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Old 12-03-2023, 20:43   #1
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Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

If you have a top down furler for your loose luff assym, would you buy it again, or would you stick with a sock next time?

I have a sock and am debating converting or not.
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Old 13-03-2023, 00:49   #2
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Good question, following
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Old 13-03-2023, 02:34   #3
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

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Good question, following
Ditto!
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Old 13-03-2023, 03:45   #4
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Having just fitted an asymmetrical with a sock I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to launch and retrieve.
I now have a cruising trailer sailer whilst previously using shute launched and retrieved spinnakers on sports style TS’s.
The asymmetrical furlers look prone to wrapping poorly unless well handled at both the furler and the sheet which seems difficult on a two handed cruiser with one needing to helm.
I also will await further comment from those with furlers. 🙂
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Old 13-03-2023, 03:50   #5
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Surely the size of the sail will play a big role?
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Old 13-03-2023, 06:19   #6
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Also debating the question. As a singlehander, I'm a bit leery of using a sock. I've used a sock before, double-handed, and it worked great.

Seems like the furler is a better option. I will decide once I've added the necessary bow sprit to support it. Looking forward to comments.
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Old 13-03-2023, 06:26   #7
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

My first two boats, I launched the chute out of a bag, even single handed. It was fast, simple, and the bag would fit down a hatch. But on my cruising cat a bagged chute would not bit through a foredeck hatch.


I have a reacher on my current boat that furls but most be stowed (to light for UV and weather exposure). This means an extra bagging step.



So, there are two advantages to a sock:
  1. I don't need a bag. The sock protects the stored sail enough.
  2. I can lower the socked sail straight through a hatch. I can hoist right out of the hatch.
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Old 13-03-2023, 06:58   #8
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pirate Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Have used both.. overall I prefer the furler, easier to manage with the reduced windage over a sock which has in the past lifted my 75kg off the deck when a kink jammed the line 1/3rd down and a gust caught it.. furled is much easier to manage both when rigging and removing.
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Old 13-03-2023, 09:02   #9
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

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Originally Posted by aqfishing View Post
Surely the size of the sail will play a big role?

Agree, our assym is 1,300 sq ft and we use a sock. It works well and can do it by myself.

OP hasn't said an approx. area for the assym on his boat.
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Old 13-03-2023, 09:07   #10
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

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Agree, our assym is 1,300 sq ft and we use a sock. It works well and can do it by myself.

OP hasn't said an approx. area for the assym on his boat.
She’s a 61ft cat. Asym is “big”.
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Old 13-03-2023, 09:47   #11
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

I have both, a furled kinda reacher/asym that’s around 80sqm and a 120sqm Parasailor with sock.
I have a sailbag installed on the Reling for the reacher/asym and just need to fold it in half, unclick the halyard and store it. Like this I have it rigged and ready to operate in 2min as the lower end stays on the furler. This is because you cannot leave it rigged as strong wind will unfurl it but my rule is what is not right away available to hoist won‘t be used. From experience I wouldn’t use a furler if bigger then the 80-90sqm, above that it’s just too much material and a sock is much more handy.
I also have a parachute sail 8m diameter which gets prerigged and wrapped around side stay with some Velcro strips if a downwind passage is on the plan, my goto sail. The parasailor gets very little use as only used in very light winds and it’s some effort to setup and rigg which I only do when conditions are longer met to fly it.
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Old 13-03-2023, 11:41   #12
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Quote:
Originally Posted by nfbr View Post
If you have a top down furler for your loose luff assym, would you buy it again, or would you stick with a sock next time?

I have a sock and am debating converting or not.
For a 61 footer definitely top down. The sock is a pain on our 58’ boat X 80 foot mast. Any time you can avoid the hazard and difficulty of being on the foredeck with that much power available is a plus. Top down is, like autopilot, like having another crew on board.
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Old 13-03-2023, 12:44   #13
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

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She’s a 61ft cat. Asym is “big”.
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Agree for a 61ft mono only top down. With that big of a sail you don't want to be on a heeled foredeck.
And like i done have a sailbag attached to the reling where you store your top down sail...if that opens on a 61ft during strong wind eg a squall you are in big trouble. So make it easy to store and use again.

My experience is 40ft catamaran where it is no problem to be on the foredeck in anything below force 7...then a sock is better for a big sail.
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Old 13-03-2023, 14:04   #14
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Sock vs. Top-Down, my favorite topic :-)
I have experimented extensively with both.
I think the answer depends on the kind of sailing that you do and on the size of the boat. We cruise and also do some racing (maybe 12-15 races per season), always shorthanded (my wife and I) since the pandemic. The boat is a 35'.

For the asymmetric, the answer is definitely sock. We tried the top-down, but there is simply no way to keep it properly furled in a breeze, because of the loose leech. Also, the shape for a top down asym is worse than that of a normal asym, and the trimming is more limited (for example, easing the tack line is a PITA). Overall, in a breeze, the sock is also easier to handle.

The only disadvantage of the sock is that gybing is slightly trickier because you have to be careful that the funnel passes around the forestay (it has a tendency to get stuck between forestay and mast, of course that depends on the boat), but that is just a matter of practicing.

When shorthanded, we use the sock above 10-12 knots of wind. In light air, we do not use the sock, because hoisting and dousing the "free" asym is easy in light air, and we do not have to deal with the aforementioned gybing issue (that is another advantage of the sock, it takes only a few minutes before hosting to just take it out of the sock and you have a "normal" asym, and only a few min to put it back into the sock when needed, so you can have the choice depending on how much wind there is). When fully crewed, we use the sock above 15-18 knots.

I think the top-down makes sense for the Code 0, since the leech is loose but much less than the asym, and there is no option of a sock...

However, in general, we had more issues dealing with the top-down Code 0 than the asym in the sock, so we tend to use the asym in the sock much more than the top down Code 0 (sometimes, even when the Code 0 would be the best sail to use...), the sock is just less likely to have issues than the top-down.
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Old 13-03-2023, 14:20   #15
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Re: Sock vs Top Down for Assymetric

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainRivet View Post
Agree for a 61ft mono only top down. With that big of a sail you don't want to be on a heeled foredeck.
And like i done have a sailbag attached to the reling where you store your top down sail...if that opens on a 61ft during strong wind eg a squall you are in big trouble. So make it easy to store and use again.

My experience is 40ft catamaran where it is no problem to be on the foredeck in anything below force 7...then a sock is better for a big sail.

Haven't used a top down, but I would disagree that there is anything terrible about a sock on a bigger boat.


I crossed the Atlantic last year on a 67-footer with an enormous assy, using a sock. The assy was in use 90% of the time in the trades, day and night, usually on a pole. It was a piece of cake. Of course, there was adequate, skillful, and lively crew on board, and yours truly coordinating the action.


I use a large A2 assy for racing on my boat; sometimes using the sock and sometimes hand launching (from a turtle) and dousing it (through the forecabin hatch). Never had any drama with it either way, other than shredding it, pushing it too hard on a beam reach in lively conditions. Never any drama dousing, launching, or gybing it. Asymmetricals are very easy sails to use, and fun.
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