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uri 09-10-2002 01:33 PM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
I am thinking on getting one of those sails...and may be placing a sprit at the bow that will incease J by 85 cm...any sugestios ? What are the basic differences...probaly in the long run I will also get a chute ....but for now I think it will be esasier for me to set a Cruising chute or geenaker with a sock does any onne can help me ?
thank you

JeffH 09-10-2002 05:30 PM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
As the terms are usually used a genacker is usually a close reaching sail intended to be used between 60 to 90 degrees apparent. The term ''genacker'' referred to the precursers to a "code zero". These sails gained popularity in the Whitbread/Volvo 60''s. These boats use fractional non-overlapping jibs with masthead spinackers. The Code Zero (or Genacker) is a spinacker that is cut as a genoa which makes for improved light air close reaching for a fractionally rigged boat. They are heavily penalized under most handicapping measurment rules because the spinacker halyard is exiting the mast above the jib halyard. Adding a pole that would extend in front of the forestay to fly it from also adds considerably to your rating. Between the two rating penalties it would be hard to make a genacker make sense as a racing sail since it makes more sense to use an overlapping genoa and not take the penalty.

A cruising spinacker is really a pretty inefficient assymetrical spinacker intended to be used for broad reaching 90 degrees to 135 degrees true. While cruising chutes can be used wing and wing for cruising they are not terribly effective in that mode. They are most effective on heavier displacement cruiser in moderate breezes. Generally it is assumed that a cruising spinacker will not be used in either lighter or heavier conditions as they are too small and shape is wrong and fabric too heavy for light air conditions, and they are not as efficient for reaching as a genoa on a heavier boat in heavier conditions.

I don''t find either easier to set, fly, or strike than a conventional spinacker on masthead rigged boats less than 38 or so feet or fractional rigged boats under about 42 feet, where you can still end for end jibe.


tsenator 09-10-2002 07:53 PM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
While I wouldn''t argue with Jeff H on the history or potential speed benefits of these types of sails, I have to *strongly* disagree with his comment that asymmetrical Spinakers are not easier to "set, fly or strike" as compared to a a conventional spinaker. least for the typical sailor.

I have been on fully crewed race boats with seasoned sailors and I have found flying a conventional spinaker to be much more involved and I think most sailors would think so too! Plus the rigging is much more complicated, Afterguy, lazyguys, Spinaker pole, topping lift, downhaul, etc, etc.

I can fly my asymetrical Chute by myself. I hit the autopilot, raise the Chute in a spinaker sock (ATN brand), Raise the spinaker sock and I''m off. Lots of people do it, its really relatively easy. I am not sure there are many sailors that would say that of a flying a a conventional spinaker. I don''t doubt Jeff could do it, but if you are talking about the average sailor???

As for jibing, its even easier, just let the sheet out, Jibe, let the asym spinaker go out in front of the forestay and then sheet it on the other side. (or cheat and collapse the sail with the spinaker sock and sheet it to the other side and then open the sock up again)

JeffH 09-11-2002 04:55 AM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
I respect Tsenator''s opinion on the symetrical vs assymetrical issue. I had almost this same discussion with a couple sailmakers a few weeks back and they were close to equally split, although they seemed to agree that cruising chutes made more sense for new sailors because it is harder to understand the principles of flying a symmetrical chute when you are first starting out sailing.

I think that the ease of flying an assymetric vs a conventional chute somewhat depends on the boat, the chute and what you are used to. My problem with assym chutes has to do with the sheer amount of line that you need to handle quickly on each tacks and the ease with which they get wraps. Even on boats with long bowsprits (closer to 2 meters [6''4] than .8 meters [2''-6 or so])and even with a crack crew work wraps happen and these can be all too often the kinds of wraps that one ends up sending someone aloft to clear. On crack race boats we have a foredeck person who helps haul the chute around the forestay. Even with cruising chutes I have seen some pretty impressive wraps. In some ways, cruising chutes with their smaller crews, and short poles, or no poles, are even more prone to getting wraps than racing assymetricals. To me assymtricals look easier because they seem to jibe more or less like a jib, but in reality they are harder to keep filled and easier to wrap on a jibe.

I don''t buy the complexity arguement. I think that any spinacker requires a lot of gear but with an assymetrical flown as suggested in the original question, you need a sprit and that is far more expensive and complicated to construct than a pole lift, pole and spinacker track. Rigging the tackline is more or less the same as a foreguy. Both have the same sheets, and guys except that a symmetrical would have only both sheets in use at the same time. The key to ease of jibing is marking the jibe points on the sheets so you can preset the sheet and guy at a position that is known to work all the way through the jibe. Throwing the pole is easy at that point.

My other gripe with assymetrics is the issue that they are so next to useless dead downwind and the comparatively narrow range through which they can be flown.


SailorMitch 09-11-2002 04:56 AM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
I agree with tsenator that asymmetrical spinnakers are MUCH easier to use in all aspects compared to a standard spinnaker with pole, etc. I can singlehand my asymm (although I only bought the sail this year and am still learning.) I doubt there are many singlehanders out there messing with a conventional spinnaker with a pole. The modern asymm with sock, etc. is a terrific sail for shorthanded boats. You can''t say that about a regular spinnaker with pole.

davealves 09-11-2002 06:49 AM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
Just to throw my two cents worth in, I single hand a 40í fractionally rigged sloop and find it no problem to fly a symmetrical spinnaker. I use an ATN stuffer, and with some forethought and the autopilot itís not a problem.

I sail with boats flying a asymmetrical chute and jibing down wind and there seems to be little difference on otherwise evenly matched boats.

Like boats and sailing in general, it''s personal preference and everything is a compromise.

Stede 09-11-2002 09:49 AM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
I agree with the comments by TSenator.I usually sail my boat single-handed.Recently I equipped my boat with an assymetrical chute,sock,and ATN tacker that attaches around the forestay,and tack of the chute.I can launch the sail by myself in minutes.I also have a racing symetrical chute that stays in the bag along with the pole clamped to the stanchions.I also agree with some of Jeff''s comments concerning the sailing angles to which the assymetrical chute is effective, but to me, having some use of a chute is better than having no use of a chute.

uri 09-11-2002 10:00 AM

Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
So....if I want and asymetrical it looks that the sprit will be really helpful, and may be as an average sailor or may be lover than that using the sock for giving will be much safer while I am learning....also is may be better a genaker and a symetrical chute, than an asymetrical for "everything",...but if for cruising trying to be fast an asymetrical can be agoood option....thank you I am getting there.

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