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Old 04-06-2008, 14:58   #1
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Regular Spinnaker without a pole?

I have a Catalina 27 that came with a spinnaker but no pole. I'm on the Columbia river. When we have a light westerly, we just manage to keep up with the current. I'm not experienced enough with spinnakers.

Can I try sailing purely down wind without a pole? If I can keep the spinnaker open, would I have and safety issues?

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Old 04-06-2008, 15:45   #2
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Spinnaker's can cause a lot of problems if you don't get them down soon enough. The problem with using a spin w/o a pole is that in order to go deeper down wind you need to get the tack of the sail to winward of the Main sail. I wouldn't put up a spin in anythign more than 10 knots w/o experience. They can lead to some real fire drills.

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Old 04-06-2008, 15:59   #3
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In a very light breeze...

I ran a spinnaker on the Van de Stadt 6.5m that I built more than a few years ago.

We were sailing off Wewak (NW coast of New Guinea) and the prevailing winds were very light.

I don't recall any problems at all.

We did have a proper spinnaker pole. I'm sure one could be made from some aluminium tube and fittings from your local chandler for a fraction of a boat buck. For the cost the enjoyment factor in light wind is large.

Have a look at other Catalina 27s and see how they are set up.
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Old 04-06-2008, 16:51   #4
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Its possible to fly a spinnaker without a pole BUT its tricky.. Did it while I was racing single handed (SSS).. you have to drive the boat under the sail instead of trimming the sail over the boat and once the wind moves around more than 10 degrees off DDW, you might want to get it down.. you ever seen a boat broach?
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Old 04-06-2008, 17:17   #5
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Without a pole it's a handful.

We routinely fly the spinnaker (with pole) letting Otto drive while we set and douse. In changeable winds even that would be tricky IMO.

The spinnaker is a big sail and you need to be ready to douse as soon as you suspect you might need to.

We were in a J24 race last year and we doused early and ended up trailing a couiple of boats. After 2 of them broached when the thunderstorm hit we cruised by.
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:13   #6
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Pole it is then... From what I read, it should be <= J length, so for me ~11ft. I'll look around Craigslist or source a few parts myself.

I'm aware that you need to be carefull about broaching, so I'll only use in light air - all I want to do is beat the river current speed on light air days and on an almst dead run. Also, someone told me that you should not put a figure of 8 knot at the end of a spinnaker sheet.
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Old 16-06-2008, 15:39   #7
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Cats and tris can easily fly poless full cut spin. relatively straight down wind. Mono beware no pole get wrapie and broach. the asymmetric or zero is the answer preferably with a good dowsing sleeve.

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