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post #1 of 26 Old 07-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

Hey Folks,

I've just been given a fairly suitably sized symmetrical spinnaker for my boat. I don't have a pole or any hardware for flying a symmetrical right, and I'm rocking a pretty draconian budget, so I'm working on VERY little disposable cash (yeah, yeah, get rid of the boat :P)

Anyway, I whipped up a jury rig last night to fly the symmetrical like an asym, basically tying one clew to a bow cleat, and sheeting the other end. It worked out surprisingly well, and I'm pretty sure my boat's never gone faster. Sure, there was a mess of curl at the luff, but there was a LOT of square footage filled up.

So now, with that successful experiment out of the way, I'm considering rigging this in a *slightly* more legitimate manner, and I was wondering if there is any kind of information about this practice, or if I'm just completely bugnuts. I mean, it seems kind of daft to fly an symmetrical like this, but man, I can't argue with the results.

Any tips? References? Guides?
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

Here's the only photo my crew managed to snag

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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

atn tacker will work well , you don't really need an atn just look how they are rigged & that will give you an idea of how to make your own design tacker
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

Huh. So people *do* fly spinnakers like that...crazy.

I suppose a few feet of downhaul and a quick-release shackle would do me just as fine, since I don't have a roller furler. That would get the head closer to the masthead, and the foot up above the pulpit.
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

Yes, raise the tack, keeping it as far forward as possible. Don't tear out the bow pulpit! Keep the luff tight. That's a nice chute, and with that cut it should work reasonably well.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

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Originally Posted by 5hortBu5 View Post
Huh. So people *do* fly spinnakers like that...crazy.

I suppose a few feet of downhaul and a quick-release shackle would do me just as fine, since I don't have a roller furler. That would get the head closer to the masthead, and the foot up above the pulpit.
Yup, I've done it a few times. I have the ATN Tacker. In light air you will move along pretty well.

You might even get up past a beam reach and start to point a bit. The thing is very light will create some lift to get you going when a 135% made of heavier material might just hang there.

If you are racing or have other jib options, no, it's not gonna work well.

If you need to leave the smaller working jib on the furler and just want to tool along in light air then... Sail on!

Some sort of "tacker" and a snatch block attached to something sturdy on the bow for a downhaul might be the way to go. Probably better than knotting it to the pulpit.

ATN has a video

One more thing... If you are short handed with a chute up, remember that just about the time it starts getting really fun is the time you start thinking about how to get it down

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Last edited by RobGallagher; 07-25-2013 at 12:32 PM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

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Originally Posted by 5hortBu5 View Post
Hey Folks,

I've just been given a fairly suitably sized symmetrical spinnaker for my boat. I don't have a pole or any hardware for flying a symmetrical right, and I'm rocking a pretty draconian budget, so I'm working on VERY little disposable cash (yeah, yeah, get rid of the boat :P)

Anyway, I whipped up a jury rig last night to fly the symmetrical like an asym, basically tying one clew to a bow cleat, and sheeting the other end. It worked out surprisingly well, and I'm pretty sure my boat's never gone faster. Sure, there was a mess of curl at the luff, but there was a LOT of square footage filled up.

So now, with that successful experiment out of the way, I'm considering rigging this in a *slightly* more legitimate manner, and I was wondering if there is any kind of information about this practice, or if I'm just completely bugnuts. I mean, it seems kind of daft to fly an symmetrical like this, but man, I can't argue with the results.

Any tips? References? Guides?
You will not be able to sail as close to the wind with a symmetric rigged as an asymmetrical but it will work quite nicely, particularly with a sock to make launching and recovery easier. For more information see Asymmetrical Spinnaker Trim.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

Thanks for the advice and the links, guys. Quick clarification: I had the tack tied down to a bow cleat, not the pulpit. I may be daft, but I'm not THAT daft.

As of right now, my headsail inventory is a busted old 100% hanking jib and this chute. I'm the slowest boat in B-Fleet by like, an hour, so we're pretty much just screwing around anyway.

I've got some ideas for how I can improve this rig for fairly low-bucks. Thanks for the ideas, guys
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

I do this all the time with my spinnaker since I'm mostly sailing singlehanded.
Much easier tacking without the pole.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Flying a Symmetrical Like an Asymmetrical

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Thanks for the advice and the links, guys. Quick clarification: I had the tack tied down to a bow cleat, not the pulpit. I may be daft, but I'm not THAT daft.

As of right now, my headsail inventory is a busted old 100% hanking jib and this chute. I'm the slowest boat in B-Fleet by like, an hour, so we're pretty much just screwing around anyway.

I've got some ideas for how I can improve this rig for fairly low-bucks. Thanks for the ideas, guys
Check out (click on) Atlantic Sail Traders, you may be able to find some worth while sails at a good price.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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