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Old 07-13-2004
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Spinnaker only?

Straight out of ASA 101 and 103, I have a stupid question (not too many rolling eyes I hope). If accidental jibes are a big concern and cuisers do not want to steer 24/7, why not fly just a spinnaker and take down the main (or wing&wing a spinnaker and a genoa)? This is of course assuming you are sailing very close to downwind for a while.
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Old 07-13-2004
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Spinnaker only?

If you''re sailing downwind a long way, you steer a little high of dead downwind so that accidental jybes are not a big concern. Flown by all by itself, a spinnaker might tend to fly around more, tending to pull the boat off course more and being more trouble than it was worth. (Visions of boats spinnaker flying at anchor, with someone riding a bosun''s chair rigged between the spinnaker''s clews come to mind -- the chute is all over the place.) Having the main up helps steady the boat and can also help funnel air into tthe chute on some points of sail. Of course it all depends upon the boat, the skipper and what works for each of them.
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Old 07-14-2004
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Spinnaker only?

Spinnakers flown without a mainsail will fly fine. The hard part is getting them up and back down again without a mainsail to block the flow of wind onto them during the raise and drop. Also it is much easier to keep a mainsail from jibing than it is to keep a spinnaker full and flying. It is possible to fly a jib and spinnaker wing, but even using twin whisker poles, it is very hard to keep both flying at the same time.

As someone else noted, most people who are trying to sail any distance at all will head up onto a reach enough that both the mainsail and jib are flying easily or roughly that angle when flying a spinnaker. Except for heavy air or a very heavy boat, they will get there sooner by reaching. Also reaching they will have a more comfortable motion, the sails will have a more stable frlying shape and will be at a lower risk of an accidental jibe.

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