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Old 05-08-2015, 09:45   #1
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Sail mod/repair advice sought

We're presently in the USA and brought a bunch of sails with us to Colorado for repair. yeah, I know. Seems strange to be in the mountains for sail repair. Short version of the story is that there is nobody where we live who knows a sail from back seat upholstery when it comes to repairs. We have to have a rip in the main re-fixed correctly.

We also brought a spinnaker and a worn out, often patched drifter. We've got an almost new asymmetrical spinnaker in a sock, and don't think we need both the asym and the old spinnaker. We've already given away two spinnaker poles and don't anticipate using it. The drifter is almost rags, with more repair thread in it than original it appears. We only brought it so that the sailmaker here can see the measurements.

We are thinking of getting the spinnaker recut to something else that we will use. I have been looking at screechers and drifters, and am looking for input.

The boat has a 130% genoa on a furler, with a separate forestay next to it. It's a catamaran with blocks and hard points on both bows, so I have plenty of ways to rig. In addition to the genoa, we also have what I think is about a 90% hank-on jib.

Since we have the socked asym, my thinking is that we would never use the symmetrical spinnaker in any case, and it would be better to have another sail. We live in the trade winds, and I was also looking at a cruising version of a Code Zero. But with the original 90% jib and the 130% Genoa, we think we have the upwind stuff pretty well covered.

What do you think would be the best use of the unused spinnaker? A free flying drifter, or a hanked on screecher?

It may be that the sailmaker can repair the drifter, he hasn't seen it yet, but I am doubtful.

We have no experience with any of these other than the main and the genoa, which are both on roller furlers. Previous owner loved the drifter, and told us he tended to leave it up too long with increasing winds and that he had personally blown it out four times and repaired it himself each time. You can imagine.

But if he loved it so much, I am thinking that using the original drifter as a pattern, the sailmaker could maybe cut us a new drifter from a rarely used spinnaker. Yes?
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:06   #2
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Since we have the socked asym, my thinking is that we would never use the symmetrical spinnaker in any case, and it would be better to have another sail.
Having both a drifter/code 0 and an asym is covering the same angles. No need to have multiple sails that cover the same ranges. I suggest you keep the sym spi for deep downwind. Until you try the sym spi you make not appreciate it. Very easy on a cat and it sounds like you already have the hardware. Just dump the poles as you don't need 'em.

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Old 05-08-2015, 11:33   #3
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

Well, I wondered about that. The asym and sock look brand new, essentially unused. There are still bits of paper tags here and there. Previous owner bought the socked asym, but then preferred the drifter.


He told me that the spinnaker poles were dangerous, and he never used them.


I have already given away the two spinnaker poles that came with the boat, and would have given the spinnaker away too but nobody was interested.


My thinking is that we don't need both an asym and a spinnaker. That's why I was going to see if the sail guy here could recut or reuse the spinnaker into something more useful.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:43   #4
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
My thinking is that we don't need both an asym and a spinnaker. That's why I was going to see if the sail guy here could recut or reuse the spinnaker into something more useful.
I think most would agree you don't need both an asym and sym spi on a cruising cat. If you wanted to you could actually rig the asym as a sym and it would work pretty well, not as good as a real sym and it would look like you didn't know what you were doing, but it would work and you'd have the last laugh. Likewise, a sym can be rotated around and cover almost as much range as an asym and it's WAY easier to gybe. I carry my sym up to about 85* apparent, albeit it's a bit dicey that high and you have to pay attention to it. Good luck.

Dave
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Old 05-08-2015, 15:56   #5
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

Here are a couple of threads which may help you with your choice(s).
Making a Gennaker out of a Spinnaker.
Assymeterical geneker or code zero?

Said threads are a fair bit of (very relevent) information, in something of an abridged format. Although they don't cover Frankensteining a kite into a Screecher. Which I'm kind of doubting is possible, as the latter is pretty much a Code 0, only without the high luff loads. Meaning that it's cut for very high AWA's, unlike a conventional spinnaker.

BTW, giving away kite poles like that, were very gracious gestures on your part. As the wallet definitely goes ouch when it's time to buy one.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:25   #6
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

I'm interested in doing this myself, I've got 4 old kites sitting in the shed. I was thinking of cutting the luff off one side and stitching a luff-tape with some hanks onto it. My guess is its going to be pretty ugly, but I really just want something that I can pole out to leeward opposite my headsail, to act as a easy, safe downwind rig, that stows in a bag quickly and drops in a bit of wind without too much landing in the drink.

Its probably not worth it if you have to pay full rates to a sailmaker, but Ive got a nice machine and and can do it myself.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:19   #7
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

I would suggest keeping the symetrical chute if it is in decent shape. Have a cat so talking from real world experience. If you are sailing deep a symetrical spinnaker is very easy to control.. Can fly one clew off each bow and then don't need to do anything to jibe. Even if you want to still trim by a sheet, flying off the two bows is still the easiest way to jibe the chute. Don't have to haul in 100'+ of sheet like on an asymetrical. Many cat owners swear by flying just the symetrical chute when sailing deep. By dropping the main they have effortless downwind sailing.. Best with a sock if doing this so you can get it down easier if the wind comes up. Could do the almost the same thing with a symetrical chute, but jibing would be a bit more of a pain.

Maybe be moot for you now but regarding spinnaker poles, I use one all the time when running deep. I'm an ex-racer so I like good sail shape and trim. This means letting the tack fly pretty high when sailing deep. Unfortunatey that means that the tack can go past the forestay when it collapses. With the entire chute in the lee of the main almost instant twists occur due to the vortices there. With a pole the tack is kept out in undistrubed air and the chute refills from the tack instead of twisting behind the main. Have never gotten a twist when using a pole.

On fast boats (cats and monohulls) the speed increase gaine by sailing hotter angles means that they virtually never run dead downwind. On at least my cruising cat there is not enough speed increase to make up for the extra distance so we sail DDW quite often. Much more comfortable motion as well.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:54   #8
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Sym vs Asym Kite for a heavy but performance oriented cat

I am interested to follow the comments on asym vs sym for a cruising cats. My wife and I are still active racing F18 and NACRA 17 cats as well as a variety of monos so we have experience with apparent wind sailing. We just bought a Catana 472 for an extended cruise and need a powerful, stable sail for deep angles. We will use an ATN snuffer to set, jibe, and dowse the sail. We already have a 1.5 oz asym we have used a lot but it is quite flat (we have carried it as high as 50 degrees AWA in light air) and not maximum size for our rig which the spin halyard is almost masthead. We do not have a pole but have tack lines from each bow and the bowsprit. We have heard the suggestion of a sym kite tacked at each bow but we have also sailed on J105s and J120s with big fat spins that rotate quite far to weather for deep angles. I agree that using a pole to fix and stabilize the tack of the sail works well, but with the size of our boat, I don't think we want to add that piece of gear for short handed sailing.

Questions
1). Sym or Asym?

2). 3/4 or 1.5 oz material?
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:07   #9
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Re: Sym vs Asym Kite for a heavy but performance oriented cat

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Originally Posted by Eric on El Gato View Post
We just bought a Catana 472 for an extended cruise and need a powerful, stable sail for deep angles.
Hi Eric - first, I strongly suggest you join the Yahoo Catana Owners Group here >> CatanaCats. This will be the best source of info for you from other owners. You have to have a Yahoo account to join and be granted access by a moderator. This is to control spam.

As for a sym spi, we have two of them because they work so well and most 471/472 owners use sym vs asym spis alone for deep downwind. There is no reason to use a pole and I've never even seen one rigged on any Catana. The cloth weight of mine is 1.5 oz. Both of mine are approx. 150m2 and are easy to set, but difficult to douse in a breeze. We usually don't fly a spi if we know the wind will get above about 15 kts unless we have extra crew to help get the beast down. Some boats have two spi halyards - one at 7/8 and another at mast head. I have just one at 7/8. I'd be surprised if you have only one at the mast head - unless you have a non-original mast.

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Old 10-08-2015, 15:17   #10
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

To Eric on El Gato. First I admit that being an hard core monohull racer I tend to push boats a bit. Getting better with my (cruising) cat.

Now to respond to your questions. I have found that even if not pushing that hard cats often eat spinnakers. Figure it is because they never have any "give" to absorb shock loads. Same reason the rigging on my Lagoon 470 is the same size as a 100' monohull I used to race on. Now I only use 1.5 oz and actually prefer 2.2 oz chutes in most conditions. Find that if I am going downhill in light air I usually turn on one iron genny. With any amount of wind the 1.5 oz is fine at hotter sailing angles.

Regarding sym vs. asym. I have 4 chutes on board, 3 of which are sym. I would probably be happier with all asyms, but that will wait until I replace them. harder to jibe but for me they have enough advantages to overcome that. Most race boats don't even carry sym chutes anymore because you can get more projected area to weather with today's asyms.

I also do not have a code 0 or screecher. That would be nice as they are so much easier to use than a chute when sailing 10 degrees or more off hard on the wind. Also on my "Things to get" list.

Last, regarding using a pole. I am the only cat that I have seen that uses a spinnaker pole. Went several years without one but got tired of having to jibe the boat to get the chute to unwrap itself. Could also prevent that by tightening the tack line but always went for better sail shape/speed. An asym might reduce that issue since the tack lien would be shorter and probably prevent the tack from going to leeward of the forestay when the chute collapses. Have not found it not be an issue when single or double handing. Use a sock so the pole is just sits up there when dropping the chute, and then we clean it up after the chute is down.

Just my experience so as usual, do what you are doing - collect lots of viewpoints and then make the decision that works for you.

Bill
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:12   #11
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Re: Sail mod/repair advice sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Well, I wondered about that. The asym and sock look brand new, essentially unused. There are still bits of paper tags here and there. Previous owner bought the socked asym, but then preferred the drifter.


He told me that the spinnaker poles were dangerous, and he never used them.


I have already given away the two spinnaker poles that came with the boat, and would have given the spinnaker away too but nobody was interested.

My thinking is that we don't need both an asym and a spinnaker. That's why I was going to see if the sail guy here could recut or reuse the spinnaker into something more useful.
I use the pole on the AS if the distance to travel is great & we need to run deeper than the AS at the bow can deliver. (Monohull) On a cat, this reasoning may be void.

On re-cutting, most sail makers will tell you that changing the purpose of a sail by re-cut usually fails to give good results. There is too much tech in the layout for this to give anything but a sail-shaped mess.

Are you sure a Colorado sail maker has experience in big boat sails? I would expect mostly small boat & trailer-sailors on the big impoundments. We use Bluffton Bay (Quantum reps) in Muskegon Michigan. Many other local lofts from Chicago to Traverse City.
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