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Old 22-07-2014, 19:10   #16
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

Spinnakers and MPS's.. Nah, where talking ocean crossings not a two hour sail on the bay. Sure you can manage them fine, but they aren't needed for good daily runs.

I once spent 24 hours running with the kite up singlehanded, including while I was asleep, but I was young and gung Ho and the wx was settled, swell was low. Wouldnt bother now. Just a good poled out set of headsails would have been only slightly slower and much less nervous energy.

By all means get a kite, but I think its going to spend alot of time in its bag. Maybe not even earning its space below unless you both are very dedicated sailors who enjoy getting the absolute maximum out of the boat all the time.

To be effective for two handing offshore, one person has to be absolutely comfortable dealing with the sails alone at night.
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Old 22-07-2014, 20:29   #17
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

Simon, to answer your question correctly you must take into consideration your particular boat and your sail inventory. Since I sail a Hanse 370e I have a pretty good idea of your boat. I started off with an asymetrical spinnaker (aspin) in a sock. Don't let anyone tell you "it's easy." Yes, sometimes it works well and sometimes there are no problems but when the wind jumps from 15K to 25K it's a bitch to get down. If it's just 2 of you I would recommend aspin on a top down furler. Most of the furler brands now offer a top down furler but Karver is frequently recommended. Check out <myhanse.com> and search or aspin furlers, etc. If you have the factory self-tacker, you might look at upgrading that to a 105 or 108 with vertical battens and significantly more roach. It will be a much more usable sail and would probably eliminate the need for a 135-155 except in the lightest of winds. If you have any specific questions or just want to "talk"PM. more send me a
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Old 22-07-2014, 23:38   #18
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Originally Posted by silversailor View Post
I started off with an asymetrical spinnaker (aspin) in a sock. Don't let anyone tell you "it's easy." Yes, sometimes it works well and sometimes there are no problems but when the wind jumps from 15K to 25K it's a bitch to get down.
If you make sure you create a good wind shadow it should come down easily. Collapse it and pull the sock down immediately. Then the sail doesn't get a chance to catch wind anymore and Bob's your uncle.

Furlers are much more of a problem when they go wrong, and they do. Often.

I agree with previous posters that I wouldn't fly my asyms at night. But I do like my Code 1 and my A2 and they are easy to fly. For a trade wind crossing I'd probably go with poled-out jib + genoa. But using the solent stay to fly the Code 1 in combination with genoa is an interesting idea. I will have to try that.


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Old 23-07-2014, 00:37   #19
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

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If you make sure you create a good wind shadow it should come down easily. Collapse it and pull the sock down immediately. Then the sail doesn't get a chance to catch wind anymore and Bob's your uncle...
Hi Onno. Sounds like you have quite a collection of light air sails. Interesting to hear more about them.

I guess the wind shadow problem is that often people mistakenly take down the main to reduce chafe. Then they havent got the ability to shade it. Or in a broach, with a squall may not be able to rely on getting a good lee behind the main. Assys seem worse for this than symetricals where you can pull the leeward clew right back to the mast.

Big advantage of two headsails is no matter what the scenario its always comparatively easy to drop/roll away. And minimal chance of a bad wrap or other nasties a kite is renouned for. And can be used safely with or without main. Interested to hear more feedback for those using some type of cruising code zero. My setup used a solent stay and hank on drifter/reacher.
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Old 23-07-2014, 02:29   #20
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

I've tried most downwind set ups and its hard to beat twin headsails for overall ease and speed in most conditions. They are faster than a spinnaker in really light air and as the wind picks up a bit they are all the sail area you need. Spinnakers are really good in light air on a reach. Actually using a poled out genoa and a main will do a decent job in trade wind conditions, its hard to justify the money spent for such a small increase in speed on special set ups if you are just doing one crossing. I have flown spinnakers day and night for days on end offshore, especially in my younger days but not without the odd issue and in refection for a shorthanded crew most crossings can be done cheaper and easier with working sails. These new winged chutes are very expensive, pretty hard to justify unless you have too much money.
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Old 23-07-2014, 04:54   #21
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

Here is a contemporary article on downwind sail choice.

The best sails for downwind cruising | Sailfeed

I've always lusted after a code sail on a furler...
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Old 23-07-2014, 05:30   #22
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

The best downwind or light wind sails are the one that are easy enough to use that you take them out of the bag and fly them. Most sailors don't seem to have one, regardless of what sails may be on the boat!

So pick the one that easy to use!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 23-07-2014, 06:10   #23
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

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Here is a contemporary article on downwind sail choice.

The best sails for downwind cruising | Sailfeed

I've always lusted after a code sail on a furler...
Saw that one. Not sure why he disliked a drifter so much. Something like the pardeys seems like a very smart choice, especially if it was used with a code zero furler. Any real wind bags it out too much for usefull windward work, but by then your working sails do fine. Real code sails are normally made from laminate, probably not the best choice for downwind. Heavy nylon is very forgiving.

The big problem is light downwind when the swell is shaking the wind out of everything. For this its hard to beat the drifter and headsail poled out and a hotting up the angles to generate some apparent wind. When the wind strenthens you can head back onto a run no problem. If it dies its easy to strike. Gybing it all is the only major pain. Its easy enough but takes time sorting out the pole. My new boats got twin poles so that will make it all much simpler. I did a delivery across the Tasman on an old school wooden 27 footer with twin poles and twin stays. Was pretty relaxing downwind, sold me on the rig.

Swept spreaders make running with the main up more awkward and cause more chafe. Another reason to go with two headsails, so the main can be stowed, or heavily reefed and sheeted in slightly.
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Old 23-07-2014, 06:21   #24
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

You want a kite on a furler. You can get a pair, as kite furlers can be detached from the furled sail. The deeper downwind sail may come handy sailing the ARC, the other, flat "like-a-Code-0" will come handy sailing back home via Azorean High.

Actually a boat does not need a kite for the ARC. You can sail with the main and the jib poled out to windward. You want an extra long pole for that. Telescopic toys from e.g. selden are good and not too expensive. Get one that maxes out to at least 1.5 mast to forestay distance and you are fine.

It takes 1 person 30 seconds to unfurl or furl a kite on a furler.

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Old 23-07-2014, 06:23   #25
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

PS On the second thought I think you do not want a kite. Since you ask questions it is clear you are not a kite sort of sailor. Go with a poled out jib, I believe.

May be very slightly slower, but gives you better angle most of the way.

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Old 23-07-2014, 06:26   #26
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

You will find twin head sails better in real light winds sailing down wind. With the ever present swells a chute collapses as you are coming down the swell then fills with a whomp as you start up the swell. If you pole out your head sails and in real light air roller furl them so they are as flat as possible you get away from most of the slatting and they are actually faster than a chute in these conditions and of course easy peasy to fly. If I was getting a lot of roll I would raise the main deep reefed and sheeted hard to center, it would not take the roll away but seemed to limit the ever increasing rate of roll.
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Old 25-07-2014, 00:31   #27
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Re: Is there a Good Downwind Sail that's Easy to Manage for 2 People?

+1 robert sailor, common problem these days is small poles and big overlapping headsails, so you end up with a big floppy sail that just wobbles and causes rolling, or you roll half it away to tighen the setup and loose a heap of area. The only real cure is longer poles, about the length of the LP. Or smaller headsails. A non overlaping working jib poles out nicely with a standard J sized pole as long as the clew is high enough. Problem now is small Sail area, but leaving the main set, or setting another headsail to leeward on another pole or sheeting off the main boom works a treat. First reef is to drop the second headsail, then start rolling away the one on the roller. All very easy, and one person has no problems with any of it if the gears set up smartly.
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Old 25-07-2014, 02:49   #28
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Re: Is there a Good Downwind Sail that's Easy to Manage for 2 People?

You asked specifically about the ARC, and it sounds like you may have never done a long passage like this before. The ARC is a more of a rally than a race and I would suggest that you treat it that way and focus on the manageability of your sail plan and inventory, particularly since there are only two of you.

Most ARC boats generally follow the Columbus route and the majority of your sailing is going to be DDW or close to it. You'll likely run into (or rather, be overrun by) a storm or two coming off the African coast as you head south to where the butter melts and then after you turn west, fairly frequent but short-lived squalls of varying intensity for the remainder. The key to an enjoyable and safe crossing is having canvas that you can reduce quickly and with a minimum of effort with one person since with just two of you constantly bringing your mate up on deck to reef or take down a headsail is going to get old pretty quickly. For that reason I'd suggest something that you can furl..ideally with an adjustable whisker pole so you can leave it set even with the sail almost completely furled.

You'll get to Rodney Bay in plenty of time for the parties, don't worry.
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Old 25-07-2014, 03:37   #29
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Re: Is there a good downwind sail that's easy to manage for 2 people?

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Saw that one. Not sure why he disliked a drifter so much.
Snowpetrel Im certain that I made no mention of disliking drifters.

I did describe them as having limited versatility. They do. If you sail where often ghosting along in light air or can afford cost / space of multiple downwind sails, then a drifter can be a fine addition to the inventory. Better still would be a very light weight version of a cruising code zero a hybrid of a drifter and code zero still, limited versatility though.
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Old 25-07-2014, 05:29   #30
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Re: Is there a Good Downwind Sail that's Easy to Manage for 2 People?

+1 on the above info

And some further thoughts from our miles and miles of downwind adventures:

- 1 x LP is just the beginning, with any sizable fore sail you may want a 1.4142+ of your J, this is why I always recommend telescopics,

- in plenty of roll and too little wind, small sails will work better than bigger ones,

- light canvas sails slat less than heavy ones and nylons are quieter than dacrons,

- a code zero is NOT a good DOWNWIND choice, it is too flat and often will not be stable, look for sails with deeper tops, which may be more stable (all this when free flying), it may work great poled out but mind the pole would be the longest one you can imagine as we do not roll down code zero sail.

Divide all of the above findings by your own experiences.

Hope this adds.

Love,
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