Originally Posted by Jim H
As for learning to fly a spinnaker, isn't it also common to simply keep the main covered and the genoa below deck, and only focus on the spinnaker to begin with?
I would NEVER recommend flying a chute without a mainsail up. It can be surprisingly difficult to douse without being able to hide the sail in the lee of the main, especially if the breeze unexpectedly builds on you.
When recovering from a broach, it is common to release a sheet or a guy, but never release both if you can help it. Release the sheet if you plan to carry on,(retrim when the boat comes back) or release the guy as a prelude to dropping the spinnaker if you've had enough. If you let go of both, then the chute is streaming from the masthead and both lines will be unreachable. In a real breeze (likely already the case if you are broaching) it is a bear to get the sail back on board. and it is slow going to weather with all that nylon flapping in the breeze - not to mention the potential damage to the sail.
Broaching to leeward and planting the pole is no fun... try to avoid running DDW in the heavier breezes, especially of your boat is an older IOR "death roll" machine.
But it's still lots of fun and satisfaction when things go right.