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Old 06-01-2023, 05:36   #1
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Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

I don’t want to leave the Rigger without having proper downwind sailing capability.

They had me leave while they are waiting for some parts. So it’s a good chance for me to make sure to get a spinnaker in order.

Initially, I just want something rudimentary. For DDW.

I’m a very lazy sailor and I’m not really keen on tacking downwind or doing much work. I like to set a course, set a sail, and mostly forget it unless the wind changes direction.

I can’t really remember how I used to fly spinnakers. It wasn’t very common because only one of my boats had one. The Catalac.

So, it had an ATN sock thing. Like with a plastic hoop or two. If I remember correctly, you hoisted this sock up the mast, tied off the bottom, then pulled on something to lift that sock all the way up to the top, revealing the spinnaker. I think that’s how it worked. It was a symmetric spinnaker.

I found it relatively easy to use. Because of the smooth plastic rings, it was really able to douse the spinnaker easily.

I know it may not be completely ideal, but remember what I am doing right now. I am trying this lifestyle out a bit again to see if I like it still. It’s been a long time.

What should I do for my spinnaker?

I want to be able to just tie it off to bow cleats for now. I don’t have a bowsprit yet. Or possibly tie it off to one bow cleat and one miship cleat. That could cover a LOT of downwind sailing angles. This is like a back up default plan that I would like to have.

The other plan, which very well might happen, would be to put a turning block aft and lead the spinnaker sheet all the way back forward to the mast area. Then to my sail control table inside the boat.

In either case, how can I most simply rig a spinnaker without a bowsprit for now?

I don’t really need anything too fancy. I just need it to work.

In much of the same spirit as my bridle. All I do is use a Prussik for one side and tie a bowline to the Prussik for the other side of the bridle. It works fantastically.

I would like this type of simplicity if possible. Not to rely on pieces of hardware. But to rely on simplicity and knowledge.

First step is symmetrical or asymmetrical?

Second step would be how to rig that without a bowsprit.
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Old 06-01-2023, 06:02   #2
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

Damn. Not as entertaining as the weed thread. I know. But does anyone have some opinions on this? Ha ha
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Old 06-01-2023, 06:06   #3
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

asym is easier. a lot less strings to play with. no need for a pole


my asym I have an ATN tacker that wraps around the furled genoa to keep the luff centerlined. with a down haul that runs through the bow roller and then to a bow cleat. for the tack of the sail


two sheets and two snatch blocks at the stern. all lines run outside shrouds and forestay.


I do have a sock as well. makes life easier. Still get the sock lines tangled and twisted on occasion.


another option would be a top down furler but a bit more benjamins. likely much easier to deploy and stow when short handed
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Old 06-01-2023, 06:45   #4
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

For DDW symmetrical flys , assymms are harder to fill even if tacked to the windward hull.

Look for a kite designed for a 30' mono.
It will give you the pulled along feeling without needing to steer keeping the boat under the kite.

Your chandlery free sheeting solution sounds fine.
Sheeting point near the shrouds.
Clip a free flying downhaul to the spinnaker halyard.
Use as a tweaker to control the head.

Blow off the halyard & one sheet.
Use the downhaul to ensure the head lands on the tramp .

If you don't like it take the sail back to the sail exchange and resume the recursive quest for low input perfection
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Old 06-01-2023, 08:11   #5
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

Hmmmm. We are split evenly on the most basic part of the question: asymmetrical or symmetrical.

A difficult decision for sure.
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:12   #6
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

I've sailed a 42-foot cat with a symmetrical spinnaker for days without touching sheets or autopilot--just let it run.
A sheet from each clew through a turning block on each bow cleat, easiest DDW sailing I've ever done.
DDW is harder with an Asym, IMO
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:15   #7
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
I've sailed a 42-foot cat with a symmetrical spinnaker for days without touching sheets or autopilot--just let it run.
A sheet from each clew through a turning block on each bow cleat, easiest DDW sailing I've ever done.
DDW is harder with an Asym, IMO
I had a similar experience on my old Catalac.

It was an absolutely effortless magic carpet ride and it was fantastic.

Maybe this is the way to go. How far off of the wind can I go with this using a symmetrical spinnaker? 180 to ?
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Old 06-01-2023, 10:32   #8
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

If shorthanded/singlehanded, asymmetrical is the way to go. Not only simpler, but much less chance of messing things up.
The ATN contraption for the tack around the furled jib probably the simplest solution until you get it properly rigged.
For the sheets, definitely two blocks as astern as possible, and from there routed to the most convenient winch.
The sock makes things easier initially. As you gain experience, I think the jury is still out on what is simpler. Jibing the asymmetric with the sock is trickier than without the sock, and as you get better at it, hoisting and taking down from/to the bag without the sock is not so hard. If shorthanded, we only use the sock above 18-20 knots, when the asymmetrical becomes a "beast" and having the sock is definitely worth it. If singlehanded, the sock is very convenient regardless.
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Old 06-01-2023, 10:50   #9
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

I'm looking into a symmetric one.

No need for a bow pole on a cat for this one.
Which is what I prefer as I do not want to have the forces go into our forward beams center.
We'll use it as downwind sail anyway.

If you have or can structurally and financially afford a bow pole, you could get the asymmetric.
It's a bit more versatile.
Mind you the asymmetrical needs to fit more precise to the measures of your boat than the symmetric one.
Symmetric ones are cheaper to buy (especially second hand) on average.
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Old 06-01-2023, 10:55   #10
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
I'm looking into a symmetric one.

No need for a bow pole on a cat for this one.
Which is what I prefer as I do not want to have the forces go into our forward beams center.
We'll use it as downwind sail anyway.

If you have or can structurally and financially afford a bow pole, you could get the asymmetric.
It's a bit more versatile.
Mind you the asymmetrical needs to fit more precise to the measures of your boat than the symmetric one.
Symmetric ones are cheaper to buy (especially second hand) on average.
These are some really good points.

I do not have a bowsprit and I don’t plan to get one yet. Only if I decide to keep the boat.

So a symmetric does seem easier.

Just the way Benz was talking about.

I’m sure I can go a little bit off 180. But how much? Maybe 10 to either side without much trouble? Tightening one sheet and loosening the other?

Maybe 40 degrees if I put one sheet on the leeward bow and the other on a midship cleat?
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Old 06-01-2023, 11:25   #11
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

I’m looking at the ATN Tacker. My question is why?

It seems I would get a lot more sail area by putting it on each bow.

Even if I was doing almost 100, the bow cleat on the Leeward bow and midship cleat seem like they would work pretty well, no?

What is that ATM tracker going to get me? What’s the advantage?
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Old 06-01-2023, 11:34   #12
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

Assy is much more versatile -- useful even on a beam reach in light wind.


Use it WITH a pole and it's nearly as good DDW as a symmetrical one. You can use an assy without a pole, but in my experience it's worth the effort to use the pole, which gives fabulous control.


I have an A2 on my own boat which I use while racing, with a long pole. Crossed the Atlantic a year ago on a Discovery 67 with a giant assy and pole -- docile as a kitten, easy peasy to put up and down with a sock. The assy was our most used sail, and we got across in 12 days.
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Old 06-01-2023, 11:38   #13
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

Assym, hands down, no question.
Easier to rig, easier to handle, and higher vmg. DDW is the slowest point of sail. Heading up to good Assym angles increases boat speed and vmg, even with increased distance and needing to jibe.

You can rig an assym without a bowsprit. On my boat (a monohull) i run an adjustable tack line from the cockpit to the bow roller, under the roller, and up to the sail tack. I trim tight to jibe, otherwise ease for best sailshape. Should work on a cat as well.
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Old 06-01-2023, 11:43   #14
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

I think it might be important to note that I have a Catamaran. I can’t understand the purpose for a pole.

Can anyone explain to me why it’s easier to use an asymmetrical?

I have never had one before. I have only had a symmetrical.
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Old 06-01-2023, 12:52   #15
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Re: Symmetric or Asymmetric Spinnaker for Simplicity?

With the tack fixed to something, you can use a snuffer/sock, and leave the sail up, but snuffed. Super easy to take it down and put back up. Singlehanded, without leaving the cockpit.

I'm not sure you can use a sock on a sail that is flying free. If you are comfortable with a symmetrical then the only advantage is that an assym is faster.
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