All good advice, and REALLY impressive innovations to Wilderness! Wish I could launch my dink and get going that quickly. I am considering "some day", buying
an alternate much lighter weight RIB
, and carrying my old 2 HP motor
as well (< 20 lbs), for short trips ashore only. This would be easier to get under way in short order.
For our local NC cruises or up to the Chesapeake, the distances are short, and diving
is very poor, so the high speed taxi that I prefer for tropical cruises is unnecessary.
The forearm is healing up nicely, with my shoulder issues probably being permanent. My wrist's rotation will unfortunately remain @ a 50% range of motion, so I will need to adapt and learn to be a better "lefty". For now, I do PT and work out for 2 hours a day... It beats having a hook, by a mile! Our friend Jeff Allen has shown how far a person with a "challenge" can go. (Around the world in his case)...
MY choice of spinnaker is a medium sized asymmetrical with an ATN Snuffer sock. Like Roy, I Jibe it down wind
, OR if on a long tack that is mostly DDW, I tack both sheets to the ama bows, rather than tack one corner to the main hull's bow.
Both the tack and clew have TWO sheets if rigged to the amas' bows DDW. "Tacking" downwind, however, it is only the clew that gets two sheets. One of these sheets goes down to a block on the ama bow, and the other one is the already rigged up "outboard sheet lead", which normally runs to the aft part of the ama's edge for both off the wind headsail and spinnaker sheet leads.
Used with the headsail, the outboard
sheet lead allows us to go on a reach with a better sail shape, (takes the curl out), and with the spinnaker... the combination of two sheets on the clew (one forward & one aft), allows me to pull the clew aft as far as I'd like, with total control over it's position and the shape of the sail. I can sail all points from DDW to 20 or 30 degrees forward of the beam with this spinnaker.
Yep... it sails
to windward too!
Given the money
, I would get a slightly larger asymmetrical spinnaker like mine, but with better shape. Mine is a second hand "cut down from a symmetrical" cheepo, that was made asymmetrical. It works GREAT, it is just on the small side.
We have a whisker pole for use wing & wing with the headsail, but use no spinnaker pole with our spinnaker. I recommend using an asymmetrical, with no pole.
For you hotrod types, a screacher/drifter (= super lightweight LARGE genny... often on a code zero/sprit), is a nice addition, but overkill for a cruising boat, imo.
Md7a's spinnaker appears to be an average sized symmetrical, and certainly NOT the Sky-blotter-outter. I don't consider those HUGE sails as practical, on a short handed cruising boat. (Too much work and too much risk for the gain).
On Delphys, our SR34... With our spinnaker, we start sailing fine a in anything over 5 knots of apparent wind.
With the Lapper/Mainsail "working sails", she comes into her own with over 9 knots of wind, and from 16 to 28 knots of apparent wind is our best "performance to comfort" zone. We then seldom go less than 7 knots and often do 9 knots for hours at a time.
Our fastest passage
was sailing on a reach with 13 to 15 waves in a gale... from Cat/Gun in the Bahamas
to Biscayne Bay, Fl, at a steady 13 knots. Left in the morning, and had the hook down by noon!
We can easily sail her at 40 degrees off of the wind or even a tad tighter, but falling off to 45 degrees pays speed dividends. This angle is what we shoot for when going to windward.
At sea, on a rough week long passage
, falling off to 55 degrees pays huge "comfort" dividends, given sea room. Having said that, we have sailed non-stop from Georgetown Exumas
to PR in 5 days, with the first few days being HARD to windward, often in a gale. The monohull
crowd said: "You did WHAAAT"?
For a couple of long hard daysails on the eastern side of Andros, we have even sailed hard to windward in close to 40 knots of wind with 13 to 15' waves, WITH A LEE SHORE of coral
, 300' away. Yes... we were getting slapped around, but these boats REALLY go to windward!
IF others are getting poorer windward performance than described, either the hull is foul, the board incorrectly positioned, the sails are blown out, the sheets incorrectly located, or any of a dozen other ways to screw up a good boat design.
Btw... except when cruising and mostly on the move, I wipe the hull down every time we take her out. Just a 1/16" layer of slime will rob you of a knot
or so. A 1/4" layer of carpet will cut your speed in half and then some!