hooks into two block and tackle rigs, one attached to each bow of the boat. Then it can be moved while flying, back and forth as needed from the port bow to the starboard bow or centered.

Hey BubbleHead, maybe you would like to come for a sail one day. We can trade a little of your light air sail knowledge for a few cold brews along the way.

Chester
LOL....I have light-air sailing knowlege? Who knew?

It sounds like you have a symmetrical. My experience with them is limited to the boat I race on. I've only had to gybe the thing during one race the whole season. Thank God it was light air at the time.

Wednesday's race, I was on the guy. The wind was NOT light. The guy is used to position the pole perpedicular to the wind. I failed to pre-feed it enough, and the spin ended up with a bad twist in it during launch, so we aborted and put it away. I felt like a real tool.

Today, I'm picking up the asymmetrical for my boat. No pole, no guys. Just a tackline and sheets. I don't delude myself into thinking that this will be easy, just easier.
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Old 30-07-2010, 10:12   #33
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SeaKing: Oh...you'll want some wind to use the spinnaker. Look for 10-15 knots. That's may seem like plenty on the upwind leg, but as soon as you turn deep downwind it will be perfect.

"We put the spinnaker up. God takes it down."
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Old 30-07-2010, 11:12   #34
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We’ve used a drifter quite a lot up to about 5-6 kts of summer wind… Have been curious about using an asymmetrical spinnaker, but so far the drifter seems to tease out a few knots when nothing else will keep our full-keeled little chunk moving…
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Old 30-07-2010, 11:14   #35
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We often fly kites but we have eschewed the sym kites and poles and opt instead for our assy's. The assy is good for us up till about the low 20's then we back off, the biggest problem is getting it out of the sail bin and on deck. Tough lifting 135 pounds above your head. Mostly it's my wife and I.

Last year we we're transporting the boat home and being very conservative since we had just launched and stepped the mast that morning. Winds were mid 40's and we had a stay sail up. I was wondering how the boat would handle a full main and sym kite. That was common back when the boat was being raced. We saw 14.5 with the staysail so with a chicken kite and main maybe low 20's?

Anyway, don't be afraid to fly your colors. As others have said pick a nice day with at least 10 or 15 knots and try it out. Start out deep and slowly work up to a reach to see how the boat responds. When its time to put it away go deep again and keep the kite shy to the main and then ease it down to your crew. If you have a sock it's easier yet, just go deep again and hide the kite in the lee of the main.
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Old 30-07-2010, 18:37   #36
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A 135 pound spinnaker? Oops, wrong cloth? Canvas? 90 foot hoist?
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Old 30-07-2010, 18:58   #37
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Boat type?

It would be really interesting to know what each poster on this thread is sailing.

It appears that cat sailors find flying a spinnaker more 'normal' than monos.

Where members have a pic of their boat with their name it helps, but if others could mention what they're sailing it would add clarity.
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Old 30-07-2010, 19:37   #38
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I have used spinnakers frequently while cruising offshore on both mono-hulls and catamarans with 2 to 4 people aboard. My family just returned from a year on an Atlantic 55 (Chris White cat) -- two kids 12 and 14, my wife and me. By way of example on the spinnaker use, we had a trip from Cape Cod to the Bras d'Or Lakes in Canada -- approximately 500 miles. We had the spinnaker up for two days and two nights.

I took a wooden 50' Aage Neilsen monohull into the Pacific in the mid 1970's. There were four of us aboard. From the Galapagos to the Marquesas, we had a spinnaker up for 17 days and nights using an Aries Vane gear -- changed the halyard position frequently to prevent chafe and adjusted the sheet and guy as needed. Obviously very settled trade winds.

There is a big difference between one and two hulls in flying a spinnaker, with the ease-of-use nod going to the catamaran. On the A55, we have a sym and an asym, each in ATN socks. We have a bridle through a block on each bow that leads to the (forward) cockpit and an after guy on each side. With the asym we attach both sides of the bridle to the tack and the after guys to the clew. We jibe outside. With the sym, we attach the bridle and the after guy on each side to that side's clew (port bridle and after guy to port clew). Jibing is a non-issue as the sail simply sways from one side to the other.

The after guys go to turning blocks on the very aft most parts of each hull. When we are well off the wind, we use barber hauls located about 2/3 of the way up each hull, to pull the guys down and stabilize the spinnaker.

Offshore on the cat, we have found that, if the wind is at all aft of the beam, we take the main down (or perhaps deeply reef it). The boat surge in the almost always present swells tends to create virtually no apparent wind at times and the chute collapses behind the main. With no main, we have no problem.

If we expected an unsettled night, of course, we would take the chute down.

We use them as often as we can when day sailing.
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Old 30-07-2010, 19:42   #39
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Interesting perspectives.
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Old 30-07-2010, 19:52   #40
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SC50 monohull, South China Sea, 1A (light asymmetrical) on a code zero furler, clipped to anchor roller, gybe by rolling her up (an almost trivial shorthanded job compared to those blasted socks.).

The biggest issue is the winds are too light for downwind except for 10 minutes as a squall approaches, then they're too heavy.
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Old 30-07-2010, 21:25   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipofools View Post
I am not sure that there is a equation based on # of people.

This is a variable based on your experience/boat/conditions.

I believe that a spinnaker is a great sail, and with practice is easy to use, practical, and very effective in getting you where you want to go. It also decrease the use of the engine.

Also when the wind pipes up to a certain point the spinnaker is actually a safer sail because of the lift being generated.

So I will say this, no right answer here. Just depends on the sailor.

Cheers
I do not avoid using the spinnaker on my boat due to a lack of experience, in fact it is quite the opposite. My experience with spinnakers includes 6 races from Calif to Hawaii and I have been through enough crashes to know that having a spinnaker up in a big breeze is NOT safer. You are really pushing the boat, and avoiding disaster is a real test of skill.

Here is a video of me driving in 25-35 knots with a chute up--in someone else's boat with a full crew--
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Old 31-07-2010, 19:53   #42
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Don, you either have balls of solid bronze, or you're touched in the head. I grit my teeth when my racing skipper wants the chute up in 15 kts.

I will agree that it takes real skill to fly the chute safely in high winds. I find the symmetrical to be real work. I am still trying to get the lines pre-staged correctly, the sequence of events correct when setting the spin, and trimming the guy correctly. This is on the race boat I crew on. I opted for an asym for my own boat.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:44   #43
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BubbleHead,

We bought a NEW asymm with sock from Bacon's just before we left the US for points south in '08. Hardly used it going down and up the eastern carib, but once we started heading west, it goes up regularly. We leave the main down. Great sail for these conditions. Maine Cat 41, BTW.

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TabbyCat sailing DDW with spinnaker from Curacao to Aruba

On the Chesapeake, we had a C&C 34 (mono), with an asymm, no sock. It was our absolute favorite sail. All those light air days when everyone else was motoring, we were sailing. FWIW, it came with the boat and was listed as a 'drifter'.

Don't be afraid of it, it is just another tool to learn how to use.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 26-08-2010, 21:42   #44
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We have a cruising spinaker with a sock and its the easiest thing in the world to use. We use it at least 5-8 times/year (maybe more) but confess that if the wind is really honking behind us we just jib with the genoa back and forth. Its usually just the two of us and its a lot of cloth to control. On my first big boat we had a huge tri-radial set up for dip-pole jibes and a crew of 6. I ended up being a one arm paper-hanger on the bow and at the mast. My wife tried to steer thru the jibes and control her panic. This is much, much, much, easier to deal with. You can jib the spinaker, but we usually just douse it with the sock and bring it out on the other side to save the cloth (we are a cutter rig and lots of things to wrap around).



We have a yellow/green Quantum made by Steve Thurston in Bristol, RI. Its a great sail and has held up well for the last five years. I'd recommend it highly.

Rick & Bonnie
Hylas 49-057 "Black Diamond"
Portsmouth, RI.
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