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Gulfislander 02-18-2008 10:32 PM

spinnaker sheets
I am getting a cruising spinnaker and would like to know what type and size of sheets do you experienced cruisers use. I was told 1/4" floating line by one friend and told to use 3/8 floating by another because its easier on the hands. Opinions?? - 31' Niagara. :confused:

nolatom 02-18-2008 10:42 PM

Quarter-inch will kill your hands. I'd go half-inch, and in really light air you could use something smaller. Mostly you're tying the sheets on anyway, so you can have two sizes, with one as a spare.

I don't have an opinion on floating or non. If the sheets are getting in the water, the kite isn't flying well anyway.

Out of curiosity, are you talking about a bow-mounted assymmetrical one, or old-school with a pole?

Quickstep192 02-18-2008 11:05 PM

The solution is tapered sheets. Thin line kills your hands and thick line is too heavy to let the chute fly in light air. Line that doesn't absorb water is a nice to have. Eventually, the line will get wet and if it stays wet and heavy, it will also make the sail fly poorly in light air. Some folks even go to the trouble of having multiple sets for different conditions.

Gulfislander 02-18-2008 11:29 PM

It will be a bow-mounted asymmetrical.

Plumper 02-18-2008 11:38 PM

I would also go with floating tapered sheets. Mine are Warpspeed. The thin end is at the sail (let sit fly better) and the thick end is in your hands (feels good). Get a comfortable thickness.

sailingfool 02-19-2008 10:13 AM

54 Attachment(s)
You didn't say how big the boat is, but I'd start with 3/8" as the minimum size for hand comfort, and go larger if the chute size demands. See for guidance on size. I'd use the basic Sta-Set line or equivalent. I've never heard of the use of floating line for sail control lines, maybe good for the dingy painter...the tapered line is great for racing applications where you'll pay 3 times as much per footfor low weight..shouldn't matter at all on your cruising boat..KISS.

Plumper 02-19-2008 10:26 AM

Floating line is good for A-Sails because they are less likely to go under the boat when you screw up a gybe. They don't make any difference if you use a symmetrical spin or if you gybe it through the forward triangle.

sailingdog 02-19-2008 09:27 PM

A dyneema or spectra based line is probably excellent for this, since it is lighter than a dacron line would be, and stronger as well, so you can often go down a size... Dyneema and spectra-based lines float IIRC.

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