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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2011
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Quote:
Why would it be any harder to douse a symmetrical without a sock or furler used in this fashion, than a symmetrical without a sock or furler on a pole?
While I don't have a lot of personal experience, I think I know the answer in theory:

With a spinnaker on a pole, the guy line is let to run out during the douse, so the sail will collapse to leeward making it easier to retrieve.

With a spinnaker fixed to the bow, the sail would hold its shape and still be "powered up" during a sockless douse. easing the halyard to get it down would then mean that the sail could be blown away from the boat, and regardless much harder to get under control on deck.
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I assume you would douse the sail in the wind shadow of the main
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Old 11-14-2011
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Dousing an Asymm without a sock works fine as long as the tack line is long enough to run free enough to get the tack to the cockpit.. unless you're happy to have it run out and through (and remember to retrieve it later) The advantage of a long enough line to keep the bitter end in the cockpit may avoid fouling a prop one day if you're in a hurry. If the tack line runs through and into the water it could end up under the boat.

Bottom line.. check that all lines are accounted for before engaging the gear.

True assyms are somewhat larger than a conventional symm so there is more cloth to grab.. but otherwise dousing in the shadow of the main works well. To be effective, though, you need to 'dive deep' onto more of a run.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Dousing an Asymm without a sock works fine as long as the tack line is long enough to run free enough to get the tack to the cockpit..
Exactly. Either way you're letting the tack line run out. I can't imagine dousing a spinnaker that's still tacked down, symmetric or otherwise.

If anything the need to stow the pole, or at least get it out of the way of the jib, would make dousing a symmetrical more complicated than an assym.
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Old 11-15-2011
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Maybe it's just that I'm not that good at dousing a traditionally rigged symmetrical spinnaker, let alone one used as a gennaker.

When we doused the spinnaker the last time we used it this summer it went all wrong. The sail hit the water and was pulled under the boat. We were able to relatively easily remove the sail from the keel, but guy line got caught on the rudder. It took about 45 mintues of messing around to free everything. No damage done, but lesson learned! The good news is that it was a light air day and we doused a good mile offshore so we had time to let the boat drift while we untangled the mess.

Anyway, I've been left with a nervous feeling about flying the kite ever since.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Maybe it's just that I'm not that good at dousing a traditionally rigged symmetrical spinnaker, let alone one used as a gennaker.

When we doused the spinnaker the last time we used it this summer it went all wrong. .....

Dousing is quite straightforward as long as you follow some key procedures:

Head into a deep broad reach

Ease the guy/pole to the forestay, at the same time someone has to grab the sheet above the lifelines.

With the pole already at the forestay release the guy completely (all turns off the winch, let it 'blow' - the sail will collapse in the lee of the main.)

Pull the sheet into the boat, grab the clew and pull the entire foot of the sail towards you, ending up with it and both bottom corners in hand. By now the sail is a collapsed 'tube' behind the main.(on some boats easing the halyard a few feet only at this time helps)

With the bulk of the foot now in hand, now release and ease the halyard at a speed that the douser can keep up with. Pull the sail in under the boom and into the companionway, or cockpit sole if a dodger is in the way. Whoever's hauling cloth has to move quickly and watch for sailcloth going over the side... whoever's on the halyard has to watch and pace the halyard so as not to get too far ahead of the drop.

Once the sail is down, unclip all the lines and clean up before starting any engine/gear.

In really light air you can do a similar thing directly into the bag on the foredeck, but it needs to be almost too light to fly.
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Last edited by Faster; 11-15-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Thanks Faster, excellent description! If I recall correctly, our problem was easing the halyard too quickly and getting ahead of the hauler. Once it hit the water it was all over.
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In really light air you can do a similar thing directly into the bag on the foredeck, but it needs to be almost too light to fly.
The caveat is important. We were out one evening on the way to Sucia from Friday Harbor under our symmetric. We were barely ghosting along and I wanted to get to our anchorage before nightfall, and the wind was so light I tried to douse the sail into the bag on the foredeck. The result was hilarious, but would have been dangerous if there had been any more than the barely perceptible breeze that managed to fill the still-out-of-the-bag portion of chute at regular intervals as the boat sort of spun in place because there wasn't enough wind to actually make any way under main alone. Made me wish I had done wrestling in high school.
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