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Old 07-01-2018, 02:18   #1
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using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical



At around 7:30 in this video the sailor seems to fly his symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical.

Iv'e been doing some searching and i can't find much information about this.

I'm currently learning to sail and learning all the theory stuff whilst the boat is out of the water and i'm wondering what are benefits/negative/risks of using the sail in this way?
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:16   #2
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post


At around 7:30 in this video the sailor seems to fly his symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical.

Iv'e been doing some searching and i can't find much information about this.

I'm currently learning to sail and learning all the theory stuff whilst the boat is out of the water and i'm wondering what are benefits/negative/risks of using the sail in this way?
To me it seems as a regular asymmetric sail raised with snuffer. The luff is rather straight to my eyes and not curved as it will be for a symmetric spinnaker.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:02   #3
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post


At around 7:30 in this video the sailor seems to fly his symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical.

Iv'e been doing some searching and i can't find much information about this.

I'm currently learning to sail and learning all the theory stuff whilst the boat is out of the water and i'm wondering what are benefits/negative/risks of using the sail in this way?
It is a symmetrical Spinnaker. Tri-Radial even.
Not sur I would recommend. The way it"s set-up it acts much more like a very large genoa. In very light winds. From the wind angle you can see he is sailing from a beam wind.
If he does not have a proper light wind genoa...why not.
The problem I see is that as a rule the forces on sails are perpendicular to surface. So using a Spi that way there is a large area that creates drag and offsets the gain in power. I would definitely consider seeing up the pole and changing my course so the wind angle uses the full power of the spi.
Also he is perfectly set up for a knock down. Any sudden increase will require rapid luffing.
Then you have a very large piece of flapping clothe to take down.
So I would say, don't do this unless you know what your doing.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:12   #4
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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It is a symmetrical Spinnaker. Tri-Radial even.
Not sur I would recommend. The way it"s set-up it acts much more like a very large genoa. In very light winds. From the wind angle you can see he is sailing from a beam wind.
If he does not have a proper light wind genoa...why not.
The problem I see is that as a rule the forces on sails are perpendicular to surface. So using a Spi that way there is a large area that creates drag and offsets the gain in power. I would definitely consider seeing up the pole and changing my course so the wind angle uses the full power of the spi.
Also he is perfectly set up for a knock down. Any sudden increase will require rapid luffing.
Then you have a very large piece of flapping clothe to take down.
So I would say, don't do this unless you know what your doing.
i have no plans to do this at this stage,i'm just curious and trying to learn.I can't imagine i'll use the spinnaker in a standard set up until i have a lot more experience.

I sail at the local sailclubs wednesday evening social race in an yngling and the spinnaker has had us over on our side before now,its an interesting experience when your a beginner!
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:45   #5
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

I would stay away from a symetrical if you are intending to sail single handed, they a too difficult for one person to handle.

I use an asymetrical on one side and the genoa on the other, both poled out, for downwind sailing.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:59   #6
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

Tried it on my Westsail. Had a very limited range in which it would trim. Worked better with spinnaker sheet led to the end of the boom. Used it a couple of times but it was more work than it was worth especially in those pre 'sock' days. If I was rich but not famous would go with a code zero on a furler for light air sailing on head stay furler edquipped boat as most are these days. In the pre roller days used a reacher drifter a lot for light air reaching.
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Old 10-01-2018, 13:05   #7
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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Originally Posted by martinworswick View Post
i have no plans to do this at this stage,i'm just curious and trying to learn.I can't imagine i'll use the spinnaker in a standard set up until i have a lot more experience.

I sail at the local sailclubs wednesday evening social race in an yngling and the spinnaker has had us over on our side before now,its an interesting experience when your a beginner!
Keep racing. It's the best way to learn.
Spinnakers are unstable sails but once you understand how to handle them they get much easier.
If you get on your side with the spi up it's probably because the helmsman luffs in the puffs instead of stirring to weather. It's a commun error as we are su used to luffing when on a beat.

I race single hand on a 30 footer and the symmetrical spinnaker can be managed single hand. But It's much better having 2 crews that know how to set up and take down as i helm the boat.
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Old 10-01-2018, 13:14   #8
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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Keep racing. It's the best way to learn.
Spinnakers are unstable sails but once you understand how to handle them they get much easier.
If you get on your side with the spi up it's probably because the helmsman luffs in the puffs instead of stirring to weather. It's a commun error as we are su used to luffing when on a beat.

I race single hand on a 30 footer and the symmetrical spinnaker can be managed single hand. But It's much better having 2 crews that know how to set up and take down as i helm the boat.
the last time it happened was a communication problem in the pre-start,we're a mixed language crew,i misunderstood and hesitated then it was too late
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Old 10-01-2018, 13:17   #9
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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I would stay away from a symetrical if you are intending to sail single handed, they a too difficult for one person to handle.

I use an asymetrical on one side and the genoa on the other, both poled out, for downwind sailing.
The symmetrical came with the boa.I won't be single handing for a while,i plan on having someone from the club with me until i'm reasonably competant,
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Old 10-01-2018, 13:18   #10
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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the last time it happened was a communication problem in the pre-start,we're a mixed language crew,i misunderstood and hesitated then it was too late
Pre-start, under spinnaker...you don't see that often. Unless your race long distance races usually most race start on a beat not a reach
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Old 10-01-2018, 13:24   #11
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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Pre-start, under spinnaker...you don't see that often. Unless your race long distance races usually most race start on a beat not a reach
actually,thinking about it,it was before the prestart,it was downwind from our harbour to the start area,it takes 20 minutes or so and i think we we're going to practice gybing the spinnaker as we had a bit of time before the 5 minute gun went.it all went wrong though and there were plenty of other boats around watching it unfold....
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Old 10-01-2018, 13:32   #12
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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actually,thinking about it,it was before the prestart,it was downwind from our harbour to the start area,it takes 20 minutes or so and i think we we're going to practice gybing before the 5 minute gun went.there were plenty of other boats around watching it unfold....
Keep practicing.
I love sailing under spinnaker.
When my wife comes along she is the one trimming and gybing the kite.
She also does the take down.
For some reason she does not want to handle the hoist She takes the helm and when the hoist is done she returns to trimming and I helm.
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Old 25-01-2018, 09:32   #13
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

I believe that's how asyms came into being in the first place. Once upon a time there were only symmetrical spinnakers. Cruisers are lazy and couldn't be bothered with all the sticks and string, so attached one corner forward and called it a 'cruising chute'. Racers noticed that the cruisers were going pretty fast by not going DDW, so they tried it, and improved it. Presto! The modern asymmetrical spinnaker!

On another note, I find, as others have, that flying a symmetrical chute bow-tacked can work in light airs if you're lazy like me, but the shape is poor once you approach a beam reach (too much curve in the luff, body in the bunt and lots of leeway) and the range of wind angles that you can get decent trim is small.
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Old 25-01-2018, 13:49   #14
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

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I believe that's how asyms came into being in the first place. Once upon a time there were only symmetrical spinnakers. Cruisers are lazy and couldn't be bothered with all the sticks and string, so attached one corner forward and called it a 'cruising chute'. Racers noticed that the cruisers were going pretty fast by not going DDW, so they tried it, and improved it. Presto! The modern asymmetrical spinnaker!

On another note, I find, as others have, that flying a symmetrical chute bow-tacked can work in light airs if you're lazy like me, but the shape is poor once you approach a beam reach (too much curve in the luff, body in the bunt and lots of leeway) and the range of wind angles that you can get decent trim is small.
I think it's the other way around
Racers figured that a sail developing lift will be faster then a stall one. So they began going down wind on a series of jibes.

Then, lazy cruisers started to like the idea of not having to deal with a pole and bunch of extra sheets, guys etc. And most importantly the they have much easier to hoist and take down then symmetrical. Thats why cruiser love them so much. I ear guys sailing asymmetrical wit a sleeve........
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Old 25-01-2018, 14:36   #15
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Re: using a symmetrical spinnaker as an asymmetrical

His sail is actually setting pretty nicely. If you are flying a symmetric in lightish airs with the wind forward, it's very normal to have the pole on the forestay and dropped so as to tighten the luff and open the leech - making it, in other words, more like a asymmetric or a Genoa. Exactly the same trim adjustments you would ideally make to your Genoa when trying to sail close-hauled.

Specifically at 7.30 in the video, you get a view of the luff curling a little. It curls evenly top to bottom, which is the sure-fire indicator that it's setting nicely. The oft-heard rule of thumb about having both clews flying level (on a symmetric) is a load of cobblers.

It's true that the guy doesn't have the flexibility easily to bear away to a broader reach with this arrangement. But then (1) he hasn't had to mess around with a pole in order to hoist and (2) his tack is easily within reach if he wants to rig his guy and pole and do just that, decoupling what is currently his tackline in the process.

Back when yachties were first starting to use asymmetrics for racing, they often flew them from long poles (not bowsprits) that had to be unhitched and brought back on board. Look at the length of the pole on pictures of Camp Freddie, a Rocket 31, in Cowes Week early 1990s. While jibing it was much the same setup that you see here.
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