Rigging up an A-sail
Weíve discovered that the JAM credit doesnít nearly compensate us for not flying a spinnaker/Asym, and in order to get in the game, weíve got to start flying a kite (our local race series doesnít have a separate JAM class. JAM boats get a 12 sec. credit).
Typical winds on the lake are 15 knots or less and seldom do we have dead downwind legs. This makes the Asymmetrical the most commonly used spinnaker in the fleet.
The issue at hand is that my boat isnít A sail friendly. Masthead rigged, only two sheaves in the truck (main and jib halyards) and no deck hardware for the tack.
Iím getting conflicting advice on whether the A sail should be rigged outside the fore triangle, or inside. Either way, I have to get a block fixed to the mast and run a halyard external to the mast.
Inside the fore triangle would be easiest. An eye pad, perhaps, just below the forestay with a good block and shackle. A block on deck as far forward as I can get, with a backing plate, for the tack.
Outside the triangle, as I see it, would be a bigger challenge. There isnít any real estate above the forestay, so Iíd need something on top of the truck. There Iím going to run in to clearance issues with the VHF and anemometer. The halyard from the block to the cleat (not so much to the head) might have an issue with the forestay if we need to jibe over to the other board. Also, I canít get someone far enough up the mast where they could see while drilling into the truck, the work would have to be done overhead and blind. This is sure to result in a drill bit going through a sheave, pin or halyard, and with my luck, all three. And there is still the tack to deal with.
Maybe there is a better way to get the block above the forestay. Maybe everything will be just fine with the sail rigged inside the fore triangle. I donít have the experience to make that call on my own and could use a little help. Maybe Iím missing something entirely. What do you think?