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  #11  
Old 03-18-2008
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When i took the shute out of the bag i noticed that it had 4 really light rubber bands on it.

Thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to check out those websites and videos. I do have a crew but we're all just learning which makes it fun. And I will practice everything on a light day. Honestly i prefer winds at around 8-10 knots so i can just enjoy the day rather then only focus on sailing the boat.

Ohh and the spinnaker is a symetrical one to answer that question. I want to go out with someone that knows how to fly one but i can't afford to pay anyone and it seems as though no one in my marina likes to fly them because of how hard and fussy they can be. But because i want to further my knowledge of sailing i'd like to learn how to fly one.

So all of the information is very helpful. Thanks guys

Steve
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2008
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Stevyboy-

Don't put stopper knots in the ends of the spin sheets... If it feels like the boat is going to broach or get knocked down, let the sheet go. Hold on to the guy... but let the sheet go completely... the spin will flog a big...but it won't be able to pull the boat over. Then turn the boat to bring the spin into the wind shadow of the mainsail, and douse it and start over.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2008
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Try this link Latitudes and Attitudes Television - How-To Videos and click the "How 2 - Spinnaker Pole" link.

The video is from Latitudes & Attitudes and features author/sailor John Kretschmer showing how to fly an asymetrical spinnaker using a Forespar spinnaker pole.
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Stevyboy-

Don't put stopper knots in the ends of the spin sheets... If it feels like the boat is going to broach or get knocked down, let the sheet go. Hold on to the guy... but let the sheet go completely... the spin will flog a big...but it won't be able to pull the boat over. Then turn the boat to bring the spin into the wind shadow of the mainsail, and douse it and start over.
That's good advice SD, but I would recommend blowing the guy, not the sheet - that takes the pole out of action (not fun when they sky) and will bring the chute behind the main.

The easiest way to douse a spinnaker is to blow the guy, grab the sheet and release the halyard (at a measured pace) and pull the chute down.

To the OP - seriously, don't pay anyone, just go racing on other boats.
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  #15  
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NOLA-

As I said previously, most of my spinnaker experience is on bigger boats, where the spinnaker pole has a downhaul and uphaul on it. On a lot of smaller boats, I know that isn't the case. But in either case... hold onto one of them and let the other go...but don't tie stopper knots in them.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #16  
Old 03-18-2008
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Stevy,

good advice above. As one who's only recently flown assymmetrical spinnakers, I actually think the older syms like yours are easier and more logical. Also better on a run, since the pole gets it out away from the blanket of the mainsail, which the assyms, tacked to the bow or a bowsprit, just don't do well.

If you cruise, an old-school spinny on a pole is an underappreciated tool. On a light-air day with a downwind destination, the kite, slightly overtrimmed for convenience, can make it a sailing day at 4 knots when otherwise you'd be slatting at 2 knots on a broad broad reach with your jib doing nothing. Just keep an eye out for squalls or increase in breeze, and douse early if so.

One controversy above I'll weigh in on.. if you're about to get knocked down, either on your established tack, or after a jibe, let go the sheet, NOT the guy. You want that chute, luffing or not, out in front of you, not off to the side where it can only make things worse. Most knockdowns are caused by whoever's on the guy being underaggressive, and whoever's on the sheet being too aggressive (meaning not easing).

If you get into a hopeless knockdown, and the boat doesn't want to recover, ease the vang so the boom can get out of the water, and finally ease the spin. halyard. You'll have a big sea anchor of a nylon sail to recover, but at least you'll be upright to do it.

These last two paragraphs weren't meant to scare you out of trying out the kite in various conditions. Bring someone along who's done it lots, have fun, then you can use it yourself to make sailing, even lazy day sailing, more enjoyable, and you'll know when to take it down before that cat turns into a tiger..
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  #17  
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No need for a pole on a boat that's 18' wide. I just run the asym blocks out to the amas.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #18  
Old 03-18-2008
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I sent this to Stevyboy in a PM, but then thought I'd put it here for other beginners as a guide to spinnaker handling. Apologize for its length, but it's some basic techniques we used with success flying spinnakers on boats ranging from 24 to 40 feet over the past 25 years or so. Keeping it simple.. racers will do things perhaps slightly differently, more quickly, etc, with more refinement but this should help get someone started.

The links to videos and demos will be useful.. check them out for basic techniques. The following is practices we developed flying symmetrical spinnakers on boats 24 to 40 feet over the past 25+years.

Packing the sail.

Numero Uno on the preparation scale. A poorly packed chute will fill in an hourglass that may be tough to get out, esp in a breeze.
Start at the head, and pull the sail through your hands keeping the two luff tapes together but not twisted. Pile the sail behind you, or have a crew take it out into the cockpit for now. When you get to the foot, sit on a berth, and tuck each clew either side of you under your buttock (ie you're sitting on the corners). The foot should be in front of you. gather it up in the middle and stuff as much of the foot into the bag (which is held between your knees) as you can. Then grab both luff tapes, and the "body" of the sail and start pushing it into the bag. Your crew in the cockpit should let the luff tapes run through his hands to keep them from twisting. As you pull fabric, try to gather as much body (middle) as you can until the head patch of the spinn gets to you. Now the bulk of the sail is in the bag, with the three corners out - the head, and the two clews you're sitting on. Carefully push the clew material into the bag along the sides until the clew patches hang 6" over the edge of the bag. Do the same with the head and snap the turtle bag "lid" over the hoop AND the three corners. Done properly you likely won't need to "band" the sail... often more bother than its worth.

This leaves the three attachment points outside the bag, nicely separated. The elastic in the lid keeps it all together

Hoist
On a boat your size it probably makes most sense to hoist out of the pulpit. This makes last minute decisions on which gybe to hoist on easier.
Hang the bag in the pulpit (the bow railing) - there are usually hooks/straps on the bag for this purpose. Hang it so that the head patch is facing forward, and the two clews at 7 and 5 oclock or so

Run the sheet/guys from the cockpit, thru the turning block, forward outside everything and connect to the clew cringles sticking out of the bag.

Attach the halyard to the head, making sure that you have a clear run from the block above the forestay to the bag (no wraps around the forestay, not run under a shroud)

Attach the pole to the mast, and snag the guy-to-be (on the windward side-to-be) Be sure to hang the pole on the pins, so that the jaw faces upward.

Attach the pole lift and down haul, lift the pole level and cleat the downhaul with about 4-6 feet to spare if you're going onto a broad reach. This is important, as when the sail fills it wants to lift the pole and if you forget to cleat the downhaul then the pole can "sky" and it's hard to bring it back down.

Begin the hoist, and hoist it as quickly as you can. As the sail goes up, someone should pull on the guy, bringing the clew first to the pole end, and then pulling out that 6' of slack in the downhaul as the pole is drawn aft.

By the time the sail is up and the pole is back, pulling on the sheet will trim the sail and it will fill. Settle in on your course, adjust the pole to approx 90deg to apparent wind and ease/trim the sheet to settle the spinn down.

Flying the spinn.

The goal here is to fly the sail as loosely as possible without collapsing. This usually entails easing til the upper luff 'curls', and then trimming slightly to get rid of the curl. This in and out motion is constant, always keeping the trim on the edge of the curl. If you don't get a curl every 30 sec or more the sail is probably overtrimmed.>>
Another good trick to getting trim in the right zone is to watch the lower center seam of the Triradial spinn (if you have one). This center lower seam between the horizontal panels and the foot should be more or less vertical at all times. If the top of the seam is tilted to windward, the sail is too loose (but you should be curling by now anyway) or the pole's too far forward; if it is tilted to leeward then the sail is overtrimmed.
Remember, after a few tugs to get rid of a curl, try to give some back by easing the sheet to find that "edge".

The gybe

This is the most feared maneuver by most beginners

First of all a good gybe starts with the helmsman. It's ironic that when gybes go bad the helmsman ends up yelling at the bowman when in most cases it's his/her own fault. Steer the boat with a smooth steady turn, coach the crew through the manuever verbally (ahead of time and during). Sometimes it helps to come out a little high to refill the sail quickly and then drop down to your course.

Second, a good gybe requires the bowman to be stable on deck and have a good view of the sail throughout. For this reason we really recommend the "tripod".. the bowman stands at the base of the mast, feet as widely spaced as possible for stability, and his back firmly against the mast. This should put the mast end of the pole just above the windward shoulder. Square up prior to the gybe, bringing the pole back to keep the sail flying, actively trim the sail too. When ready, the bowman reaches across and grabs the spinn sheet then reaches up and trips the mast end fitting. Take the pole off the mast and slip the sheet (new guy) into the jaws and release the pin. Pass the pole (never release the polelift during a gybe - it supports the pole) across the boat, swinging the pole forward towards the new "tack" as he goes. By this time the other end of the pole is near, trip it to release the old guy (if the sail is flying it should pop out on its own) and attach that end of the pole to the mast. During this time the cockpit crew should also gybe the main by whatever means is prudent for the conditions. The crew should then trim the pole and the sails on the new gybe. It often helps to put some slack into the downhaul (but again, cleat it) prior to the gybe. If for whatever reason the bowman cannot get the pole back on the mast, ease some downhaul or some guy to give him some slack to work with. NEVER LEAVE THE DOWNHAUL UNCLEATED!!

Takedown

The easiest takedown is a leeward one. Ease the guy gently forward til the pole comes up (GENTLY) against the forestay, then ease the guy completely. Make sure the line is free to run. At the same time over trim the sheet until the sail is within reach behind the main. Grab the clew and then gather the whole foot till you've got both clews in your hand. By now the sail is a collapsed tube in the lee of the main. Then ease the halyard and haul cloth, stuffing the sail below (usually down the companionway on a boat under 30 feet) as quickly as you can. When opportunity arises, gently lower the pole to the deck where the bowman can stow the pole and lift and downhaul. Be sure to retrieve all the sheets and secure the halyard somewhere while cleaning up. Make sure all lines are on board before starting any engines.

Repack the chute carefully for the next go.

Again, sorry for the length, it may help someone though.
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Last edited by Faster; 03-18-2008 at 11:16 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2008
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"This should put the mast end of the pole just above the windward shoulder."
You really don't want the pole over your windward shoulder when you release it from the mast, in fact try not to get under the pole at all. On a 27' boat with a J dimension that's probably around 9' this you probably won't have a problem because I doubt the pole will be that high up to begin with.
I think it's safer to keep to one side. On bigger boats that use a dip pole gybe it takes 2-3 people to execute the maneuver and if one of them messes up you don't want to be under or standing over either end of the pole. You wont be using this method but I think keeping clear is a good practice to get into.

While your learning you might want to "choke" the chute. Take two snatch blocks and mount them to the rail or track just aft of the chain plates, lead both the guy and the sheet through them. This slows any oscillations (side to side) movement of the chute reducing the chance of broaching It's not always fast but it's a good way to start out.

S/D made a good point about the stopper knots, never tie them and always make sure the crew hasn't tied them on spin gear. In a broach release the sheet not the guy, If the guy is through a snatch block on the rail or your using a foreguy the pole shouldn't kite up and you can regain control once your standing up again.

Last edited by Sabre66; 03-20-2008 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 03-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre66 View Post
"This should put the mast end of the pole just above the windward shoulder."
You really don't want the pole over your windward shoulder when you release it from the mast, in fact try not to get under the pole at all. On a 27' boat with a J dimension that's probably around 9' this you probably won't have a problem because I doubt the pole will be that high up to begin with.
I think it's safer to keep to one side. .....
As I said, there are many ways to do this. My rational, and why it has worked for us, is that the bowman can clearly and easily see what's happening with the sail throughout the gybe and has better control because of being solidly braced to the boat. Even on a 27 footer, in a breeze the loaded pole can push you around pretty good - esp if you're not a large person and esp if things don't go well.

This discussion was not meant to include dip pole techniques, rare on a boat that size.

At any rate my intent was simply to put some basics out there based on our experiences. But there are plenty of varied methods used. In the end you will work out what works best in your own situation.
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