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  #1  
Old 02-16-2013
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What to do with my old spinnaker?

My boat came with an old symmetrical spinnaker, and while the boat did not come with a spinnaker pole, the fittings on the mast for one are there. The spinnaker has the date on it, and while I can't remember the exact year, it is circa 1976 (the colors correlate nicely with the date as well ).

My boat did come with a "drifter" which has spectra webbing for a luff and is set free flying. I've flown it inside and outside the headstay and now have settled on flying it inside the headstay as a gennaker. It's an awesome sail of moderately-huge size and we use it all the time. We've even used it to anchor under sail after an engine failure and were able to sail with the wind forward of the beam in 2-3 knots or so of true wind.

The symmetrical spinnaker is H-U-G-E. Calculations for spinnaker sizing say it might be as large as 1300sqft . For comparison my main is 400sqft and my 120% genny is 450sqft. I did hoist it once just to see what it looked like and while there appeared to be no detectable wind at the slip it quickly tried to take the boat away like we were Dorothy and Toto.

I have no desire to buy a spinnaker pole and start using it as a regular symmetrical spinnaker. Even if I did, my wife, who likes the drifter but is wary of it, is scared to death of big symmetrical spinnakers. (I guess I told too many racing war-stories. )

What should I do with the beast? It's an incredibly powerful sail and I'd love to use it somehow, but I'm not sure what I can do with it. Would it be worth having a 35 year old 0.5oz sail re-cut into an asymmetric? Any idea what that would cost? Anything else creative I can do with it like attach one clew to my boom and the other to my genoa pole for running downwind?

MedSailor
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

Are there marine consignment stores in your area? Some of them will take sails. If the sail is in decent shape someone will like the 'deal' despite the age... and even if it doesn't sell you essentially get free storage (though many such outlets don't take sails anymore.. probably for that reason....)

It will get it out of your hair, and maybe you'll get a few hundred dollars for it that you can put towards something more important to you.

A free ad on CL is another option... - list the dimensions so they'll know if it fits their boat...
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

I doubt a 35 year old sail would last a puff of 15 knots across the deck.
But someone else may have tried some old sails.
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

I'd measure it and put in on EBay. While used sails don't fetch much, spinnakers are an exception and you may get something for it. I wouldn't try to have it recut. The results are not likely to meet your expectations for the cost and bother.
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

If the fabric of the sail feels okay, and the seams are good, there is no reason you can't use the sail without a pole although not dead down wind. You can make yourself a "tacker" that loops over your furled head sail and will ride up and down over the sail controlled by a tack line through a snatch block set just forward of your head stay. The tacker can be made by passing a length of wire rope through a collection of solid plastic balls--enough to encircle the furled jib loosely--and bending the ends back over themselves around thimbles and secured with compression swages (i.e. a string of parrell beads). Then fit snap shackles through each thimble--one to snap the two thimble ends together, encircling the furled jib and the second to connect to the tack of the spinnaker. The "tack line" than connects to the tacker at the point at which its thimbles are joined, or to the "tack" of the sail itself. With this arrangement, the height of the tack can be adjusted up or down to match the height of the opposite "clew". The sail can be launched in the conventional fashion and can be carried from about 45º, with the "tack" hauled down tightly, to roughly 160º with the tack lifted up to 8-10' above the deck (depending upon how the sail sets when off the wind. Running off, the sail might like a foot or two free of the masthead to get a good set.

The forgoing is not difficult and can put your sail to good use for you.

FWIW...
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

HyLyte has it right. We did just that with the chute from my Columbia 43 on a friends Hunter 38. The sail was WAY oversize because the Hunter is frac. rigged but it flew well from a loose close reach to way downwind. It looked like one of those Caribbean "water sails" though as it just kissed the water alongside.

Lots of fun and it only took two of us the fly the 1500' monster that way.

We didn't bother with the parrel beads and "tacker" though - just a short tack line from the anchor roller and flew it like an asym. We lucked out and it was trimmed perfectly that way - the curl was right on the shoulder. We let it fly out and around the headstay and turn inside out to gybe
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

Haul it down to 2nd wave in the freemont area of seattle. I believe there is another 2nd hand store in Everett...Popeyes?!?!?! north end of the marina IIRC, I also believe there is a place in anacortes too.

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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
If the fabric of the sail feels okay, and the seams are good, there is no reason you can't use the sail without a pole although not dead down wind. You can make yourself a "tacker" that loops over your furled head sail and will ride up and down over the sail controlled by a tack line through a snatch block set just forward of your head stay. The tacker can be made by passing a length of wire rope through a collection of solid plastic balls--enough to encircle the furled jib loosely--and bending the ends back over themselves around thimbles and secured with compression swages (i.e. a string of parrell beads). Then fit snap shackles through each thimble--one to snap the two thimble ends together, encircling the furled jib and the second to connect to the tack of the spinnaker. The "tack line" than connects to the tacker at the point at which its thimbles are joined, or to the "tack" of the sail itself. With this arrangement, the height of the tack can be adjusted up or down to match the height of the opposite "clew". The sail can be launched in the conventional fashion and can be carried from about 45º, with the "tack" hauled down tightly, to roughly 160º with the tack lifted up to 8-10' above the deck (depending upon how the sail sets when off the wind. Running off, the sail might like a foot or two free of the masthead to get a good set.

The forgoing is not difficult and can put your sail to good use for you.

FWIW...

Really? It sounds like you're flying a symmetrical spinnaker like an asymmetric. I tried that once with a $50 used spinnaker and ended up "roller furling" it all over the headstay. Took an hour in the bosun's chair to fix it.

What keeps the "tack side luff" of the spinnaker from collapsing up top?

MedSailor
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Really? It sounds like you're flying a symmetrical spinnaker like an asymmetric. I tried that once with a $50 used spinnaker and ended up "roller furling" it all over the headstay. Took an hour in the bosun's chair to fix it.

What keeps the "tack side luff" of the spinnaker from collapsing up top?

MedSailor
Flying a symmetrical spinnaker without spinnaker pole was what the ATN tacker was made for. ATN Sailing Equipment | The Tacker | No Boom Spinnaker Handler

Have never tried this myself, but have heard claims that it will work
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Old 02-17-2013
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Re: What to do with my old spinnaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Really? It sounds like you're flying a symmetrical spinnaker like an asymmetric. I tried that once with a $50 used spinnaker and ended up "roller furling" it all over the headstay. Took an hour in the bosun's chair to fix it.

What keeps the "tack side luff" of the spinnaker from collapsing up top?

MedSailor
If the shoulder of the "luff" edge of the sail collapsed, you likely had the head too close to the masthead with the luff a bit too tight such that the directional gradient of the wind between the deck level and masthead twisted around to leeward when the sail itself should have just been able to rotate. Frankly it really isn't that difficult. If we (a late 60's guy and a 4'-11" 105# old lady) can do it with a 1300 SF sail, anyone can with a little patience and practice. knuterikt, above, has some good information. I would have recommended the ATN Tacker (which we have) but making a parrel bead collar is less costly and works as well or better (I have made several for slip neighbors in our marina).

An image of how they work:



We have ATN Spinnaker sleeves on both our asymmetric and symmetric spinnakers, which makes setting and recovering them somewhat easier, but beforehand simply ran the sails through a bottomless bucket and pulled light weight rubber bands over the sail every 5 feet or so. With that method, the sail looks like a string of sausages when its hoisted yet when you've got you lines set, a tug on the sheet pops the bottom rubber band and the sail breaks out from the bottom up. Recovery involved merely heading off until the sail collapsed behind the main and then hauling it down under the boom through the deck hatch as the halyard is eased (although wet it can make a heck of a mess in an accommodation and leave one's wife madder than a "wet hen" which she was/will be). The sleeve alleviates all of that ensuring domestic bliss (kind'a).

The only thing a pole does is give one the ability to rotate the tack/luff of the sail away from the headstay so one can carry the sail deeper than one can with the tack and "luff" edge of the sail "tacked" to the headstay. (However, heading off 15º to 25º really is a somewhat faster point of sail then DDW and while one might sail somewhat further than DDW, one's VMG is generally higher hence one's passages tend to be somewhat faster.) The only thing the asymmetric has over the symmetric sail is that it's a little easier to manage (less sail area) and behaves a bit more like a traditional head sail (asymmetrics are really an evolution of the old nylon drifters of the 1960's that some guy's learned to set free flying).

N'any case, there is a video of the use ATN Tacker at ATN Sailing that applies equally to the parrel bead collar.

FWIW...

PS: The foregoing not withstanding, if you simply want to discard the sail, you might contact Atlantic Sail Traders
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