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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2008
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Melrna, SD and Cptmidnight are hitting on my questions/thoughts. My boat is a C36 tall rig (mast head rig) with a 140 genny and a light asymetrical spinnaker. Given what I have, I think in light air, I'm probably better off gybing as needed on a broad reach with the Asym, than trying to go DDW (unless I invest in a whsker pole).

I'm thinking the gap in my existing inventory is in moderate air, likely somewhere between 13-15 knots and 18 knots of wind. If the wind is over 10-13 knots I'd be thinking of snuffing the aysm, but I probably wouldn't get much performance with just the genny until the wind got over 18 knots. So in that gap, having the option to pole out the genny would open more options than wing on wing, but I'm not sure it would be worth the investment for that limited set of conditions. Any gaps in my thinking or flat out wrongness?
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
Given what I have, I think in light air, I'm probably better off gybing as needed on a broad reach with the Asym, than trying to go DDW (unless I invest in a whsker pole).
Yep. Check your polar diagrams. A line perpendicular to DDW that is tangent to the curve for your current wind speed will be at the angle for greatest VMG. This assumes you have polars for your sail plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
I'm thinking the gap in my existing inventory is in moderate air, likely somewhere between 13-15 knots and 18 knots of wind. If the wind is over 10-13 knots I'd be thinking of snuffing the aysm, but I probably wouldn't get much performance with just the genny until the wind got over 18 knots. So in that gap, having the option to pole out the genny would open more options than wing on wing, but I'm not sure it would be worth the investment for that limited set of conditions. Any gaps in my thinking or flat out wrongness?
If you are going to invest in a pole I'd suggest a spinnaker pole to get the tack of your chute to windward.

On my boat if the wind is up I put a reef or two in the main and fly my asym off a small sprit. In lighter air I fly the chute off the pole. Poling out the clew to leeward is not nearly so effective as poling out the tack to windward.

I sail single-handed or short-handed.

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  #13  
Old 12-19-2008
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I'll echo some of what others are stating.

Primary reasons for a whisker pole is light winds usage alone - otherwise it is a fairly useless tool. However for true DDW without a main (and the most efficient for DDW performance) is combo of spinnaker pole and whisker pole.

Douse the main or put it centerline then use the spinnaker pole with the genoa and take same size "screecher" or roughly same sized asym and whisker pole that one. Requires that you have a dual track for the furler system and that you remove the head to do so. This is for optimum sail area driving downwind without going wing to wing via main and genoa.

The problem with using the main and the genoa to go downwind is the fact that you have steer a course almost perfectedly downwind. more than 7 degrees in most cases and one or the other collapses or looses it sail shape.

That is one of the advantages of running a spinnaker versus the asym or going wing to wing is that you have a little leeway on course deviations.

If you can't do both whisker and spinnaker pole - the spinnaker pole is the better investment. It works just as a whisker pole does but will allow you to fly more of your sails and in more ranges of wind conditions than whisker pole alone.

Poor man's usage of whisker pole technique is using a boat hook - again limited to light aires.

Everything depends on your sail inventory naturally - the more racer you are, the more you want a tool that works in more conditions. Also, considering the investment and how much you decide to use it an extendable spinnaker pole is worth the extra monies especially if such designed that collapses the length enough to be less than the distance of the forestay to the mast - this prevents doing pole gybing and makes for a more efficient method of gybing in general as it can be done with minimal resources committed to that task.

For asyms - we never use a pole hardly ever. Secure the tack to the bow and run it more like a genoa (technique that North Sails taught us)...

Just my observation and inputs from experiences using a fixed spinnaker pole and performing most of what has been outlined by others...
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Last edited by artbyjody; 12-19-2008 at 08:13 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
Melrna, SD and Cptmidnight are hitting on my questions/thoughts. My boat is a C36 tall rig (mast head rig) with a 140 genny and a light asymetrical spinnaker. Given what I have, I think in light air, I'm probably better off gybing as needed on a broad reach with the Asym, than trying to go DDW (unless I invest in a whsker pole).

I'm thinking the gap in my existing inventory is in moderate air, likely somewhere between 13-15 knots and 18 knots of wind. If the wind is over 10-13 knots I'd be thinking of snuffing the aysm, but I probably wouldn't get much performance with just the genny until the wind got over 18 knots. So in that gap, having the option to pole out the genny would open more options than wing on wing, but I'm not sure it would be worth the investment for that limited set of conditions. Any gaps in my thinking or flat out wrongness?
Midlife,

We have an asym chute on our boat, but no pole. I wish we had a pole, but if I had to choose between one or the other, I'd stick with the chute.

There are lazy days where I wouldn't mind just sailing DDW wing-on-wing, without all the jibing. That's where the pole would come in handy with the genoa. But we do get better VMG sailing a higher course and jibing our way down-wind, so I agree with your conclusion above.

But I'm not convinced there really is a gap in your sail inventory (for cruising -- racing a different story). You should be able to draw that asym into the mid-to-upper teens (true). Bear away as much as you can to take some of the pressure off by reducing apparent wind and blanketing it behind the main (opposite of what you want to do in light air).

If you happen to have one of those super-sized asyms -- then "maybe not" on the advice above. In that case, a smaller asym, constructed of heavier weight nylon (1.5 oz), might be a good choice to fill the gap. But a pole is nice to have, regardless, although not a necessity for flying these asym chutes.

P.S. One more tip:

Without a long sprit or pole to work with, we have found that in very light air, putting a reef in the main helps to keep the asym filled and allows a deeper sailing angle. It sounds counter intuitive, but it really does work. The lost drive in the mainsail is negligible compared to flying the chute efficiently. We've even dropped the main and sailed with chute alone -- which also works well in light air and allows even deeper angles to reduce jibing.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2008
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A retractable bow pole does a fantastic job of keeping the Assym away from the main. All assyms are not created equal, some are very finicky, one of the easiest I've flown after nearly 40 trans-pacific voyages, on a ton of diffferent boats,was a Hasse (PT,WA) I agree with midlife, it's a small gap but if you wanna fillit get a extendable pole. Find your local Selden or Forespar dealer ask for a boatshow special...Also if you're headed offshore invest in a spinnaker net.
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  #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Midlife,


P.S. One more tip:

Without a long sprit or pole to work with, we have found that in very light air, putting a reef in the main helps to keep the asym filled and allows a deeper sailing angle. It sounds counter intuitive, but it really does work. The lost drive in the mainsail is negligible compared to flying the chute efficiently. We've even dropped the main and sailed with chute alone -- which also works well in light air and allows even deeper angles to reduce jibing.

I Will 2sd what John says: Reefing the main works. Also on very light wind days have a set of sheets one size smaller than normal. ie. if you regularly use 3/8 sheet have a set made of 5/16, on very light wind days even the weight of the sheet can curl the corner the of chute.
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  #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
I Will 2sd what John says: Reefing the main works. Also on very light wind days have a set of sheets one size smaller than normal. ie. if you regularly use 3/8 sheet have a set made of 5/16, on very light wind days even the weight of the sheet can curl the corner the of chute.
Good tip. We just bought this boat July this year and haven't had a lot of chance to play with the spinnaker. The times we did use it, I felt the sheets that are on the asym are two heavy for the normal conditions when we'd be using it.

We're having a new main and genoa made over the winter and will be making some changes to the rigging, so we can shift gears through our normal sailing range (0-25 or so kts).
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  #18  
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Often, racing rules limit the length of a whisker pole, and that greatly reduces the value of a long, extendable whisker pole, but, when you're cruising, and the racing rules don't apply, or if your local club doesn't limit the length of the pole, a 155% masthead genoa that is poled out as far as possible presents a huge amount of sail area to the wind, and can often generate nearly as much speed downwind as a similar boat, even with a symmetrical spinnaker. (That's probably one reason why the racing rules limit the length of the whisker pole.) IMHO, a cruising chute is at it's best when reaching a bit. It's not at it's best sailing deep downwind, and a 155 poled out to the max is closely comparable on that point of sail.

Last edited by Sailormon6; 12-20-2008 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
Often, racing rules limit the length of a whisker pole, and that greatly reduces the value of a long, extendable whisker pole, but, when you're cruising, and the racing rules don't apply, or if your local club doesn't limit the length of the pole, a 155% masthead genoa that is poled out as far as possible presents a huge amount of sail area to the wind, and can often generate nearly as much speed downwind as a similar boat, even with a symmetrical spinnaker.
The problem I have poling out a genoa that big along with a sail that heavy is things can break in a hurry. If the whisker pole dives into the water for a multitude of reasons something or things is going to break. Most important one loses control of the sailboat. On the race course we see this happen all the time. For just two people cruising personally I won't recommend it.
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  #20  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
Often, racing rules limit the length of a whisker pole, and that greatly reduces the value of a long, extendable whisker pole, but, when you're cruising, and the racing rules don't apply, or if your local club doesn't limit the length of the pole, a 155% masthead genoa that is poled out as far as possible presents a huge amount of sail area to the wind, and can often generate nearly as much speed downwind as a similar boat, even with a symmetrical spinnaker. (That's probably one reason why the racing rules limit the length of the whisker pole.) IMHO, a cruising chute is at it's best when reaching a bit. It's not at it's best sailing deep downwind, and a 155 poled out to the max is closely comparable on that point of sail.
What this says about boat speed is simply not true, until it's windy enough that you're reaching hull speed and then your typical cruising boat is going to get all rolly DDW
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