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  #1  
Old 06-22-2012
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Setting up a spinnaker sock

for short handed sailing. I have one for my boat, never used it. Are they worth using? I have heard mixed reviews on them.

How much hardware will I need to set it up? Do I need two blocks at the top to raise the sock at the hoist, or will it sort of pop up itself as the kite fills? Then I need a downhaul to pull it down, would a double block suffice? Do you attach the sock to the guy at the hoist, or trim the guy after the sock is already up? (I usually pre-feed to the guy from the hatch at a hoist)

I have external halyards on my mast, and between the main and jib halyards, spin halyard and pole topping lift it is already pretty crowded (8 external lines as is), I wonder whether another two lines to pull down a sock are gonna be worth the trouble/possible tangle they may add...
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

The hoist/douse lines in a typical sock are pretty well self contained with the sheave sewn into the top of the sock. I don't think it will complicate your existing setup on the mast.

Typically you'd connect the sheets and halyard, hoist the sail in the sock, then hoist the sock hoop with it's 'internal' halyard. Reverse the process to douse and then lower the 'tube' that is the sail and sock.

Personally I'm not sure it's worth the extra gear and rigging until you get into the mid 30 foot range, although singlehanding it should make things easier to handle when it all works.. of course if the sock jams up then you've got other issues.. but unlike a jammed furler you can still take the whole works down as-is if necessary.
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

I agree with Faster. I still have a tube and rubber bands. They work fine for raising the chute, but a sock would make dousing it MUCH easier. A well made sock separates the line from the chute so they don't tangle. The sock does look funny up there, though.
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

I just started using a sock for my drifter late last season. I found it to be very slick, although I still need to fine tune the way I handle the "deck end" of things.

The second time I used it (just prior to hauling for the season) something in the sock assembly tripped my halyard shackle and the drifter (and sock) "drifted" down on top of me. My first order order of business when I launch next week (late getting in this year) will now be to retrieve my spare jib halyard from the top of the mast.

Unless this was some sort of freak thing (never happened with regular jib, I guess taping or otherwise securing the shackle may be necessary with that compressed sock and associated lines and fittings hovering around the shackle.

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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

I've mostly flown my spinaker singlehanded, after a couple of learn-as-you-go screw ups sailing with crew.

It's more difficult getting it down when the wind dies and it's dead calm-I have to tug it down around the spreaders back into the cockpit. If it's breezy, then wind pulls it away from the rigging, and keeps it up in the air so it doesn't drag in the water.

So far, anyway...

Hoisting out of the turtle goes smoothly if I've run all the lines correctly...

But it is ~a 10' task repacking the spinaker into the turtle once it's down and in the cockpit-a sock would save this hassle-
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

I haven't used a sock, but I get the impression that it would not make hoisting or dousing at all easier. In fact, each task now has one extra step. What the sock does is automatically repack the chute for you
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

Adam,

The advantage if the sock is you put the sail up, without worrying about it filling prematurely, and when dousing can collapse it into the sock before lowering it, reducing the amount of work collecting the sail to get back into a bag.

I have used them, and they work fine. Personally I bought a furler instead of a sock, but use what you have, it will make it easier. Even if the steps take a bit longer.
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

I'm a big fan of my ATN sock - for shorthanded cruising, it's the way to go, IMO...

One suggestion... Not much of an issue on a smaller boat, but when you up a bit in size, or wind strength, I'd highly recommend taking the downhaul line through a ratchet block clipped to the toerail, or some padeye on deck...

Dousing in a breeze, last thing you want is an arrangement that could tend to "lift" you off the deck in the event of a sudden re-filling of a partially doused chute...

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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
I haven't used a sock, but I get the impression that it would not make hoisting or dousing at all easier. In fact, each task now has one extra step. What the sock does is automatically repack the chute for you

I think one would make dousing my 1400 sq. ft. chute a LOT easier. I have to pull in that thing for what seems like 5 minutes. It's a bear when the wind is blowing because one slip and a bunch of it gets away from you and you have to reel it in AGAIN. It really takes two people - one to gather it in and one to ease the halyard and stuff the gathered chute down the hatch.

Then you have to run the leeches, band it and stuff it in the bag. Just pulling down the sock seems a lot easier.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 06-23-2012 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 06-23-2012
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker sock

How is it with a furler? Any issues?

Brad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Adam,

The advantage if the sock is you put the sail up, without worrying about it filling prematurely, and when dousing can collapse it into the sock before lowering it, reducing the amount of work collecting the sail to get back into a bag.

I have used them, and they work fine. Personally I bought a furler instead of a sock, but use what you have, it will make it easier. Even if the steps take a bit longer.
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