SailNet Community

SailNet Community (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/)
-   Gear & Maintenance (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/)
-   -   Flying a spinnaker single-handed (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/7837-flying-spinnaker-single-handed.html)

Stede 08-25-2003 03:57 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
Not long after purchasing my 26 footer,I bought a used tri-radial spinnaker,a pole,and all the associated gear.I enjoyed using the sail,but as I began to sail my boat single-handed more often,it just wasn''t a very user friendly sail for the application.I bought a sock for the sail thinking that it would help.My intention was to add some rigging where I would be able to launch,fly,and douse the sail from the cockpit.I never accomplished the task for various reasons.I started looking at cruising spinnakers and ended up buying one from Lee sails about a year ago.I also bought something called a "tacker" that basically attaches around my furled genny,and then the clew of the spinnaker attaches to it.I took the sock off of the tri-radial to use with the cruising spinnaker.I hadn''t really used the sail much until yesterday. I have to tell you, I love this sail.For reaching,it''s great!For anything other than reaching, it just isn''t much pumpkin.(Southern term for not good) I had a blast playing around with it and found that it was very easy to jibe.Using the sock with the sail also makes it very easy to douse should things get dicey while out alone.I was wondering if there are any single handed sailors out there that fly spinnakers, and use similar gear that could help me with a few issues.(1)If you use the "tacker" how successful have you been using it with a assymetrical spinnaker.Do you use a regular pole with it,or just a whisker pole? How effective is the sail using it in this form for runs. What about rigging? If you''re using a sock,have you devised a way to launch and snuff the sail from the cockpit? I''ve thought about buying a sock for my tri-radial and possibly a whisker pole.If the tacker would work well with the tri-radial for runs,it would give me a good arsenal for pretty much all conditions while sailing single-handed.I know that for flying these types of sails,(especially racing)there are a lot more efficient ways.When you''re out there alone though,simpler is definitely better.Thanks for any help you can provide.

Sailmc 08-25-2003 04:22 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
I fly an asymetrical on my 43'' single handed. I use a sock and the tacker. Asyms are definately not running sails. I really can''t sail below 140 degrees apparent. If you want to run you can try winging the sail out on a whisker pole or fly the chute alone without the main. The equipment all works very well but I should add that an auto pilot makes this all possible single handed. I have heard of set ups where everything can be done from the cockpit but I have not seen one and would be interseted in how this is rigged. Depending on the design of your boat, if you want to go dead down wind with your asym you should reach and gybe. Sometimes the fastest route between two points is not a straight line. It''s easy to do with a tacked asym.

Jeff_H 08-25-2003 04:56 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
I single-hand a lot under spinacker, both on my previous 25 then 28 footer and I have just started single-handing with the chute on my current 38 footer. All of those are symetrical chutes flown with a normal spin pole. Only the 38 footer has an autopilot. I have also tried to single hand with assymetical cruising chutes. Here is what I found:

I find that a symetrical chute is far easier to single-hand than an assymetrical. The assymetrical has a narrower range of wind angles that it can tolerate and are more prone to getting a wrap when jibing. A wrap when you are single-handing can be an extremely dangerous situation because it requires so much time on the bow to clear. I don''t use a sock as I find socks more prone to sending the sail up with an hourglass, which again is a major issue when you are single-handing. I don''t understand the purpose of a ''Tacker''and feel that it dangerously removes a critical option in those situations where the Chute needs to come down quickly in a lot of wind. In my experience, the recovery line on a sock can get fouled leaving you with a half out chute and nothing that you can quickly do about it. I find that socks are next to useless when the wind really pipes up unless you can get the chute in the lee of the mainsail. So I conclude that assymetrics and socks are fine for boats with crews but really are less than ideal for single-handing.

To ease flying the chute single-hand I have marked the sheets for the proper setting for the jib. I head a few degrees above dead down wind and set the sheet and guy to their marks. I then jibe the pole, walk back to the cockpit and jibe the mainsail and then head up to the new course. This is actually easier than tacking an assymetrical because assymetricals require you to haul in so much more line and the timing is so critical.

To douse the chute I head just above dead down wind and either on an assymetrical I release the shackle on the tack line or on a symetrical chute I release the shackle on guy. The sail then ''flags'' with no load on it. I then grab the sheet and pull the chute close into the lee of the mainsail. I gather the foot and only then release the halyard. I then haul the chute down like a rope, hand over hand, stuffing it down the companionway. I can usually do this within reach of the helm.

This is a much faster and reliable operation than trying to stuff a chute and then lower the sock.

I have tried going wing and wing with an assymetrical chute and it works reasonably well. You need a special length whisker pole as a spin pole or a whisker pole are usually too short. So my conclusion is that when everthing is going well an assymetrical chute is more user friendly but they are more prone to things going seriously wrong and when they do they are harder to clear than a symetrical.

Jeff

Stede 08-25-2003 07:37 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
Sailmc,and Jeff_H,

Thanks for your comments.Sailmc,I know what you mean about a straight line not always being the fastest path.Running has never been one of my favorite points of sail, but sometimes I find it pretty beneficial.My hat''s off to you for single handling your 43 footer with an assy.Jeff_H, your comments are very beneficial to me as well.I''ve not had the opportunity to play around with setting my assymetrical single handed yet.I like using the sail,but I keep my boat most of the time on a lake.While the lake is fairly large,it really doesn''t provide the room to make it worth while for flying what I consider my "racing chute." I''ve made a copy of how you single-hand your spinnaker with a pole,and will experiment with mine on my next offshore trip.One point I have to some what disagree with you on is use of a chute,and the "tacker." I''ve not experienced the problems you mentioned, but then again I haven''t used mine that much.Maybe with continued use,I''ll discover some of the weaknesses that you''ve mentioned.Yesterday though,I thought it was great that I was on a fast reach using the cruising spinnaker, and was then able drop the sail,snuff it in the sock,and head back up under full sail again within about 5 mins. So far I really like using the chute and tacker.My boat does have an autopilot with an remote that I can use at the bow that also helps keeps things very managable.Anyway, as they say,"there''s more than one way to skin a cat." That''s probably not a good politically correct saying to use anymore,and I don''t know why anyone would want to skin a cat in the first place,but you know what I mean ;^)

Sailmc 08-25-2003 07:39 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
Jeff_H
The Tacker is a strap that wraps around the furled jib at the tack of the asym. The downhaul is attached to it alowing you to control the luff shape of the asym. Tight and straight for sailing closer to the wind and loose as you sail down.
I have been using this arrangement with a sock for about 10 years. You are right though when you say you need to blanket the chute with the wind in heavier air. I have never had an hour glass though. Wraps and hour glasses happen when you try to gybe the chute inside the forestay like a jib. The correct way to gybe an asym is to release the sheet as you turn and let the sail fly foward and proud of the forestay bringing it in with the other sheet. This eliminates most of the problems. If it''s really dicey you can blanket the sail then snuff it and then gybe and relaunch. Another thing I do sometimes with the sock is to snuff the sail and just leave the sock cleated to the deck while still hoisted. I then bag it at leisure at the dock. IMHO this is far less complicated and prone to problems than a Sym. setup with a pole, topping lift, after and fore guys etc. The only negative I see is the inabilty of the Asym. to sail as deep as the Sym.

Jeff_H 08-25-2003 10:05 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
I know what a tacker is, but I really don''t see any possible advantage. Ideally you want the luff of the chute to separate from the rolled genoa which the Tacker would prevent. I see the real danger to having it rigged that I mentioned in my previous post. I have always jibed assymetrics forward of the forestay but I have also had wraps with small crews. Wraps occur when the boat heads too far downwind and the chute colapses inward. Add a wave or two to that and an assymetric wraps. With a symetrical chute you have a chance to pole back to clear the wrap. With an assymetrical you have a good chance of being in serious trouble. A Tacker would seem to aggrevate that problem by holding the chute closer to the stay. In my experience, at least here on the Chesapeake with its ubiquidous chop I see far more assymetrics badly wrapped than I do symetrics. While a lot more gear is required to fly a symetric, jumping back and forth between boat that have symetricals and boats that have assymetricals, syumetricals are actually much easier to fly especially single-handed.

Jeff

Sailmc 08-25-2003 10:14 AM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
Jeff_H
The Asym is really somewhat of a hybrid shape. The tacker allows you to tighten and straighten the luff for the closer reaching angles the Asym. is able to do over the Sym. I guess we''ll have to agree to disagree on the rest.

Silmaril 08-26-2003 05:27 PM

Flying a spinnaker single-handed
 
I''ve been single-handing symetric chutes for years and have never had any difficulties. I would whole heartedly agree with Jeff on his worries of attaching the tack of the asymetric with the Tacker at the rolled-up genny.

The only thing I add to the symetric equation, I use lazy sheets and guys. On Silmaril, with her large foretriangle, I feel safer that way. A bit more fuss when jibing singlehanded maybe, but doing a dip-pole jibe works better for me with the extra control I feel with them. When I am getting ready to douse the chute, after the guy is released, I bring the clew to the leward mid-ships rail by hauling in the lazy guy, cleating it off, and then gather the chute and drop it down the companionway.

wind_magic 11-08-2009 03:21 PM

Jeff_H, I know this post is like a million years old, but I have a question. :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff_H (Post 32228)
To ease flying the chute single-hand I have marked the sheets for the proper setting for the jib. I head a few degrees above dead down wind and set the sheet and guy to their marks. I then jibe the pole, walk back to the cockpit and jibe the mainsail and then head up to the new course. This is actually easier than tacking an assymetrical because assymetricals require you to haul in so much more line and the timing is so critical.

Could you explain the above a little more, I am having trouble imagining what you are saying.

Quote:

To douse the chute I head just above dead down wind and either on an assymetrical I release the shackle on the tack line or on a symetrical chute I release the shackle on guy. The sail then ''flags'' with no load on it. I then grab the sheet and pull the chute close into the lee of the mainsail. I gather the foot and only then release the halyard. I then haul the chute down like a rope, hand over hand, stuffing it down the companionway. I can usually do this within reach of the helm.
So above, when you say "I release the shackle on guy." are you saying that you release the shackle on the side that is not connected to the spin pole ? I am just asking you to define the term because my sailing lingo isn't what it ought to be. Also, does the sail go into the water when you do this ? It seems like you would want to release the side this is upwind so that it clears the forestay before it flags ? Or maybe that is more likely to cause a wrap ?

I'm curious what your advice is for fixing wraps when single handing. I have never had to deal with this before, I haven't even been on a boat that has flown a spinnaker before, but what I imagine is that the sail falls in and wraps around the forestay and then doesn't want to unwrap. How do you get it down when that happens ? Maybe throw a line up that has a weight on it between the halyard and the forestay and then use that line to pull the wrap clear ? I'm very curious how this is done! :)

roline 11-08-2009 05:38 PM

I single hand/ cruise with a symmetrical on both boats, Santana525 and a Cal 9.2. It is easier on the 525 due to being a smaller chute. Both boats are set up for end for end jibing. When the wind gets over 10 apparent, I have to use an autohelm to control course, hull speed is too fast for me and she can get out of control too fast while I'm up on the fore deck.. TO drop the chute, just pull her in the the lee side blanketed by the jenny and main and stuff her below. If it is a dry drop just repack into the turtle.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012