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Old 15-12-2011, 10:31   #1
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Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

I have a new cruising chute on my boat and I was wondering if anyone has used a asymmetrical spinnaker directly downwind, i.e. with a apparent wind between 140 degrees and 180 degrees. Obviously at these wind angles the main is going to blanket the spinnaker, but it looks like I might have a couple of options. The first being to take the main down, which is a pain when sailing directly downwind, the second is to use a pole on the spinnaker and hold it out to windward. Another third idea I have since I have a good Dutchman Boom Brake fitted is to run the main by the lee.
I would love to hear from someone who has actually done any of these options whilst actually sailing.
Thanks
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Old 15-12-2011, 12:29   #2
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

I never tried it myself, but a friend regularly poled the clew out on his asym for a downwind run, so it can be done.
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Old 15-12-2011, 13:04   #3
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

I tend not to sail DDW, but I've found I can sail a deeper broad reach with an A-kite by loosening the tack significantly, and allowing the sail to float clear of the main's wind shadow. In other words, on starboard tack, where the main is to port, you can get the chute to fly more to starboard.

Of course, the further you're able to move the tack forward, the deeper you'll be able to fly the sail. This is why so many modern boats have an adjustable sprit. On my boat, I welded a bail far forward on the anchor roller that serves well as a tack point, but don't try this unless you have a very sturdy anchor roller.
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Old 15-12-2011, 13:19   #4
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

If you don't want to drop the main, the lazy man's way is; You can bring the mainsail straight back and lock it in while at 180. If off wind then just traverse it slightly to the opposite side of the spinnaker. The wind will ver off into the spnkr. This may affect the steering a bit, but that's lazy.
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Old 15-12-2011, 13:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3
I never tried it myself, but a friend regularly poled the clew out on his asym for a downwind run, so it can be done.
I'm told you can also pole out the tack like with a symmetrical. I haven't tired it.
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Old 15-12-2011, 13:41   #6
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
If you don't want to drop the main, the lazy man's way is; You can bring the mainsail straight back and lock it in while at 180. If off wind then just traverse it slightly to the opposite side of the spinnaker. The wind will ver off into the spnkr. This may affect the steering a bit, but that's lazy.
Absolutley agree.

I will not fly a spinnaker or gennaker without the main. If the wind starts to pick up quickly you will want to be able to blanket the spinnaker / gennaker with the main so that you can get it down.

I also find that broad reaching and gybing is faster than DDW. More relaxing as well by minimizing the possibility of an accidental gybe.
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Old 15-12-2011, 13:43   #7
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
I'm told you can also pole out the tack like with a symmetrical. I haven't tired it.
With the right breeze you can simply go wing-on-wing.




But remember to pay close attention.
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Old 15-12-2011, 13:50   #8
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

I agree with Jackdale on both points: first, that I won't fly a chute without a main for safety reasons; second that wing on wing is possible.

It should be pointed out that not all spinnakers are cut the same. Some are more reachy, some are more runny. I'm able to do things with my current a-kite, like going deep, that I couldn't do with the previous one.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:22   #9
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

I agree with Bash, Jackdale and Delmarrey. I actually have one of these, and given the 15 foot J over 33 feet of deck, it's impressively sized. Center the main, sheet it in tight, and enjoy, inasmuch as one can going DDW. A decent whisper pole will help, but if you are worried about wind shifts or your helming, go without and keep the tack line on a winch. "Depower" by letting it off and spilling air from the bottom or until the shape get nice and inefficient.

In the first picture, I'm beam reaching. Everything's fairly snug here (except the main halyard's a little slack because the wind is light).




In the second picture, the tack has been eased to depower it in sub-10 knot air. I was probably experimenting. Behind that is a main raised, but basically edge on to the wind from the leech point of view.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:26   #10
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I agree with Bash, Jackdale and Delmarrey. I actually have one of these, and given the 15 foot J over 33 feet of deck, it's impressively sized. Center the main, sheet it in tight, and enjoy, inasmuch as one can going DDW. A decent whisper pole will help, but if you are worried about wind shifts or your helming, go without and keep the tack line on a winch. "Depower" by letting it off and spilling air from the bottom or until the shape get nice and inefficient.

In the first picture, I'm beam reaching. Everything's fairly snug here (except the main halyard's a little slack because the wind is light).




In the second picture, the tack has been eased to depower it in sub-10 knot air. I was probably experimenting. Behind that is a main raised, but basically edge on to the wind from the leech point of view.
Not liking this idea as it could lead to a very nasty broach IMHO.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:42   #11
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
Not liking this idea as it could lead to a very nasty broach IMHO.
How so?
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:50   #12
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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How so?
A wind shift with a good gust would leave you with lots of weather helm. My boat, a cutter similar to a Hans Christian carries a lot of weather helm at the best of times with it's large main. once the boat started to breach I don't see any way of releasing the main sheet or rounding the boat up in time. I might attempt it with a couple of reefs. I have a quickie system which would make that easy.
My spinnaker tack runs from the bowsprit back to a winch in the cockpit so at the moment I am thinking using the pole approach with the tack high, using it more like a A kite.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:50   #13
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I agree with Bash, Jackdale and Delmarrey. I actually have one of these, and given the 15 foot J over 33 feet of deck, it's impressively sized. Center the main, sheet it in tight, and enjoy, inasmuch as one can going DDW. A decent whisper pole will help, but if you are worried about wind shifts or your helming, go without and keep the tack line on a winch. "Depower" by letting it off and spilling air from the bottom or until the shape get nice and inefficient.
A couple of comments.

I a fan of stack straps, especially the ATN Tacker. It keeps the luff of the sail closer to the wind and keeps pressure off pulpit while reducing chafing.



I also like a spinnaker snap shackle on the tack. On a couple of occasions I have had the "blow the tack" to get the gennaker down when the dousing bag got fouled and would not come down. I took it down like a conventional spiaaker by lowering the halyard, pulling the sail down under the boom and down the companionway where we could get it straightened out below.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:52   #14
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

A poled out gennaker



Found it in the folder with the reaching shot.
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Old 15-12-2011, 15:56   #15
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Re: Using a Asymmetrical Chute Downwind?

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Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
Not liking this idea as it could lead to a very nasty broach IMHO.
Maybe if he stalls or drags the rudder. Then just let off the lee halyard and spill the air. The object it not to panic. Practice, practice, practice!
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