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  #1  
Old 04-22-2006
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Fractional Rigs, Again!

I know that we may have beaten the Fractional Rig topic to death but I still seem to have some need for further discussion. I currently sail a 24í Bluenose Class fractional rigged Sloop and I love the fractional rig for many of the reasons that Jeff and others have stated. I love sailing without winch handles and I donít miss the days of tacking duels with 150% Genoas.

My Bluenose has about 218 square feet of sail area on 2050 lbs of displacement for a SA/D ratio of about 22 so she is pretty good in light air. But I sail engineless so I also need pretty good in really light air. This is where I get frustrated with my fractional rig. On these light days I would love to be able to fly a large drifter or asymmetric spinnaker. Setting either of these sails at the fractional rig height doesnít really add that much sail area and with the jumper stays I am worried about getting my asymmetric chute tangle or ripped.

Does anyone know of other boats with fractional rigs and jumper struts that fly masthead spinnakers on their fractional rigged masts? Also I have seen some boats that have relatively small masthead jibs but still have good SA/D ratios. I wonder if this would be a good compromise since most of the time you would sail with a working jib or lapper (no big genny) but still be able to hang some light air nylon when needed.

Anyway does anyone have any experience in this area?

Thanks, Bill
Lopez Island, WA
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Old 04-22-2006
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Flying an asymetrical spinnaker might be a good option for you. I fly a 400 sq. ft. roller-furled screacher on my boat, which is fractionally rigged.
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Old 04-23-2006
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An asymetrical chute could work on your boat, but I am not sure whether or not your jumper struts will be a problem with a masthead chute. The normal problem with masthead chutes on fractional riggers is the the lack of athwartship support for the masthead. Of course your jumper struts resolve that problem, but as you already note also they threaten to poke holes in the chute. This can be minimized by tapping the end of the jumpers and any sharp metal, and perhaps adding spreader tip covers to the jumper tips. You may also consider adding chafe patches on the chute in line with the spreaders.

The only other concern would be adding that much heeling force to a boat like the Bluenose which does not have a whole lot of reserve stability (an the early boats did not have self-bailing cockpits. Assymetricals tend to be very sensitive to wind speed changes and can really generate a lot of heeling very quickly.

Jeff
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Old 04-25-2006
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Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. You definitely answered my first question which was would the jumper struts support the mast if I flew a masthead spinnaker or drifter. My goal in all of this is to have a way of putting up lots of sail area for very light wind days, below 5 knots. I quite appreciate your caution about getting caught with a spinnaker that equals maybe twice my normal sail area during higher winds so I will be mindful. I have also thought that a masthead spinnaker would be less likely than the current spinnaker to get tangled in the jumpers. Time will tell.

So do you think I would be better off with an asymmetrical spinnaker or a drifter? I currently have an asymmetrical chute that attaches just above the fractional jib and I have to say I am not too impressed with it. First off it just doesnít add enough sail area over my 150 Genoa and of course I canít point very high with it. I wonder if I wouldnít be happy with a masthead drifter and take the compromises of using it off the wind.

Some of the others up here in the Pacific NW who sail engineless have added what the call a jib boom or temporary bow sprits to fly large drifters or asymís from. Do you have any experience or thoughts on this idea?

Thanks, Bill
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Old 04-25-2006
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SailingDog,

What type of boat are you using your screacher on? What is you working sail area? I am curious how large this asym is in relation to you working sail area.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 04-25-2006
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The boat is a 28' trimaran. The main is 240 sq. ft, the 150% genoa is 274 sq. ft. The screacher is 400 sq. ft. Going down wind, I will often furl the genoa, and use the screacher and main together. The screacher works fairly well upwind as well, but generally I prefer the genoa for upwind work.
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Old 04-27-2006
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A year or so ago, I exchanged emails with a guy on Puget Sound who spoke about J/36's that were experimenting with masthead chutes. Since the standard, fractional chute on one of these is 1000 sq ft., we're talking about some pull. I haven't done it on mine, not wanting to turn my masthead into a pretzel until I have a spare mast handy. Haven't heard any horror stories, however. To allay your concern about the jumpers, what about screwing, taping or otherwise attaching a loop of ss 3x19 wire from the mast to the tips of the jumper struts, and back to the mast again. It would look like the bails used to protect radar units that are mounted in the foretriangle, but wouldn't have to be as heavy, since you're only dealing with the 'chute up there, not a jib.
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