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Old 18-09-2012, 21:06   #1
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Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

I'm thinking of flying an asymmetric between my cats hulls. Does anyone have ideas on how to rig it, where best to put the blocks. I've read that moving the tack to windward could add a lot of flexability.
It's a 38 footer.

My idea is to pick up a used asymmetric as well.

So I've got to figure out a bridle rig, how to find an appropriate used asym, and how to properly trim it.

suggestions, opinions, references all welcome
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Old 18-09-2012, 23:17   #2
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

Stan, we do exactly what you are proposing on our 40' cat.

We use a short mooring line to attach the tack to a big mooring cleat on the windward bow. We never attach the tack to the centreline. The sheet goes from the clew back to a block on the leeward hull about 3/4 of the distance from the bow to the stern. (Normally this block is used for the screacher/gennaker, so we simply take the sheet off the screacher, run it outside the leeward shroud and attach it to the clew of the assymetric.)

Our assym is a little small so we will usually hoist it high enough to get it in the cleaner air above the cabintop.

We use no poles, no guys etc. Just 3 lines to control the 3 extremities of the sail.

You can see it in this video.

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Old 19-09-2012, 03:58   #3
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

Same here. We have a bridle tack line that runs from the rack down to each bow to a block, then back to the cockpit and a clutch each side, means we can move the tack from side to side, the sheet, its a bridle as well with the working side simply being trimmed to a winch and or cleat and the lkazy side being lazy, couldn't be simpler.
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Old 19-09-2012, 14:39   #4
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

I have a tack line on the bow sprit.. this is adjusted via the self tacking jib sheet.. (assuming that if you have an assy up you don't want. self tacking jib)
Then a "guy line from each bow to the tack line.. That makes three lines in total.. with which I can adjust the position of the tack..

when fine on to the wind.. put the tack tight to the bowsprit.
as wqe go deeper we can pull the tack to windward..
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Old 19-09-2012, 15:18   #5
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

I run chutes on bow sprits on performance cats that would broad reach at 150% of true wind speed and run chutes with bridles on cruising cats that were rather slow. A few lessons learned:


* The correct rigging of the chute depends a lot on the design. Each sail has a specific set-up designed in, though there is some latitude. If you have a sail made, the sailmaker MUST be involved in the rigging, at least in picking the locations of the tack, head, and clew.

* On performance cats (not cruising cats) sprits rule because the apparent wind is ALWAYS forward of the beam for max VMG down wind.

* On most cruising cats max VMG down wind is with the apparent wind perhaps 20-35 degrees aft of the beam. Thus, a bridle that brings the tack to windward is a plus; a line from the tack to mast should be normal to the apparent wind direction.

* If you want a quick way to test a bridle, try this. I've used this set-up several times, before tweaking, but it works quite well as is.
1. Place a shackle on the tack with 2 single blocks.
2. Take a line ~ 2.5x the beam (a dock line will do) and loop the splice around a bow cleat, through the tack block, and then cleat back on the same cleat. Take a second line and do the same on the other side.
3. For the sheets you will need turning blocks on the rail far back, as others have said. However, the location varies with the sail, the tack position, and how deep you are going. I've always run mine pretty far back with a twing at the midships cleat (if needed).


Now both sides have 2:1 advantage and the tack can be moved right/left and up/down. Should all be stuff you have and will give it a good test.
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Old 19-09-2012, 19:05   #6
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

Given that you apparently have not acquired the sail yet, you might consider a fully symmetrical spinnaker. Since no pole is needed on a cat, nor the associated rigging, they are quite easy to fly. Give you move drive deeper off the wind than an Asym and is easier to jibe too. I run a full symmetrical...description of my set-up below.

My rigging is not all that different than what has been described for asymmetricals -- just used a bit differently. I have two blocks mounted on the bows -- spring loaded "stand-up" type. I run a tack line ("guy") to each tack/clew of the spinnaker and back through these blocks to heavy cleats on each bow. I also run a sheet to each tack/clew, through turning blocks near the stern, and then to the winches.

With this set-up I can run almost dead down wind and up to a shallow close reach. An asymmetrical of course might run a little closer to windward, but your really getting out of effective reaching sail territory at that point anyway. About 120 apparent is the sweet spot in my case.

These four lines give me excellent control over the spinnaker. And, jibing is very easy -- really just using the sheets and guys to shift the whole sail a bit to the other side of the boat and easing the main over. If done slowly, this can be accomplished without so much as luffing the spin.
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Old 20-09-2012, 15:54   #7
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

Great video, looks like lots of fun.

Do you recall the windspeed when you sailed 15 knots? The spinnaker does seem a bit conservatively sized for the beam of the cat, but that might allow higher windspeeds.

Is it correct that you don't have specific bridle rig for the spinnaker - blocks and whatnot, for adjustments? If simple works, it tends to be the best approach.
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Old 20-09-2012, 16:24   #8
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

Hi Factor,

Your bridle sounds like what I may try, though initially just trying it out by adjustments at the bows. Maybe running lines to the cockpit later.

Excellent website on Dilligara.

Not to hijack my own thread, but your site talks a lot about heaving to for resting at night. Would a drogue be another option?
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Old 20-09-2012, 17:33   #9
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Given that you apparently have not acquired the sail yet, you might consider a fully symmetrical spinnaker.
Yes, haven't gotten a spin / gennaker yet. I'm leaning very strongly towards asym because I'll want to launch and recover with a sock. While your control of the sym spin sounds good, what happens when things get a little wild?

I'll be cruising single handed, or something very close to singlehanded. I've been in races on friends boats and the dirty words most often are heard with the symmetric spinnaker. Granted, a cat is easier in some ways.

Can you comment on your launching and recovery? Did you notice the video with the first reply by Jimbo? He had his asym so far out in front, it seemed like a slightly smaller symmetric.

Of course, for a given square footage of nylon a symmetric would be most efficient for a given wind speed. With a big asymmetric, maybe the question is moot?
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Old 20-09-2012, 19:20   #10
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

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Great video, looks like lots of fun.

Do you recall the windspeed when you sailed 15 knots? The spinnaker does seem a bit conservatively sized for the beam of the cat, but that might allow higher windspeeds.

Is it correct that you don't have specific bridle rig for the spinnaker - blocks and whatnot, for adjustments? If simple works, it tends to be the best approach.
I think the true windspeed was in the high teens - there are a few isolated whitecaps about. We have hit 17.5 kn boatspeed with the true windspeed in the low to mid 20s, but that was a late signal to take it down before the drama starts.

We probably should have another lightweight larger assym.... If we are running DDW with a decent wind, we roll out the genoa and screacher and increase the sail area that way (the other video of Colombia to San Blas on the same youtube channel shows that). Or in light winds, we tack downwind with the screacher and main. In about the middle of the Galapagos - Marquesas video, you can see the full main and screacher where there is a boatspeed of 9 - 10 knots, apparent wind of 9 - 10 knots on the beam and true windspeed of 13 knots on the quarter.

No bridle rig for the assym. We have played with the length of the tack line (a multifunctional mooring line!) and don't feel the need for continual adjustments. Too often we seem to be trying to slow down, not increase our speed because we are family cruisers, not racers.

YMMV
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Old 20-09-2012, 23:24   #11
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You can put a sock on a symmetric. People cuss at them because they're using a pole and no sock. No reason for either on a cat
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Old 22-09-2012, 16:12   #12
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

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Yes, haven't gotten a spin / gennaker yet. I'm leaning very strongly towards asym because I'll want to launch and recover with a sock. While your control of the sym spin sounds good, what happens when things get a little wild?

I'll be cruising single handed, or something very close to singlehanded. I've been in races on friends boats and the dirty words most often are heard with the symmetric spinnaker. Granted, a cat is easier in some ways.

Can you comment on your launching and recovery? Did you notice the video with the first reply by Jimbo? He had his asym so far out in front, it seemed like a slightly smaller symmetric.

Of course, for a given square footage of nylon a symmetric would be most efficient for a given wind speed. With a big asymmetric, maybe the question is moot?
Yes, the control with this set-up is excellent -- which helps when the breeze picks up unexpectedly. My symmetrical is definitely a light air chute so I keep a careful eye on the wind speed. Dousing is easy. Mine came with a sock, which works well if you have it all sorted out properly before you hoist. However, they can get fouled. Fortunately, dousing without the sock is also easy. Just bear off until the spinnaker is blanketed by the main (a good reason to run with at least a reefed main), ease the sheets, collapse the spin, and haul her down by hand. You do need someone gradually easing the halyard while you do this (not so with the sock). One good experienced foredeck crew can do this, but a couple of hands on foredeck are good for a big chute since there is lots of material to haul in and you don't wont it to go overboard (...unless you plan to go trawling for shrimp!). Have the spin bag open and ready to stuff to keep material under control. I use basically the same tactic when dousing with the sock. The sock just makes it a bit easier single-handing on the foredeck and conveniently collects all of that material up inside the sock. Once most of the sail is doused then ease the guy lines to collect the foot.

A smaller sym or asym would be handy for stronger winds, but at that point I get sufficient boat speed for cruising purposes with main and jib anyway.

If you get caught by an strong gust then just blow the working sheet and let the whole spin fly out in front of the boat (note: if you run two guys you may have to also blow the guy on the working side). For this reason, never put stopper knots in the ends of spinnaker sheets -- you want them to be able to run free if the need arises. Ideally, don't even cleat them off, but in cruising mode not many people want to constantly tend the spin sheets -- me included. I cleat mine on the self-tailing winches and pay close attention.

If you have to blow the spin sheets, then you can retrieve the spin flying in front of you in one of two ways depending upon wind speed. One, run deep down wind and haul in starting with the tack -- you can reduce apparent wind further by adding some downwind speed with the engines. Two, just slowly turn up to windward and let the spin plaster itself back on the rigging -- this is not very pretty, but it gets it back aboard the boat and may be necessary if it is really blowing. In either case, be very careful to keep the spin sheets out of the props.

Re launching. Only the initial part of the set is different for sock versus no sock. With a sock it is a bit easier, especially if setting up single handed, because you take the spin halyard to full hoist, with spin sock and all, first and then raise the sock to deploy the spin. If deploying from the spin bag then ideally you've got someone working foredeck and someone else hauling up the halyard. In either case, first run deep down wind, and deploy the spin in the lee of the main. Once it is up, but blanketed, then quickly haul back on the working sheet and head up a bit to fill the spin. To make the non-sock set easier and cleaner, it is common for racers to "rubber band" their spins (...at least it was way back when I used to do a lot of racing), but I've never seen cruisers do this.
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:34   #13
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

That's a really good post belizesailor, very important advise to remember. I used my asym quite a few times this summer. The only thing I'd add is that really it depends on your boat and goals as to what you do. You will need to experiment a lot with the sail in order to figure it out. I found that I'm always better with one reef in my main, and two if I'm running deeper because the main blankets the asym too much.

Personally though, if I didn't have a asym already, I'd go for a roller furling gennaker.
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Old 26-09-2012, 16:22   #14
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

Thanks belizesailor for all of those ideas, particularly the recovery methods. Even with a sock, it can get stuck.

Eventually, it may be good to have one of each.
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Old 26-09-2012, 16:25   #15
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Re: Ideas on bridle for asymmetric between hulls

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Personally though, if I didn't have a asym already, I'd go for a roller furling gennaker.
That wouldn't work so well for me. My cat doesn't have a bowsprit, and there is no room in front of of the jib for another furler.

I'm not 100% on the differences between a gennaker and an asym spin. Is it right that a gennaker is more optimized for apparant wind forward and asym for wind more behind? Must a gennaker be on a forestay?
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