Cruising Spinnaker Sailcloth Weight - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-15-2006
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Cruising Spinnaker Sailcloth Weight

I'm buying a used cruising spinnaker with dousing sock. Several weights are offered from .6, .75, 1.5, and 2.2 oz. Will these work on my Allied Luders 33, a modified full keel, 13,000 lb displacement sailboat? I will be coastal cruising.
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Old 04-16-2006
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0.75 oz is the typical light air spinnaker for perhaps 5 to 15 knots AWS. In heavier wind there is some risk of ripping the spinnaker when stuffing the bow into a wave.

The 1.5 oz spin is usually a heavy weather design, for perhaps 15 to 30 knots AWS. It's also usually physically smaller than the light air spin.

If searching for a used one, take a handful of the nylon cloth, press your lips up to it and try to blow through the cloth. If you can, pass. If you can't, then buy it. it is possible to find a used one, since quite a few don't get used as much as they should.

There are also shape variations: Code 0, Code 3 Code 5. Read Hancock's book "Maximum Sail Power" as he has a great section on this subject.
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Old 04-16-2006
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Are you going to be using this as a cruising chute, or just for daysailing? If you want a cruising chute, I'd go with the next heavier weight cloth for durability.

Another good check is to rub a fingernail across the stitching. If it breaks cause of the fingernail, the thread has serious UV damage, and you should pass on it.
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Old 04-16-2006
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If the spinnaker is well used, avoid WHITE especially in the corners. White Nylon ripstop nylon is more subject to UV damage than the darker colors.
How to test: try to push your finger through a panel near the corner. If badly UV degraded the finger will easily tear through.
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Old 04-18-2006
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The cloth weight should really be selected for the intended wind range.. if you are in a generally windy area then a 1.5 oz might be the ticket. The lighter the sail the more effective it will be in lighter airs when you need a spinnaker the most. The 2.2 would just be overkill, and probably wouldn't fly well in light to moderate air.
Racers carry .5, .6, .75, 1.0, 1.5 oz chutes to match all likely wind ranges they may encounter for good reason - not just because they like to spend the money!
Don't forget to keep the sheets as lightweight as is safe to do so for the conditions.
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Old 04-18-2006
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Smile Great Responses

Wow, I'm impressed with all the responses I received. This was my first entry into a forum. What a nice surprise. I now have what I need to make an informed buy. Anybody got a good used cruising spinnaker .75 oz, 36-38 foot luff, 21-26 foot, with dousing sock?
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Old 04-18-2006
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I would have thought white to the be least likely to suffer from UV damage, as it reflects more light rays than other colors. AC cup boats, though longevity is not their concern, pick any color they want, and almost invariably end up with white. Red gelcoat is notorious for UV degradation, why would a red 'chute be any different?
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Old 04-18-2006
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Sock

As for the sock, if you haven't already decided, you might want to check the Practical Sailor review. It rated them Northsails, ATN and ChuteScoop, in that order. I got ChuteeScoop as a promotion, and was so unimpressed with the apparent quality, got a Northsails. Practical Sailor was al that impressed either.

Even if you aren't inerested in the Northsails sock, the Northsails web site videos on using a sock are quite informative.
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Old 04-18-2006
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"why would a red 'chute be any different?"

Red dyes are notorious for degrading under sunlight and UV exposure. Red auto paint fades badly in sunlight, and red nylon punks out (degrades) faster than any other color in sailcloth. The dark colors (navy and black) are most stable, again because of the dye chemistry.

But to me the biggest question in chutes & cloth weights would be the wind range you intend to use them in. In light air you need cloth that is light enough to stay up and filled. And that means that as soon as the wind fills in, the chute will burst from the load--even brand new.

So you've got to pick a wind range, or ranges, and match your chute(s) to it. And then be religious about pulling the chute in BEFORE it gets windy enough to burst it.

Since light cloths also will blow out of shape very easily, I'd expect any used lightweight chute to be out of optimum shape. You've got to have a good amount of patience and luck to buy something that like used--and still worthwhile.
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