Originally Posted by svHyLyte
Running off, a spinnaker will tend to oscillate somewhat. An auto pilot will ignor this and steer a relatively steady course. A novice driver will tend to "chase" the spinnaker, aggravating the oscillation and, in short order, leading to a wipe-out. Frankly, leaving the owner and his erstwhile crewlady driving with the spinny up was asking for problems.
Knowing that why would the "experienced crew" of Jake and Rockdawg, first time spinnaker flyers insist on flying it on the Captains watch when he didn't feel comfortable.
I actually don't trust my Spinaker to my autopilot. A lot of sail area up to get in a knockdown or wrap with a gust of wind from another direction or squall as someone put it. Also at night when I cant see as well I tend to reduce sail area up so the boat is more easily controlled and no one has to do any foredeck work in the dark in a lonely ocean. This of course unless there is a large crew tending it.
I am interested, How many on here who have real ocean experience flying a spinnaker do so at night with a crew watch of two?
I an not an experienced long distance spinnaker flier so I err on the side of caution and safety