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Old 06-25-2003
BertV BertV is offline
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Spinnaker on Pearson 30

All that rigging will save a bundle. Yes, a spinnaker on a 30 footer is definately bigger than a 20 of 25 footer, but everything is manageable. I went from an O''Day 25 to the Islander 30 and the size of the spinnaker scared me till I got used to it. Now I also race on a C&C 40 (Swiftsure Race from Victoria, BC) and although a very powerful sail, it operates the same as all other spinnakers. You get used to it, not complacent, but used to it. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, there are two ways to rig the pole if you want to do end for end gibes. I would definately go with the one-size-up blocks unless you plan on reducing sail when the wind picks up. You want the gear to hold up! The one-size-up also reduces some of the friction in the blocks and makes sail handling somewhat easier. If the wind is light (and anticipated to stay light!) you can get away with two sheets, one off each corner. One becomes the guy, the other the sheet. This is where a snatch block amidships come in handy. The guy can be forced into the snatch block if you are hard on the wind with the spinnaker. This will keep the sheet from bending the stantions. If there is a risk of increasing winds, or, the "safe" way to run a spinnaker, would be to have two lines at each corner of the sail. One on each corner would be the sheet, the other the guy. The sheet would run to a turning block at the rear quarter of the boat, the guy would be run to the snatch block (or regular block) amidships. When the wind picks up, the guy is already in place and in the right place. Both the sheets and guys have to have snap shackles on the ends to ensure that you can release the spinnaker if you have to. More importantly, you have to be able to release the loaded guy from the cockpit in an emergency (like a knockdown in a gust). This means that the sheet on that side also has to have a free run! No knots in the end of the sheets or guys. Once the loaded guy is released, the boat pops back up and the spinnaker is depowered. You can retrieve it via the still loaded sheet. As far as the pole is concerned, I would build a bridle top and bottom as that allows you the most flexibility and strength. Use vinal coated wire with proper crimped on ends and rings. Make sure the pole has quick release lines that can be reached anywhere on the pole (makes it much easier to gibe). Color code the release lines so you don''t pull the wrong one and end up with a surprise. Make sure you lubricate the pole ends regularly. I know what a limited budget is, I have one! A spinnaker is a powerful sail and can really surprise and frighten you if it gets out of contol.
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