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Old 12-11-2015, 14:14   #16
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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I too am in the market for an asymm and have been wading through the internet trying to decide on a size. It seems that there is lots of guidance on other sails but not so much on spinnakers. I originally purchased an old used sail so that I could make my mistakes on it. As per one recommendation that I had read, I went with a sail as big as possible but not so big that it can reach the water. The luff on the sail is 5' longer than the measured luff. This doesn't present any problems when sailing downwind but as I can't tighten the luff, it's not so good sailing forward of a beam reach. I originally used a sock but have now upgraded and installed a continuous line furler (which I love; rolling up the screecher, even in wind, is child's play). As I have now discovered, the extra luff length on the asym causes a problem when using the furler. When the top starts to furl and the bottom of the sail starts to drop, it gets tangled in the furler. Therefore, my new spinnaker will be equal to or just a bit longer than the torsion rope. The proper way to measure is x1.03 of the measured luff length. It won't be so effective downwind, but it will furl better and sail closer to the wind.
Just get a sailmaker to cut a bit off the bottom of your present sail. ( parallel to the foot making both the luff and leech shorter.) Then later from what you learn with that sail you might want a new one.
I think the luff of the asymmetric should be a bit shorter than the AT furler rope.
That's how I have mine anyway. Lots of information on the Selden web site.
I have Selden but the info would be similar for most makes.
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Old 12-11-2015, 14:33   #17
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

I bought my used asymmetrical at Bacon & assoc. as recommended in one of the posts above and....




..... also for a Morgan OI.

It's added much opportunity for me in light air! Congratulations!
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Old 13-11-2015, 05:26   #18
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

since you're going asymmetric alos look into the roller furling units for kites.
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Old 13-11-2015, 07:09   #19
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

A couple of tips/thoughts:
- On the spinnaker furlers, you can't really adjust the luff tension much (if at all) an still have the furlers work as they're designed to. So proper trim of the sail is handicapped.
- Watch the section of the Dashew's video where they cover handling (Big) spinnakers shorthanded, especially when using dousing socks. There are a lot o good tips & techniques in there.
- For a cruising kite 0.75oz cloth is the Bare Minimum weight, & 1-1.5oz is better.
This is due to a bunch of things: Shorthanded crews, Undertrained crews - both of which put added wear on the sail unless their techniques is flawless. So the heavier cloth helps mitigate/head off hurting the sail.
*** Also, spinnakers are exceptionally vulnerable to UV as compared to your working sails. So the heavier weight cloth helps it's lifespan. Not that you need to go to a 2.2oz cloth, or a fancy (expensive) laminate. At least to learn on/with.

As, for example, generally a boat racing to Hawaii from CA will set a kite a few days into the trip, & then leave it up all of the way to the finish from there. Ten days - two weeks later. And generally, the sail's considered shot after that.
Albeit some of that is due to multiple broaches along the way, & generally pushing the lightest sail possible, as hard as they can. But still, the UV eats'em.

PS: Make sure that your anchor roller, or other ad hock, deck level tack fitting is up or the load. As kites can generate a lot of force in a hurry when the breezze picks up.
Oh, & make sure that there's enough laminate under your tack fitting to handle the loads too. As it's suck to rip off your bow roller & a couple of sqft of bow with it... but it's happened.
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Old 13-11-2015, 08:32   #20
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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Originally Posted by GrahamHO View Post
Just get a sailmaker to cut a bit off the bottom of your present sail. ( parallel to the foot making both the luff and leech shorter.) Then later from what you learn with that sail you might want a new one.
Great idea. Thanks. I hadn't thought of that. I'd rather abuse this sail while I'm learning and then get one properly fitted.
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Old 13-11-2015, 19:39   #21
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
A couple of tips/thoughts:
- On the spinnaker furlers, you can't really adjust the luff tension much (if at all) an still have the furlers work as they're designed to. So proper trim of the sail is handicapped.
- Watch the section of the Dashew's video where they cover handling (Big) spinnakers shorthanded, especially when using dousing socks. There are a lot o good tips & techniques in there.
- For a cruising kite 0.75oz cloth is the Bare Minimum weight, & 1-1.5oz is better.
This is due to a bunch of things: Shorthanded crews, Undertrained crews - both of which put added wear on the sail unless their techniques is flawless. So the heavier cloth helps mitigate/head off hurting the sail.
*** Also, spinnakers are exceptionally vulnerable to UV as compared to your working sails. So the heavier weight cloth helps it's lifespan. Not that you need to go to a 2.2oz cloth, or a fancy (expensive) laminate. At least to learn on/with.

As, for example, generally a boat racing to Hawaii from CA will set a kite a few days into the trip, & then leave it up all of the way to the finish from there. Ten days - two weeks later. And generally, the sail's considered shot after that.
Albeit some of that is due to multiple broaches along the way, & generally pushing the lightest sail possible, as hard as they can. But still, the UV eats'em.

PS: Make sure that your anchor roller, or other ad hock, deck level tack fitting is up or the load. As kites can generate a lot of force in a hurry when the breezze picks up.
Oh, & make sure that there's enough laminate under your tack fitting to handle the loads too. As it's suck to rip off your bow roller & a couple of sqft of bow with it... but it's happened.
having done several transpacs and pac cups I will tell that no one in their right mind buys a new kite for the race and considers it shot after the race.
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Old 14-11-2015, 11:07   #22
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

I have a heavy 1/2" cast aluminum roller and would hope that failure would first be the tack line, second the tack block, then the halyard and last the bail and/or the halyard block. I'm thinking in terms of repair cost and ease of recovery/ dousing the sail after a break. I plan to select stuff to maintain this order as closely as practical. Am I missing something?
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Old 14-11-2015, 12:06   #23
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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Great idea. Thanks. I hadn't thought of that. I'd rather abuse this sail while I'm learning and then get one properly fitted.
You are welcome. Sails are intended to be hacked around if necessary. If the gennaker is a tri radial with the strips of cloth tapering into the corners a sailmaker might take cloth out of the center. It might not be theoretically as efficient as before, but will work just fine. Best to visit a sailmaker with the sail. He / she might ask for certain boat measurements which you can then do with a steel tape measure to save their time.
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Old 16-11-2015, 09:02   #24
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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Hi Dave,

I love my sock, but the used one that came with my boat was junk. Upgrading to the ATN sock was a great investment and I highly recommend them.

Graham has it right as far as dousing. You don't douse by just pulling down the sock. I leave the sock control lines tied to the midships cleat. I then run deep, sheet in the asym behind the main and blow the tack.

I can then walk back and pull the sock down easily over the sail at midships where it's nice and safe and secure before lowering the socked sail on the foredeck. Very easy, no drama.
When you say midships are you talking the cockpit ot the mast area on the foredeck? I am conflicted about my tack line. I understand starting to douse by blanketing with the main but if I had let the tack run free , how do I gather the socked sail onto the deck? Pull with the lazy sheet? Seems to me that cleating the tack line in the bow might be easier dousing but would sacrifice cockpit control of the tack while sailing. Could I get both by putting a knot in the tack line limiting run out to 10 or 15' which would let me still control the dousing process with the tack line and the sock control line?
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Old 16-11-2015, 10:41   #25
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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When you say midships are you talking the cockpit ot the mast area on the foredeck? I am conflicted about my tack line. I understand starting to douse by blanketing with the main but if I had let the tack run free , how do I gather the socked sail onto the deck? Pull with the lazy sheet? Seems to me that cleating the tack line in the bow might be easier dousing but would sacrifice cockpit control of the tack while sailing. Could I get both by putting a knot in the tack line limiting run out to 10 or 15' which would let me still control the dousing process with the tack line and the sock control line?
If you run off the wind a bit and release the gennaker tack from the tack line you will completely de power the gennaker which will flutter behind the main, supported only by the halyard and the sheet. Then you can either slide the sock down using its lines which you may have tied to the anchor cleat. (or without a sock pull the sail into the cockpit under the boom using the sheet while freeing the halyard.) You have the dousing lines in your hand and use them to recover the sock.

I have my self tailing gennaker halyard winch mounted on the cabin top in front of the dodger, off center to stbd, and a jammer on the mast I can take the halyard off the winch and take it to the foredeck (still through a floating turning block at the mast base) Then I can free the jammer on the mast and recover a sock or top down to the foredeck.

If you free the tack line with the sail still attached, you risk going kite sailing.

Someone posted a nice video taken in the Whitsundays. Unconventionally they attached their gennaker tack inside (behind) their Genoa furler. That seemed to be working perfectly but without being able to gybe the sail. To gybe they would drop the gennaker, detach the halyard and pass it around the front of the forestay, reattach and raise it again. Not fast for racing which they weren't, but it did mean they could easily reach the tack.

These days I use a top down furler on a short bowsprit and preset the tack tension without worrying about adjusting it. It can be adjusted with a top down that but adds to the complication and the risk of getting any adjusting line on the wrong side of the AT rope.
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Old 17-11-2015, 19:05   #26
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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I have a heavy 1/2" cast aluminum roller and would hope that failure would first be the tack line, second the tack block, then the halyard and last the bail and/or the halyard block. I'm thinking in terms of repair cost and ease of recovery/ dousing the sail after a break. I plan to select stuff to maintain this order as closely as practical. Am I missing something?
I would expect a gennaker (or spinnaker) should blow out before any of the fittings or lines could break. You might have seen TV footage of the Americas Cup monohull yachts racing a few years ago. Occasionally a little hole would appear in a spinnaker and sometimes they might burst.
It's a possibility with most yachts gennakers / spinnakers especially racing but those were on live TV.
It's unlikely for any of the bits you mention to break if they are properly installed.
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Old 18-11-2015, 12:37   #27
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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When you say midships are you talking the cockpit ot the mast area on the foredeck? I am conflicted about my tack line. I understand starting to douse by blanketing with the main but if I had let the tack run free , how do I gather the socked sail onto the deck? Pull with the lazy sheet? Seems to me that cleating the tack line in the bow might be easier dousing but would sacrifice cockpit control of the tack while sailing. Could I get both by putting a knot in the tack line limiting run out to 10 or 15' which would let me still control the dousing process with the tack line and the sock control line?
I run downwind and sheet the spinnaker in just enough that the clew is near the shrouds.

I then walk forward and release the tackline (which runs through a small block to my forward docking cleat, but it doesn't matter if you have it run back).

The spinnaker is now completely depowered and hanging behind the main near the shrouds.

I walk back to the shrouds and untie the sock dousing line from the midships docking cleat. I sit on the coach house by the mast and pull down the sock.

The bottom of the sock is now in my hands and I'm sitting on the coach roof. I stand up and release the halyard. I control the halyard and guide the sock onto the foredeck in a pile.

easy-peasy and very controlled. No rushing about or standing in precarious positions.
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Old 21-11-2015, 13:07   #28
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

I was totally comfortable until I got to "if you free the tack line with the sail still attached, you risk going kite sailing." That seemed to contradict
"I then walk forward and release the tack line ..." Everything made sense until this. Did you mean do not release the tack line until AFTER the sail is backwinded i.e. is hanging limp?
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Old 21-11-2015, 14:06   #29
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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I was totally comfortable until I got to "if you free the tack line with the sail still attached, you risk going kite sailing." That seemed to contradict
"I then walk forward and release the tack line ..." Everything made sense until this. Did you mean do not release the tack line until AFTER the sail is backwinded i.e. is hanging limp?
If you free the tack line and it doesn't run out you can go kite sailing.

If your tack line is short and attached to the bow mooring cleat, you could walk forward, as someone suggested, to free the short tack line it should run out OK. But if you have snap shackle on the tack line and can reach it, to pull a string and release it, it's a little bit better way. However releasing a short line should be fine but the line will be hanging on the end and probably going in the water on retrieval which may not matter.

If your tack line runs back to the cockpit through a jammer, so you can adjust the luff tension from there, using say 20' or 30' of line (8mm depending?) it is unlikely to run out without snagging, and even if not snagging, the kite will likely be flying in the air, kite sailing, before the line runs out. Then you have to let the halyard run out to get under control. Rigged that way it is definitely better to release a snap shackle on the tack. I know from trying it 30 years ago, when I knew even less than I know now.
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Old 21-11-2015, 14:13   #30
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Re: Starting with an Asymmetric Spinnaker

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I run downwind and sheet the spinnaker in just enough that the clew is near the shrouds.

I then walk forward and release the tackline (which runs through a small block to my forward docking cleat, but it doesn't matter if you have it run back).

The spinnaker is now completely depowered and hanging behind the main near the shrouds.

I walk back to the shrouds and untie the sock dousing line from the midships docking cleat. I sit on the coach house by the mast and pull down the sock.

The bottom of the sock is now in my hands and I'm sitting on the coach roof. I stand up and release the halyard. I control the halyard and guide the sock onto the foredeck in a pile.

easy-peasy and very controlled. No rushing about or standing in precarious positions.
+1.
Exactly the method I use.
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