Re: Researching spinnakers
I have to agree with James.. we've flown symmetrical spinnakers for decades, and maybe that's a factor, but we've found that with a recently acquired asymm, we only use it on reaches that are likely to be a fetch.
For deeper sailing and, for us, EASE of gybing we go with the symmetrical every time.
I find that gybing the symm is much easier on the sail, as it seems one is always dragging sailcloth around the rig, and often through an inversion to gybe an Asymm. Doing an outside gybe in a breeze is a bit better, but then there's the risk of sailing over the lazy sheet if you're a bit inattentive...
With the two of us, and "Otto" steering a 20 degree (via remote) course change through the gybe I handle the pole while my wife handles the lines from the cockpit.
The only advantage of 'starting' with an asymm would be the reduced cost overall....
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)