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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 12-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainmidnight View Post
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
I don't make this stuff up. I have been racing with jib and main, and regularly beating assyms, for thirty years under different rules. Some clubs gave different handicaps for different sails, but, in one-design racing, other clubs gave one handicap for all entrants, and it was up to the racer to decide which sails to use under the applicable racing conditions. My home club during most of those years didn't limit the length of whisker poles.

Sailing is all about adapting and configuring the boat and sails to the conditions. If you're racing with spinnaker, for example, and it blows out, you don't drop out of the race. You put up the sails you have and change your race plan and tactics, and try to figure out how to carry on and be competitive with the sails that you have. You try to find a different, faster sailing angle, or stronger winds with a more favorable slant. You mentioned running DDW in winds strong enough to push the boat to hull speed. In those conditions I often don't use a pole at all, depending on all the conditions. The pole is usually set primarily for two reasons: (1) to keep the jib from collapsing frequently and then re-filling with a loud snap, but I've learned that you can trim the main and jib so that the jib doesn't collapse and re-fill; it stays full all the time; and (2) to maximize the sail area that is exposed to the wind, but, when you're already running hull speed or more, you have to ask yourself what you stand to gain by increasing the sail area. Depending on the length of the race, you might not gain anything. If you don't need the pole to maximize sail area, and you don't need it to keep the jib full and drawing, why bother setting it?

In short-distance, around-the-buoys club racing, you have to consider the time lost by spinnaker boats in rounding marks and raising and lowering sails, often while heading off in the wrong direction, versus the ease of handling jib and main, and the fact that the JAM can be trimmed and begin drawing almost immediately, and in the right direction. In most club racing, the fundamentals of setting and lowering the spinnaker often result in time consuming mistakes. In a short race, those frequent mistakes can easily cost the race.

Many racers only "know" one way to do things. When we talk about sailing and sail trim, there are a gazillion "rules of thumb" that we all follow, but, for every rule of thumb, there are many exceptions, and many racers don't get beyond the rules of thumb.
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  #22  
Old 12-21-2008
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Yeah, but who wants a 155 Genoa? It might be good poled out, but it won't point worth a darn. It seems an A-sail gives you the most flexibility regarding points of sail.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
I have been racing with jib and main, and regularly beating assyms, for thirty years under different rules.
There are too many variables to come to a conclusion based on what you have said. What would be more interesting is if YOU had similar experience flying chutes on the same boats in the same conditions. There are way too many sub-par crews in club racing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
In short-distance, around-the-buoys club racing, you have to consider the time lost by spinnaker boats in rounding marks and raising and lowering sails, often while heading off in the wrong direction, versus the ease of handling jib and main
My point exactly. Crew skill is the most important single factor. There is simply no excuse for the kind of behavior you describe. They "ain't doing it right." *grin*

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulfinger View Post
Yeah, but who wants a 155 Genoa? It might be good poled out, but it won't point worth a darn. It seems an A-sail gives you the most flexibility regarding points of sail.
I can't begin to conceive of why you come to the conclusion you have. In light air there is no substitute on any boat I have raced for a giant foresail you can trim in to the spreaders to make the windward mark ahead of the competition. You'll have to elaborate substantially to make a case.
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  #24  
Old 12-21-2008
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Before we get much further off track the original queston was regarding short handed cruising. Experience racing may be enlightning but doesn't really apply to a 36' crusing boat with a crew of two.
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  #25  
Old 12-21-2008
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In regards to your last post#11, I would say yes, I think in your case a pole would fill the gap nicely. I would store it on the mast with a track system.
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  #26  
Old 12-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
Before we get much further off track the original queston was regarding short handed cruising. Experience racing may be enlightning but doesn't really apply to a 36' crusing boat with a crew of two.
With all due respect I do not agree. I sail my 40' cruising boat single or double-handed most of the time. The experience I have gained racing other boats from 14' to 50' is extremely valuable to me and directly applicable to cruising my boat.

Racing experience lets me make tacks without killing myself grinding. Racing experience makes me comfortable flying my asymmetric chute single-handed off a sprit and double-handed off a pole albeit with an autopilot helping out. Racing experience helped me gain nearly a knot of boat speed during my watches on a transatlantic; if you don't think that adds up to something a cruiser cares about crossing an ocean then we have very different standards. Racing experience has contributed to navigation skills that maximize the benefits of favorable currents and minimize the impact of foul ones, that provide for use of the depth sounder as a tactical and navigational tool, and help keep the boat moving well under sail in light air.

Racing is a way to learn a lot in relatively short order that is almost all directly applicable to cruising. Some of the happiest, most confident cruisers I know have a substantial racing background.

Be that as it may, this is your thread and you asked the original question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
If your boat is equipped with an Asym in a snuffer sleeve, would you also want a whisker pole to pole out the genny? Which would you consider more versatile for coastal cruising usually with a crew of 2? What are the conditions where one would be preferable to the other?
No. My boat has both a small bow sprit and a spinnaker pole. I only use the pole to hold the spinnaker tack to windward.

When I took delivery I had a 100% working jib and a cruising chute (1.5oz material). Since then I have added a 135% genoa. I keep the 135 on the furler in the summer and the 100 on the rest of the year based on prevailing wind conditions where I sail.

I sail single- and double-handed almost all the time. I have sailed with a total of three aboard once and four aboard once in nearly three years.

sail fast, dave
S/V Auspicious

Last edited by SVAuspicious; 12-22-2008 at 12:08 PM.
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  #27  
Old 12-22-2008
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I see little need for a whisker pole, as the genoa will usually fly by itself if there is enough apparent wind for it to be of any use. When running, if the genoa doesn't want to fly to windward, jibe the main and fly the genoa on the leeward side. If your course is such that you cannot sail the main by the lee, you should be high enough for normal jib reaching.

The value of a sprit for use with an asym is that it allows you to buy and fly a much larger sail. Putting a cruising spinnaker (a chute designed and sized to attach to bow) out on a sprite would be of little benefit. We regularily race with several size asyms and I never saw a condition where a whisker pole would be of any use with the spinnaker clew.
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  #28  
Old 12-22-2008
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Points out one flaw in all your answers.....
If it is warm weather and the two sais crew are dressed on the skimpy side and good looking...who cares?

If it is cold weather [EDIT by JRP]??Who cares?

My thoughts
Mark

Last edited by JohnRPollard; 12-22-2008 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Inappropriate language
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  #29  
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For the benefit of those that have given of their time to respond to my question, I want to clarify that as I explained to SVAuspicious in a PM, that I am in now way discounting racing experience but trying to glean what I can from every throughtful post.

I crew on a 40' boat and have experience setting, gybing a dousing a spinniker. Setting a chute on a pole not something I care to attempt while weekend cruising with my spouse and since I felt the discussion was heading in that direction, I thought I'd try to tactfully reign it in. Perhaps I was not so tactful in my wording and for that I aplogize and again thank you all for sharing your experience.
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  #30  
Old 12-22-2008
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If boats were competitive racing without spinnakers why would experienced sailors use them? I know off topic.... Actually the same could be said regarding the use of whisker poles. If they didn't add significantly to your sailing why do we see so many in use? It's not just a pole it's a system. from storage to length, to deployment to, topping lift cleat placement, to mast adjustment/attachment it needs to be properly thought out then modified if you are not happy. There are all kinds of poles, cleats, tracks etc. work with a qualified rigger in your area.
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