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Old 16-01-2015, 06:14   #16
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

I know quite a few cruisers who go with one sheet, socking the kite and rerunning the line to tack/gybe. Basically because they only run it offshore or on long legs.

70 sounds about right to me on a 40' boat. You want that length so you can blow the sheet, if necessary, and still have line left to control the sail. With one line only you can probably go a bit shorter, since you won't be tacking/gybing, but better to have too much than too little.

A length of spectra makes a good asym sheet. Light, strong and compact. Just make sure you wear gloves when handling it under load.
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Old 16-01-2015, 06:26   #17
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Thanks, but the inside/outside forestay and bowsprit answers don't seem relevant to this situation. That's why I posted it in the multihull section.

The boat has a hard point on each bow to attach a spinnaker. I cannot imagine gybing with the sail tacked all the way outboard. So we'd have to pull the sock down, disconnect the tack, move it over to the other bow attachment point, and then re-run the sheet to the other hull, and finally re-deploy the sail. Plenty of time to move a 70 ft. sheet over to the other side, in a leisurely downwind tack. But I'm having trouble remembering what the previous owner said about that 70 ft. of line he told me to buy as the new spinnaker sheet.

Here's a photo of another identical hull with a spinnaker. you can see that the tack is well outboard on the port bow. These guys had the sheet run back through a block amidships. our turning block is much further aft, only about four feet forward of the transom. If this were our boat, our block would be about where the forward edge of that solar panel hanging on the life lines. Just forward of our backstay.

But looking at this photo, I can't see that gybing would be a simple thing, and I don't see the need for two jib sheets in a situation where one will never gybe and therefore will never need a lazy sheet at all.

Can you see why this boat, for example, would need two sheets in this situation?
Read my post #5 again. Yes, we rig to outside hard points, but the bridle allows us to transfer the load smoothly from one point to the other under load. It's easy. Center it first, jibe, pole to the new weather bow. MUCH faster and easier than snuffing, re-running sheets, and re-hoisting. Kind of like a 2-line main sheet system that some folks substitute for a main traveler.


a. The chute need to fit the boat. Unlike symetricals, the chute should not be >6 feet above the deck; it needs to be lower to maintain good control.


b. Sheets are NOT the only shape control on a chute. Hoist is also important. There is no reason for the halyard to be tight to the masthead all the time. Also, the height of the bridle is adjusted to maintain shape. Complicated, but simple once learned.


This sail (not my boat) does not have enough wind in it, of course, but also...
* it is over hoisted. Lowering it would flatten the sail and give better control.
* if they were running deep, the tack would go to weather and a twing would pull the sheet down.


Trust the people that use a bridle. We're not guessing it works. We know it works.


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Old 16-01-2015, 06:28   #18
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

Gotta say I am wondering about these guys who keep posting phrases like 'never gibe'.

Not saying I am the best sailor around, just that I have been caught off guard by a surprise gibe more than once and am wondering if there is some secret of seamanship I don't know about that would allow me to stop using a preventer.

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Old 16-01-2015, 08:01   #19
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

I use one sheet. Pull down the sock re run the sheet and let it fly. Keep it simple and less chance of a wine glass.

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Old 16-01-2015, 09:25   #20
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

You dont mention a sock. You should have two sheets one for each side of the boat and they run thru blocks just ahead of the winch you will be using. The sheets should have snap shackles for easy connect/disconnect. And they should be lighter than the usual gib sheets. And do not have a stop knot at the end of the sheet.
The tack will be connected to the headstay/roller furling bottom and should have a snap shackle to connect to the sail.This is important and is used to immediately douse the sail There is also a line from the tack that goes on a forward cleat to adjust the height of the sail.
Having a sock makes it so easy to douse or fly the Asail, jmho.
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Old 16-01-2015, 10:56   #21
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

Well, i think your easiest option would be to find a friend who is knowledgeable about such things and go for a sail with them!

As a general rule, sheets for an asym chute should be about twice the length of the boat, so your 70 feet should be good for one side. However, i would recommend attaching a second set even if you don't plan on gybing. if nothing else, you will need it if you have to douse and the sock gets stuck at the top.

To begin with, since you don't plan on gybing you can just run the tack through a block on your leeward bow. Later, you may want to arrange it such that it attaches to both bows and so that you can move it from side to side forward of the headstay.

Run the sheet(s) all the way aft to a block right on your quarter, and outside everything else - jib sheets, shrouds, lifelines etc.

To set, first bear off until you are sailing about 150 degrees apparent wind angle. Haul on the halyard until the head is right at the top and then take up on the tack line until you're happy with the tension (this can be quite loose for running down-wind). Now, keeping a little tension on the sheet (to avoid the sail twisting around itself) pull on the sock-up line. Now trim the sheet. In 5 knots of breeze you will also find that you have to come up until the wind is about on your beam initially until the sail fills, then you can bear off again. For the first try, take your main in. That will give you a larger set of sailable angles - otherwise when you go too deep (deeper than about 150) it will shadow the chute and it will collapse.

For trim, ease the sheet as far as you can without the luff of the chute collapsing. A little bit of curl every now and then is fine (and fast :-) ).

To drop, simply ease the sheet all the way out and haul on the sock-down line, then drop the halyard.

You can't do too much damage in 5 knots, so have fun!

Post again when you want to learn how to gybe, and again when you want to get rid of the sock :-)
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Old 16-01-2015, 11:43   #22
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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Boat also came with a standard spinnaker, and we have two spinnaker poles. But we took them off the boat and they've been lying in the garage for a year or two.
If by standard spinnaker you mean a symmetric, I suggest you dust them off and give one a try. Leave the poles in the garage.

All you'll need is a guy rigged from each bow, one for each clew of the sail, and two sheets rigged to each clew asym style. The two guys will eliminate the need for the poles. Then gybing becomes child's play. Damn thing will gybe it self. Since you tack your asym to a bow anyway, the sym setup will likely work better for you.

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Old 16-01-2015, 11:46   #23
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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If by standard spinnaker you mean a symmetric, I suggest you dust them off and give one a try. Leave the poles in the garage.

All you'll need is a guy rigged from each bow, one for each clew of the sail, and two sheets rigged to each clew asym style. The two guys will eliminate the need for the poles. Then gybing becomes child's play. Damn thing will gybe it self. Since you tack your asym to a bow anyway, the sym setup will likely work better for you.

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Interesting idea. I've never seen or heard of it before though. Have you actually done this successfully or is this just an idea? Surely you'd have to have a sail with a really short foot for it to work.........
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Old 16-01-2015, 11:51   #24
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
If by standard spinnaker you mean a symmetric, I suggest you dust them off and give one a try. Leave the poles in the garage.

All you'll need is a guy rigged from each bow, one for each clew of the sail, and two sheets rigged to each clew asym style. The two guys will eliminate the need for the poles. Then gybing becomes child's play. Damn thing will gybe it self. Since you tack your asym to a bow anyway, the sym setup will likely work better for you.

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Yup, I've done that with a symmetrical on a cat. Limited angles, but it worked fine
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Old 16-01-2015, 12:03   #25
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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Yup, I've done that with a symmetrical on a cat. Limited angles, but it worked fine
Yea, I think we already had this discussion. We can carry our sym spis up to about 85* apparent in light to moderate. But this requires full attention and manual helming. This, in effect, fools them into thinking they're asym spis because we bring the windward clew (tack) to the centerline and rotate the sail way over to leeward and the leeward clew ends up way aft. With enough hands, you could gybe it to the other side as quick as the boat can turn....

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Old 16-01-2015, 12:25   #26
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

Haven't read all the replies so don't know if someone suggested this but 1-70' line would make a continuous sheet. Dinghies do this a fair bit.

Run it from the clew to the sheeting block(s) on one side, across the boat the backwards through the block(s) on that side the back to the clew.

One end has to be tied then untied every time the sail is brought up and the stowed, but that's only a single extra step.


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Old 16-01-2015, 13:28   #27
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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Haven't read all the replies so don't know if someone suggested this but 1-70' line would make a continuous sheet. Dinghies do this a fair bit.

Run it from the clew to the sheeting block(s) on one side, across the boat the backwards through the block(s) on that side the back to the clew.

One end has to be tied then untied every time the sail is brought up and the stowed, but that's only a single extra step.


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Not quite, not for an outside jibe. You need 2x boat length + 2x beam + 2x clew in front of forestay (about 1x beam). So for a cat, assuming beam = 1/2 length, single sheet = 3.5x length. About the same. The advantage is that you can always reach the sheet from either side. The disadvantage tends to be tripping (sheets crossing cockpit). I do use single-line genoa sheets, and I did have single line sheet on the chutes and genoas on my last 2 cats. On my current cat, the single genoa sheet is exactly the same length as 2x single sheets, an artifact of the length required for furling.
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Old 16-01-2015, 14:40   #28
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

Do you also still put up your main when using an asym?
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Old 16-01-2015, 14:52   #29
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

Always. Fast is good.

Wouldn't have to, but how hard is hoisting the main? Additionally, having the main up makes dropping and hoisting the chute cake (dead down wind it is blanketed).
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Old 16-01-2015, 14:53   #30
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Re: dumb asym spinnaker question

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I can see how a bridle could work, if one were going to be going directly downwind with a spinnaker. I've been studying this photo, how Angel Louise rigged it, and can see two lines to the tack and also two jib sheets. But this is different than the way ours was rigged. The previous owner made up about a four foot section of stainless steel wire to attach the tack to the bow fittings. I have never liked the steel wire as line approach. I'm going to be making changes, but I'm a bit of a limbo having never used a spinnaker in my life.

Boat also came with a standard spinnaker, and we have two spinnaker poles. But we took them off the boat and they've been lying in the garage for a year or two.
For DDW or close to it, your symmetrical spinnaker will be easier and more efficient.

Just a matter of setting up a couple of blocks on your bows, maybe off the bow cleats, a sheet and guy to each clew of the sail, the guys through the blocks, sheets led aft to winches.... Guy in on windward side, sheet on the other.

Unless the spinnaker is much wider than the boat, you shouldn't need poles.
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