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Old 13-02-2008, 09:35   #1
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Drifter or Assymetrical

I have a Catalina 30 and need a light air sail. I am looking at building one of the Sailrite kits but am having a hard time deciding between a drifter and assymetrical chute. The boat currently has a 100% on a CDI furler, so a genny is less of an option (hard to change headsails with this furler).

My question is, will I really be able to point much higher with a drifter than an assy? Since the forestay has a sail wrapped around it the drifter would have to be loose. The Sailrite assy has quite abit more area than the drifter so would give me more horsepower, but will I be much more limited in direction against true wind? I've never used an assymetrical so have no idea how high they point. I did try a drifter on this boat and could not point above 90 degrees to the apparant wind.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Old 13-02-2008, 10:01   #2
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An assy is a kite, upper girth is ~ 180%. You'll not be able to point with it unless you have very flat water and light air, maybe 55 or so degrees and you will still need to fly a staysail in the slot to re attach flow to the back of the main. The assy is really designed for broad reaching with awa of 85 to 130 degrees.

If you want to point in light air you might decide to build a medium 1, maybe 145 to 153% to replace the #3 on the furler. White sails are not really good candidates for light air downwind. Up and down in the light stuff requires two purpose built sails, a number 1 for upwind work and a kite for downwind work. Up and down in a breeze the #3 if fine. Sorry, it's just not possible to get around physics.
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Old 13-02-2008, 12:32   #3
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Thanks Joli, that physics thing is really inconvenient! Actually, if I could point 55 degrees in flat water I would be pretty happy. Changing headsails on the CDI furler is a little difficult as there is only one slot and it is plastic so the sail needs to be fed carefully. Not impossible, just a bit difficult. I will look into a #1 but I don't think I can get a kit for it. Since I am just a fool with a sewing machine making one from scratch is probably beyond me.

Mike
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Old 13-02-2008, 13:59   #4
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I've always favored drifters over spinnakers. Granted, they're two different sails, but if you had to pick one, go with the drifter. Much more flexible, and and really makes your boat unstoppable (pardie reference).
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Old 13-02-2008, 14:07   #5
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Mike,

It sounds like you need to add a prefeeder on the bow. It's a very simple device that can be purchased from West Marine. Installation consists of tieing it on. No drills, no holes. The pre-feeder takes the load of the luff and lines it up so your new sail can go up the luff groove.
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Old 13-02-2008, 14:17   #6
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Also, on a light displacement Ericson 32, I was able to get about 65 degrees or so on my drifter. But normally you were around 90 degrees as you mentioned, because in conditions where you're using a drifter, you're going to sail at the widest angle you can to get the wind.

If you were 45 degrees apparent on a drifter, it's well past time to put the working jib up, if you get my meaning.
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