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Old 17-10-2003, 15:33   #1
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pirate Light Air Sails - Advice Please

Hey Gang I need some help. Should I get a 90 sq metre MPS for light air with a sockfor a short handed crew going offshore, or should I get and use a 45 sq metre drifter that I can pole out opposite my genoa for down hill Trade wind sailing.

Sailmakers are trying to get me to buy the MPS. A cruising buddy said dont take the MPS but to get the twin headsail set up.

What do you cruisers suggest

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Old 17-10-2003, 18:05   #2
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You ask a some what tricky question.I have both a tri-radial racing spinnaker with a pole and all the associated hardware,and a asymmetrical cruising spinnaker with a sock, and a device called a "tacker" that fits over my furled genny and attaches to the tack of the cruising chute. Of the two, I use the cruising chute the most. IMO, there are pros and cons of both.The Tri-radial is really a better downwind sail, while the asymmetrical is more of a reaching sail. I sail single-handed most of the time on my 26 footer, and really like the ease of using the cruising chute with the sock. I can rig everything in a few minutes, fly the chute,and then take it down in a few minutes. I really enjoy flying the sail and look forward to every opportunity to do so.With my racing chute, it's a major ordeal rigging everything, then de-rigging it after I'm done,especially on the small deck of a 26 footer.I don't enjoy using it near as much. I'm sure there are other sailors on this board that have a differing opinion. Just my $.02 worth
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Old 06-11-2003, 19:59   #3
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Down wind sails

I think it could be a matter of what it the easiest to steer. I have not been offshore with our boat so do not have all the answers. Those that have been offshore seem to like two headsails up. I tried sailing with the big chute by myself and let the autohelm steer. This only worked in a bit of breeze. As soon as it got windy we went splat. With two headsail up and a reef in the main it was easy to handle. So the chute is likely the best up to a certain windspeed and then two headsails. I have never tried a cruising chute but wonder if the big headsail and a staysail would work as well. Sometimes the waves may dictate that straight downwind is best, other times you may be able to do a broad reach. With a limited crew a chute will have limited use but would be better for light air. I know lots of variables. BC Mike C
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Old 18-11-2020, 21:12   #4
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Re: Light Air Sails - Advice Please

I did a lot of sailing single handed in the doldrums, Northern New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, & up to Guam. Thus I needed light air sales & bought a 3 Oz drifter. It was great for ghosting along in light airs. I used it often.

Then I made the mistake of polling it out one time. The breeze only got up to about 7 knots across the deck, but it stretched the drifter so out of shape that it was then useless even for reaching.

I had to send it back to the sail maker to be recut, before I could enjoy it for it's intended purpose again.

I had an old 1000 Sq Ft spinnaker I would throw up in light winds, if the sea was calm. In under 5 knots breezes any left over seaway would shake the air out of it, but in smooth seas often encountered in the doldrums it was great.

I got caught a few times with sudden higher winds with it, so developed a simple way of getting it down. I would untie the knot in the bitter end of the halyard, & the brace , put the boat on a broad reach, then let go both simultaneously. Both would run out & the spinnaker would fly out to leeward, settling in the water attached to the boat by the sheet.

With it gone, every thing would settle down, & I would pull it back aboard by the sheet, dumping it in the cockpit a sodden mess, unaffected by even strongish winds to sort later.
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Old 19-11-2020, 17:41   #5
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Re: Light Air Sails - Advice Please

The answer probably depends a lot on the boat you have and the sailing you do. Poling out two jibs works well on some boats, and less well on others. Dead downwind (with two poled-out jibs) is not usually the fastest or necessarily the most comfortable point of sail. If you plan to always sail dead downwind in the trades, poling out the jibs may work for you. If you plan to do any reaching, the MPS may be more versatile.
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