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Old 20-02-2011, 19:13   #1
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Small (ish) Symetric Spinnaker Trim

Toyed around with the symetric spinnaker that came with the boat. Have never used it before and I suspect the previous owners didn't either.
Worked OK - it is quite small and carried 15kts true dead downwind with no fuss or bothers. Given how it felt and boat speed, I suspect it will be comfortable up to 20 true.
I don't know anything about sizing up sails, but it seems quite small, especially compared to my MPS.
If I kept the pole parallel (and at head height) over foredeck, the head of the sail carried about 3m of halyard upwards to the masthead exit. This is obviously inefficient in terms of getting max wind at height, however hauling the kite to masthead meant the pole was 8' over the deck and thus deploying and retrieving would be very problematic.
So in the end I was happy to allow 3m halyard spare at the top, and the foot of the kite and the pole sat at a level that was workable.
Are there any negative issues with this?

I suspect some will say get a properly sized kite. [how would you define this?] Sure. But I was quite happy with how low fuss this small one is given it is a family cruising boat.

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Old 20-02-2011, 19:27   #2
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Re: Small (ish) Symetric Spinnaker Trim

The strict rule for the halyard (and other trims) is: If it's nice out, leave it out.

Having 3 feet out can add some instability. It's is sometimes used to race advantage when sailing deep angles ... to achieve more projected area. On the other hand, a really high pole is not in itself a problem. There is a problem with the pole's foot slipping (dangerousy) if it is on a track and not level. Maybe split the difference between pole height and halyard slack.

BTW - spinnaker loads are expressed in apparent wind speed as that relates directly to pressure on the sail. A light fast boat can easily unload a spinnaker in 20kts ... that will explode the same sail into ribbons on a hull speed limited chunder-beast.

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Old 20-02-2011, 20:06   #3
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Re: Small (ish) Symetric Spinnaker Trim

3m of halyard at the masthead is excessive. Normally it should be at full hoist. That's the way it is cut to be flown.

The pole position should be dictated by the sail. Basically:

The pole should be perpendicular to the mast.

Pole Fore & aft: The sail should be standing perpendicular to the pole, if it's leaning forward, the pole needs to go forward. if it is leaning aft, the pole needs to go aft.

Pole Up & Down. The sail should break evenly on the leading edge. If the sail is breaking at the top, the pole needs to go up, if it's breaking at the bottom, the pole needs to go down.

The leeward clew should be tweeked to keep level with the windward one.

After that it is adjustments for wind strength and waves. maybe clew down for stronger winds of bigger seas, maybe ease halyard in the lighter stuff, but only a tad , maybe overtrim in gusty or wavy conditions.

If you think it's small, then it probably is.
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Old 07-03-2011, 13:50   #4
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Re: Small (ish) Symetric Spinnaker Trim

From your description it sounds like its not supposed to be a masthead kite. That might explain both its small size and height above deck when fully hoisted. Do you have a halyard that exits the mast lower down?

It is usual to have the spinnaker hoisted all the way to the top, otherwise it can start to swing from side to side inducing what is cheerfully known as a "death roll".

The other thing that came to mind was that maybe the spinnaker was made for another (smaller) boat.
The problem with doing nothing all day is that you're never sure when you're actually finished.
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Old 07-03-2011, 18:54   #5
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Re: Small (ish) Symetric Spinnaker Trim

I agree with the above. Do you have a staysail halyard or could this be the wrong sail for the boat?

As for an angled spinnaker pole, it is customary to rig an afterguy to tension the pole down, which would flatten the spinnaker somewhat. Have you rigged this?

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