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Old 04-06-2012
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Question of spinnaker bail strength

My 20' boat has a spinnaker bail on the masthead. I don't have a spinnaker but I was planning on making a drifter.

The drifter would be about 180 sq ft made from 1.62 ounce ripstop nylon. I had thought that I would just rig it to the spinnaker bail. However, later I started to wonder if the spinnaker bail could take side loads since a spinnaker would typically have just forward loads.

The bail appears to be 6mm (just under 1/4") and projects about 1 1/2". It's about 1 1/4" wide.

My main concern was that it might crack the cast masthead with side loads. However, I'm now thinking that the attachment for the bail does not appear weaker than the attachment for the stay pins. This would suggest that it could indeed take the loads from a drifter.

So, I was just wondering if this seemed rational or if I was overlooking something.
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Old 04-06-2012
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Re: Question of spinnaker bail strength

It will be fine.. Dont' forget you can get up to a beam reach with a standard symm spinnaker so side loads are quite common. That fitting looks as robust as any and you're not talking big loads anyway with that small a sail.

Go for it!
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Old 04-06-2012
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Re: Question of spinnaker bail strength

Another way to think about it is "how much sideways force could I apply before the masthead was near the water?" On a 20-foot boat, not a lot. Perhaps 500 pounds. I used 1/4-inch line and a bullet block on a 27-foot catamaran for years.

Code zeros are a whole different matter. A the tight luff drives the forces way up. The reacher set-up on the above boat was separate and MUCH stronger.
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Old 04-06-2012
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Re: Question of spinnaker bail strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Another way to think about it is "how much sideways force could I apply before the masthead was near the water?" On a 20-foot boat, not a lot. Perhaps 500 pounds.
My design load was 210 lbs. This would be 20% of the strength of the fabric. But even that would require an 18 mph wind and I can't imagine having a drifter up under those conditions. I would step down to the standard jib. The more typical condition with a 5 mph wind would only be about 16 lbs of force on the sail. I would imagine I would drop down to the Genoa about about 10 mph.

Quote:
Code zeros are a whole different matter. A the tight luff drives the forces way up.
My regular jib has a cable in the luff. But, that would seem to be overkill for ripstop nylon fabric. I was just planning to use a 1/8" cord in the luff so, no, it wouldn't be tight like a code 0.

Last edited by brehm62; 04-06-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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