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Old 23-02-2018, 04:52   #1
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Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

Iíve been mulling my downwind options, been reading archived threads and things like that. One question that arose is how many people own a Code 0 rather than a spinnaker and simply pole it out for going dead downwind?

I also did a general google search and couldnít find any pictures of it even though I have read at least one textual mention of it. So it doesnít seem popular, which doesnít necessarily mean it has no merit though.

So, what do you sailor guys and gals here think of the conceptóespecially those of you who actually own a Code Zero?

To be explicit, Iím asking this specifically with the aim of avoiding to also own a spinnaker, and given that the Code Zero can also point higher (45 degrees at best is what I found so far) it seems to be the most polyvalent choice of the two, if you could pick only one.


Secondary question would be: what of a 190% genoa instead, on a solent rig furler (with a 145% genoa in second position). Obviously a dacron genoa would be a lot heavier than a nylon Code Zero and you couldnít tweak the luff to make it balloon more for downwind sailing, but it would be soooo easy to just furl and unfurl.
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Old 23-02-2018, 06:24   #2
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

I'm interested what our expert sailors on here have to say on this question.

I've faced similar questions. I have not been able to see any real point in a spinnaker, and a cruising Code 0 (little different from a racing Code 0) is also my choice of light wind/down wind sail.

A spinnaker is quite a lot of work to use on a large cruising boat, and what do you gain with it? Once a boat is capable of certain speeds, you start to see higher VMG downwind by broad reaching using white sails. A Code 0 would be a nice addition to the white sails for light conditions, and poled out it will be more powerful than a normal jib.

That seems right to me, but I have not yet made the leap -- the rigging, including bowsprit, is pretty expensive, and I'm not likely to have this boat that much longer. So what I do is what many cruisers do -- I simply motorsail if I need to get downwind in light conditions. This is a practical and good solution, especially if you have a variable pitch prop like I do, and I'll never spend as much on fuel and engine depreciation in a million years of doing this, compared to the cost of rigging up a Code 0, but then there is the magic of sailing . . .

In strong wind -- common in my latitudes -- it's even simpler -- just use the jib alone, and you don't even need to pole it out.

So the Code 0 is a pretty specialized sail, needed pretty much exclusively for light conditions.


As to the 190% genoa -- why bother? You might as well use an assy. I think the Code 0 is a better idea.

And why are you using a 140% genoa as the main headsail? If you're going to have a permanently rigged light wind sail, then I would definitely go to a blade jib for that, which will be much better upwind than any genoa, and much more versatile. You'll only wish for another headsail in light wind and wind behind the beam -- and if you've got a Code for that, then you're golden.

YMMV.
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Old 23-02-2018, 06:49   #3
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

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And why are you using a 140% genoa as the main headsail? If you're going to have a permanently rigged light wind sail, then I would definitely go to a blade jib for that, which will be much better upwind than any genoa, and much more versatile. You'll only wish for another headsail in light wind and wind behind the beam -- and if you've got a Code for that, then you're golden.
YMMV.
In my case, the boat came with the 145% genoa and since the mast is rather far forward that makes for a sail too small to pull the boat downwind in normal tradewinds. Thatís with the mainsail down, which would otherwise just blanket the genoa anyway, and which canít be let out enough because the spreaders are angled too far back. So we donít have a satisfying downwind setup for now and it would be kinda cool to have a white sail only solution hence the additional 190% genoa. But yeah, starting from scratch and if money were no object Iíd go with a blade too, plus a 180% or so genoa for tradewind sailing, plus a code zero.
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Old 23-02-2018, 07:38   #4
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

My 2 cents..It depends on the circumstances you plan on using your down wind sails. If your out on a weekend excursion and you have a few sailors aboard it's reasonably easy to set a chute and nothing is faster down wind than a spinnaker, it's also higher on the fun factor.
If your sailing offshore in trade winds then there are many different options...white sails poled out work fine and will usually give you good daily runs.
If your talking about light airs in open ocean conditions then that's the toughest...your going to need a long pole for a code zero or the top half of the sail will twist off. Spinnakers are less effective because of the large ocean swells even in light conditions dead down wind

...you accelerate down the swell and lose the apparent wind so the chute starts to collapse only to fill on a big whump when you start up the backside...repeat until your gear gets tired. I've found that your better off in those conditions with a poled out headsail and furled as flat as possible, same using double headsails or main as you can actually sail a bit faster without all the problems....remember I'm talking light air..air that most people would be motoring in but on long passages for many motoring is not an option as they don't have the range.
Offshore if the winds are right we still will set a chute..our last Atlantic crossing we used it for 2-1/2 days, thats usually in a deep reach in winds of 10 or 12 knots...It just so happens that those are also good conditions for a code zero. Personally I can't see using a code zero poled out downwind on a regular basis for offshore sailing but thats just me, I'm getting old and set in my ways, lol. I see these sails as reaching sails sorta like a furled cruising chute.
If your not doing long passages..ie: multi weeks then I'd be tempted to just motor in conditions that were really light air.
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Old 23-02-2018, 07:57   #5
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

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Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
In my case, the boat came with the 145% genoa and since the mast is rather far forward that makes for a sail too small to pull the boat downwind in normal tradewinds. Thatís with the mainsail down, which would otherwise just blanket the genoa anyway, and which canít be let out enough because the spreaders are angled too far back. So we donít have a satisfying downwind setup for now and it would be kinda cool to have a white sail only solution hence the additional 190% genoa. But yeah, starting from scratch and if money were no object Iíd go with a blade too, plus a 180% or so genoa for tradewind sailing, plus a code zero.
You couldn't sell me a 180 Genoa for all the tea in China. Blades are great sails for upwind work in a good breeze, hard to beat, not even half bad in medium air. Large over lapping headsails make sense for racing as every little bit of an edge will make a huge difference but cruising is different. The large overlapping headsails are simply not worth the cost and effort as the gains are so slight. Your much better off with a smaller quality headsail for your beating and close reaching and your code zero for offline work. If it were me I might go as large as a 110 or 120 on the headsail but your going to be overpowered in winds over 20 or 22 knots to windward which means furling which means a lousy shape which means losing about 10 degrees of pointing. It's a vicious circle.
Your biggest issue is your deeply swept spreaders, cheaper to manufacture but really a pain in a cruising boat down wind for the reasons you now know. You can't beat straight spreaders where a main can lay flat and present the maximum size dead down wind. Your problem is that your trying to make up for this with headsails and it's tough to do as these boats are not really designed for easy passages down wind. Your code zero is a decent option with limitations.
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Old 23-02-2018, 08:08   #6
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

Code zeros work best with a laminar flow of air. The develop lift just like a regular front sail.
Poled out it becomes an inefficient spinnaker.
I'd rather sail with a little more angle to the wind and have huge gains in speed dans DDW and no gain in speed.
For me, I would not bother trying to pole a Code zero and just use it as it was designed to be used.
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Old 23-02-2018, 08:24   #7
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

I generally don't go to the effort to rig the spinnaker for DW runs less than 8-10 miles. The oversize Mylar genny is faster than smaller heavier sails DW, if I must go DDW wing on wing with main on the lee is preferable when conditions permit. For winds under 10 the really lightweight assy really can't be beat, and it will keep working down to 3. While the pole is on deck it doesn't get used much.
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Old 23-02-2018, 08:37   #8
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

We pole out a cruising chute on the opposite side to the main for dead downwind. It works well as long as the main has a preventer. It also seems to work slightly better if the wind is a few degrees on the side of the main.
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Old 23-02-2018, 08:48   #9
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

I installed a Code 0 on the bowsprit of our Antares 44i catamaran last year, and it fast became my favorite sail. It took us eastward across the Atlantic last May, and gave us good times.

I may get a spinnaker some day, but for a full year of cruising, I was very happy sailing wing-on-wind with my genoa and Code 0 rolled out when going almost straight downwind. With the beam of a cat, there is no real need to set a whisker pole - the sheets lead back to the rail which is far enough from the center line to keep the sail full.

The Code 0 is a very versatile sail, usable from a close reach to dead down wind. It is a light air sail, but going to wind, I was comfortable flying the sail up to 15-16 knots apparent. Off the wind, I was comfortable to 20 knots or a bit more.

Here's the Admiral by both headsails:
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Old 23-02-2018, 09:22   #10
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

My coffee just kicked in and I woke up. Most of the French boats are fractional and 145 is about the max headsail. An assy on a top down furler is the most common solution currently.
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Old 23-02-2018, 09:38   #11
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
You couldn't sell me a 180 Genoa for all the tea in China. Blades are great sails for upwind work in a good breeze, hard to beat, not even half bad in medium air. Large over lapping headsails make sense for racing as every little bit of an edge will make a huge difference but cruising is different. The large overlapping headsails are simply not worth the cost and effort as the gains are so slight. Your much better off with a smaller quality headsail for your beating and close reaching and your code zero for offline work. If it were me I might go as large as a 110 or 120 on the headsail but your going to be overpowered in winds over 20 or 22 knots to windward which means furling which means a lousy shape which means losing about 10 degrees of pointing. It's a vicious circle.
Your biggest issue is your deeply swept spreaders, cheaper to manufacture but really a pain in a cruising boat down wind for the reasons you now know. You can't beat straight spreaders where a main can lay flat and present the maximum size dead down wind. Your problem is that your trying to make up for this with headsails and it's tough to do as these boats are not really designed for easy passages down wind. Your code zero is a decent option with limitations.
I agree. I've recently taken my 135% genoa off and replaced with 100% jib. The boat mostly actually sails better, faster and flatter. I haven't sailed ddw with it poled out yet. I have straight spreaders, therefore wing to wing with poled out jib is my ddw setup.

I've also just added a code zero on a continuous furler for those lighter winds. Not much experience with it yet. The couple of times I have used it I was surprised by the power. Big sail, I've added a barber hauler for better leach control. Not sure I'll be using it without the main up, concerned about furling it in when loaded, with the main up I can blanket it. But as I said I'm inexperienced with it.

I would need a very long pole to pole it out, can't see poling it out very feasible.
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Old 23-02-2018, 10:03   #12
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

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I agree. I've recently taken my 135% genoa off and replaced with 100% jib. The boat mostly actually sails better, faster and flatter. I haven't sailed ddw with it poled out yet. I have straight spreaders, therefore wing to wing with poled out jib is my ddw setup.

I've also just added a code zero on a continuous furler for those lighter winds. Not much experience with it yet. The couple of times I have used it I was surprised by the power. Big sail, I've added a barber hauler for better leach control. Not sure I'll be using it without the main up, concerned about furling it in when loaded, with the main up I can blanket it. But as I said I'm inexperienced with it.

I would need a very long pole to pole it out, can't see poling it out very feasible.
In my view you have a very good all around setup for offshore sailing, ddw with your main and headsail in a good breeze and reaching in lighter stuff with your code zero and the proper sized headsail for windward work that in a pinch can be furled down to 70 or 80 percent for strong breezes. Hard to beat your setup for short handed work..
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Old 23-02-2018, 10:23   #13
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

100 v. 150% is all relative depending on the size of your J. New cruisers have the mast well forward for max salon area below, so they have a small J (and consequently a short pole). Old IOR cruisers have massive J's, so a 130 on a 1980's era boat is the same size as a 150 on a new cruiser.
The problem with trying to wing out a code zero is the pole length is likely too short (resulting in excessive backwinding every time you go up a wave, as somebody has noted above) for anything other than a small cruising size sail, in which case you may as well use your genoa, which is heavier cloth and better able to take the backing and filling associated with wing on wing, unless smooth seas and light wind. IMHO, if your code zero is any larger than your 135 headsail, your pole is likely to be too short to stretch it out and you will have excessive backing and filling. ONTOH, if you have a telescoping pole and flat water, it just might work.
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Old 23-02-2018, 11:02   #14
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

I just changed the sail configuration on our boat from just a 135 Genoa on the front to adding a Doyle UPS (Utility Power Sail aka Code Zero) and swapping the 135 for a 110% jib. I bought them from Bob Meagher III at Super Sail Makers in Ft. Lauderdale. I went all out and got the Seldon continuous furler with lines and fairleads going all the way back to the cock pit. We expect the boat to sail closer to the wind, be less reactive to puffy conditions, be outstanding in light winds and just be overall more fun to sail. There is no sun cover or UV protection on the UPS so we'll run it up when we need to and take it down when we don't. It's pretty easy using the spinnaker hallyard and a snap shackle at the bottom of the furler.

As far as polling out goes, we have a whisker pole on board. I don't anticipate using it as much just because it seems more advantageous to jibe now and then going down wind then to white knuckle it DDW. That's not saying we won't pole that sucker out now and then just for kicks.
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Old 23-02-2018, 11:51   #15
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Re: Poling out Code 0 for DDW?

I don't think that poling out a CZ will work all that well. It will probably be pretty hard to get it out far enough to avoid spilling the top half of the sail without a seriously long pole.

Honestly, why not just gybe downwind? You may or may not see an increase in VMG, but the comfort on board is much, much better sailing broad reaches than rolling your guts out DDW.

Anyway, it can probably be done, but I would suspect that your existing pole won't be up to the job, unless the CZ is quite small.

We tend to stop using ours deeper than about 135AWA. After that, it's a spinnaker (really not that much work if it's in a sock), or we'll overtrim the jib a bit in stronger winds (to keep the collapsing/filling to a minimum).

Good luck with it.
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