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post #1 of 9 Old 07-10-2008 Thread Starter
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Reacher vs Drifter

I bought a 75 Irwin 33 ft sloop about a year ago and am still learning this sailing thing as I go. There is a Reacher and a Drifter amoung the sail inventory. My understanding is that they are both downwind sails but can anyone tell me any thing else about their uses?

I also have fixed whisker and spinnaker poles.
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-10-2008
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Reacher, Drifter, Flasher etc etc were terms often applied to the early asymmetrical "spinnaker" type sails.

However sometimes "drifter" referred to hanked-on "genoas" made out of ripstop nylon (spinnaker material) in which case it could be a very light air upwind sail too.

The reacher might also be a high cut headsail intended for apparent wind angles outside close hauled.

More description would be helpful.. what kind of cloth, hanks or no, luff tape or no, etc etc.

Having a Whisker AND a spinn pole is OK, use the Whisker on the appropriate jib to go wing on wing, and of course the spinn pole for your conventional symmetrical spinnaker.

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post #3 of 9 Old 07-10-2008
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Reacher's can be used when the wind is forward of the beam, the angle of which is different depending on the cut of the sail, usually 50 degrees or more.

Drifters are cut fuller, light air, downwind/wind aft of the beam is the primary intended use.

I have what is called a screacher on the bow, it's a light air (good to 14kts) furling sail good to a observed 40 degrees, size wise it's about the same as a 200% genoa and is on it's own furler in front on the jib - it's also on a track much like a traveller so I can move it from side to side - improving angles either upwind or down wind. Some would call it a code zero.
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More Info Drifter vs Reacher

Both sails mount on my roller furling. They are both made of the same light weight material, nylon probably. The reacher has a seam that is blown out looks like it might be repairable. From the reading I have done I had found out the Drifter was for light air downwind. Just wasnt sure of the Reacher. Thanks for your help!
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-10-2008
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Sorry for the slight hijack!

chucklesR - Is your screacher (on its furler) always hoisted? Or do you haul it up on a halyard when you want to use it? If always hoisted, does it have sacrificial cloth on its leech and foot? I'm interested in something like that.

TIA
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-10-2008
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While on the topic.

I have a drifter (That's what the label says) which looks and feels like a light weight asymmetrical "spinnaker". The PO must have gotten it before he put on the rolling furler.

I was thinking about getting some "beaded loops" that I could rape around the rolled genoa and hank on to those.

Anybody tried that?

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondy View Post
Sorry for the slight hijack!

chucklesR - Is your screacher (on its furler) always hoisted? Or do you haul it up on a halyard when you want to use it? If always hoisted, does it have sacrificial cloth on its leech and foot? I'm interested in something like that.

TIA
I am guessing that Chuckle's Screacher has a UV protective laminate called Tedlar added to the sail. While not quite as good as a Sunbrella UV-protective sacrificial strip, it does a fairly decent job while adding minimal weight to the sail. I have a screacher on my boat, and our sails are made by the same loft, since our boats are made by the same company. Be aware that most of the wire-luff furlers for headsails, like the screachers Chuckles and I have on our boats are designed to only furl the sails, not reef them.

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While on the topic.

I have a drifter (That's what the label says) which looks and feels like a light weight asymmetrical "spinnaker". The PO must have gotten it before he put on the rolling furler.

I was thinking about getting some "beaded loops" that I could rape around the rolled genoa and hank on to those.

Anybody tried that?
What you're thinking of are called parrel beads, and they're often used to attach the tack around a furled headsail. The ATN Tacker is much the same idea, using a fabric sleeve instead of the beads. It works fairly well. The Tacker is probably going to do less damage to the furled headsail, since it spreads the forces out far more evenly.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-10-2008 at 04:55 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-11-2008
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Jbondy,
It's made to drop easily and fold into a nearby sail locker. It takes about five mines to hoist single handed. It does have a tedlar coating, some of the owners have added a sailrite luff. Most of the time I leave it up.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Jbondy,
It's made to drop easily and fold into a nearby sail locker. It takes about five mines to hoist single handed. It does have a tedlar coating, some of the owners have added a sailrite luff. Most of the time I leave it up.
Which furler do you have? There was a recent Practical Sailor review of furlers. There seemed to be distinct differences in what they are designed to do, what kind of sail, etc. Any insight to share? (Or has this gear already been addressed in other threads?)
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