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  #1  
Old 09-06-2007
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Nomads and other small boats and asymetric spinnakers.

In another thread, a number of folks have mentioned the Vanguard Nomad.

This whole phenomenon of bowsprits and asymestric spinnakers evolved during my 30 year absence from sailing. During that time, skiffs, foilers, asyms, "sport boats," high-tech sails and all sorts of innovations have popped up.

I'm already digressing: it SEEMS like a bowsprit and asym could greatly simplify downwind sailing, but like Mr. McGovern an others, I wonder whether it's an affectation in small boats like the Nomad or whether we'll all be going this way in the future.

Anyone sail one of these (Nomads)? Are they just for the young and athletic (like many of Vanguard's boats and innovations? Thoughts?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Kurt
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Old 09-06-2007
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I'm interested in the nomad because you don't have to fly the spinnaker, but it would be wonderful to have on a really light air day. If for no other reason, then something else to play with. I would love it if someone who has used a nomad or something simalar would chime in. A used one a the vangaurd web site is listed for $10,000. Thats with trailer and such. I my going to sale my Bristol Corsiar 24, because I'm moving to the Dallas area. I was thinking about replacing it with a daysailor, but I'm looking for something that can be tamed down to serene, but can be much faster if I want, and can be trailered. I don't want a cabin, but would like it to be at least 16' or bigger.
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Old 09-06-2007
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Lipstick on a pig?

Thanks for picking up this thread, Kurt. In one sense, sprit-mounted headsails are as old as sailing itself. In another sense, they seem a bit a la mode, like someone trying to freshen up a stagnant small-boat industry with a colorful sail that may or may not offer much performance value on an otherwise unremarkable hull.

I have no strong feelings either way, and zero experience with spinnakers of any sort. Some ideas I'm pondering:

Benefits:
-- increases sail area on downwind headings w/out overpowering a small boat on windward headings, as a genoa might.
-- easier to manage than a symmetrical chute, esp with no crew or inexperienced crew.
-- good training for bigger boats.
-- sprit gives the sail clearance from the main & makes the standing rigging footprint longer.
-- it's cool & makes sailing sexy, which isn't a bad thing.

Doubts:
-- big headsail on a bow sprit combined with long skinny CB and squarish hull: isn't that a recipe for weather helm?
-- really obstructs forward vision on a short boat. Look at some of the Nomad photos. (& while you are at it, what's with the foot of the main? No boltrope? Sloppy.)
-- boat already has a furling jib. Why not upgrade that to a foil furler and just use a genoa for variable headsail size? Easier.
-- sprit adds complexity, mechanical stresses, and a big ramming spike.
-- adds to cost. $15k for a low-performance runabout ain't peanuts. You could buy a helluva late-model J-boat for that.

Really looking forward to everyone's opinions. Assyms may have started with a bunch of mad Aussies trying to wring yet more reaching speed out of their racing 18ers, but it seems they have been embraced by shorthanded cruisers for their set&forget simplicity. Do sprit-mounted assyms have a legitimate place on entry-level daysailers? Will they vastly improve the fun factor? Or are they lipstick on a pig?
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Old 09-06-2007
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bob-

lots of boats have loose-footed main sails. it is easier to control the shape of a loose footed main generally.
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Old 09-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
bob-

lots of boats have loose-footed main sails. it is easier to control the shae of a loose footed main generally.
Cool. Never seen it before.
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Old 09-06-2007
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More asyms ...

I just took a quick look at the latest sailing world, and found three smaller one-designs with sprits and asyms ...
Ultimate 20
Open 5.70
Bongo

Also four performance keel boats ...
Melges 24
J 80
J 105
Flying Tiger

And one I wouldn't have necessarily expected ...
Beneteau First 10R

Surely SOMEONE on Sailnet must own one of these, and can share some thoughts.

Kurt
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Old 09-06-2007
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The other day a Melges 24 flew past my R24 like it was standing still on a downwind run. We were just doing wing on wing and were easily at hull speed, but that sucker just few by, probably doing 10+ knots. The guy was flying the asym singlehanded, we saw him pop out the bowsprit and launch the spin from the cockpit essentially without moving from his comfy position. He waved and pointed out 'the slow people' to his dog as he flew past.

I admit to checking the prices of a Melges 24 after that. lol. I love my little cruiser, but the new racing stuff is pretty amazing. The Melges 24 PHRF rates at 84 ( A J24 rates at 184, think about it, one generation of racing boats later.... )

Last edited by tenuki; 09-06-2007 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 09-06-2007
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Consider changing the headsail to a smaller, say 110% genoa for easy tacking when heading into the wind, and then use an allround genakker for when the wind is more from abaft. You dont have to have a long bowsprit (although it improves the performance), and it can be easily handled with a snuffer. (I don't know the Nomad, so YMMV)
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Old 09-06-2007
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There are about 10 U20's at the sailing club back home (Lake Norman), possibly one of the biggest gatherings of these things in one place. The manufacturer of the U20's has been cursed from day one with bankrupcy and plant fires. They are phenomenal boats to sail, but almost impossible to find for sale. They are extremely easy to sail single handed, and setup great for super fast tacks and once it is on plane it can easily do 10+ knots with that Asym up. Also a great light wind boat. They also have a fully retractable bulbed keel so they fit nice and low on a trailer and weigh almost nothing.

Sorry to get of subject, I just love sailing those boats.
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Old 09-06-2007
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Nomad photos

In case you are wondering what the heck a Nomad is, here's the homepage. Click on "Photos" button for more views. In brief, it's a 17' boat (does that include the sprit?) with a beam of 8'. It claims to be the ideal, very stable family daysailor; it has a bowsprit and asymmetrical spinnaker and sells for $16,000.
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