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Old 02-01-2008, 19:44   #1
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Spinnaker's on multi-hulls

I am looking into purchasing a spinnaker and would appreciate advice from those that have and use them on their multi-hulls.
At precent while running down wind I run wing & wing with varying degrees of success using a Barber Hauler on the Genoa to gain better shape, but would rather have the option of flying a spinnaker under the right conditions.
My question is what to buy ?
I have been looking at the difference between a symmetrical Spinnaker and a Asymmetrical Spinnaker. It looks like the symmetrical Spinnaker would be much easier to set, but has a very limited apparent wind angle in operation, while the Asymmetrical Spinnaker would be a lot more versatile, but require more complex sheet and tack lines, but would also operate in a broader apparent wind angle. (am I correct here ?)
I have heard of a Tri-radial spinnaker, but have no idea what that is ?
Can some one please tell me the advantages and disadvantages of using different types of spinnakers, whether a sock is a must, where and how to rig the sheet and tack lines and under what typical conditions they should and shouldn't be used. Any other information would be great.
Also, I guess I would have to consult both my sail maker and boat maker as to whether a spinnaker can be flown on its own or must be flown in conjunction with the main and what the maximum true wind speed it should be used in.
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Old 02-01-2008, 20:11   #2
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I suppose it depends on what kind of sailing you are doing, but you have accurately described the differences.
I have both. I generally use the asymmetrical as it is more versatile.

Steve B.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:35   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crak View Post
It looks like the symmetrical Spinnaker would be much easier to set, but has a very limited apparent wind angle in operation, while the Asymmetrical Spinnaker would be a lot more versatile, but require more complex sheet and tack lines, but would also operate in a broader apparent wind angle. (am I correct here ?)
Hi Crak - not entirely correct.

I have a HUGE symmetrical chute and can carry it as high as about 85 degrees apparent, as long as it's not too windy. If I know I'm going to carry it this high before setting it I attach both guys to one tack and attach one sheet to the clew. Then I use the guys to position the tack near the centerline, sorta making a virtual bow sprit (if I had a real bow sprit, I'd use that). When sheeted in tight it acts just like an asymmetrical, although I can't go as high. Even if I don't set it with both guys on one clew, I can get a little above 90 degrees apparent.

The beauty of the symmetrical, though, is when you sail deeper. Dern thing gybes itself. Very, very easy to control - just adjust the guys/sheets as you go. If needed I can raise, adjust, and douse the spi all by myself, as long as the AP is working. That said, dousing it when the wind is up can be, er, exciting.

I've used an asymmetrical chute on a friend's cat and it's also easy and straightforward. Similarly to "forcing" my chute to act like an asymmetrical, I bet an asymmetrical could be rigged as a symmetrical for deeper angles if you know you're gooing to do this from the beginning of the set, e.g., don't use your bow sprit and rig it like a symmetrical.

Typical rigging for a symmetrical chute is a guy at each bow and a sheet running back to a turning block on both sides aft. Use one guy and the opposite side sheet at a time. The others are "lazy". If you're dead down wind, both guys can come into use. As the wind angle moves from side to side or the boat gybes, just swap sheets and guys - the lazy ones become active and vice versa. This is all very, very easy. Even I can do it.

I guess a sock is not a must, but using one is all I know. No reason to not use one a cruising boat, IMHO.

Because I already have a symmetrical, I'm planning to get a bow sprit and a Code Zero on a continuous furler for those broader angles. This would round out my sail plan nicely.

If you can have only one chute, I guess I'd recommend the symmetrical, especially if you don't already have a bow sprit, but this may be because this is what I've used most. Asymmetrical folks might recommend the opposite.

Good luck!

Dave
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:37   #4
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I agree with 2 Hulls. A symmetrical is very easy to use, I do it solo all the time. You are the 2nd person I've heard from about using it asymmetrically. I like the way you rig it
Does anyone know the proper size for a sym. chute? I think mine is a bit undersized for my 36' catamaran.
Marc
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:27   #5
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Even if I don't set it with both guys on one clew, I can get a little above 90 degrees apparent.
This should have read, "Even if I don't set it with both guys on one TACK, I can get a little above 90 degrees apparent."

Tack, clew - dern things look the same to me.

Dave
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:41   #6
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I think it is great to have both on a cat pure downwind sailing ar anywhere from 140 degrees to 180 is good with a spinnaker, If you want to go in between 90 and 150 a gennaker will be great . with light wind conditions a code zero will give you good speed in 70 to 110 degrees and bo°elow 70 you need a sharp cut Genoa dowm to 35 degrees apparant.
I carry all of the above and the gennaker in 3 different sizes on our 43 ft cat 75 , 100 and 135 squire meters and both smaller ones are made in a heavyer 2.2 ounce cloth for stronger winds.

Greetings and good luck with the choice
Gideon
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