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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 07-18-2005
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Flying a Geneker

My boat came with a geneker but I have no idea how to use it. Can anyone give me a 2 minute primer on how to give it a try?
I have a padeye right neat the bottom of the forestay which I presume is for this as well as a spinnaker pole which I guess is for the other clew. Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2005
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Flying a Geneker

I know more about spinnakers than gennakers, but the gennaker is more like a loose-luff, lightweight genoa than a spinnaker, since, like the genoa, it''s asymmetrical, with a tack and a clew as with a jib, not with the two "equal" clews of a spinnaker.

So, you rig it like a jib, not a spinnaker. this means no pole is used, the padeye by your headstay is for the tack, and you sheet the clew aft to your leeward spinnaker sheet block. Then, ease your sheet til the luff (windward edge) just starts to curl in, and trim it just enough to stop that curl. Easing the sheet gets the luff out from behind the blanketing effect of the mainsail, so you ease it out more on a run, and trim it in more on a broad reach.

I bow to others with more gennaker experience, but think of it as both a spinnaker without a pole (and hence without the hassles of shifting the pole when you jibe), and also as a jib without any connection to the headstay. So it''s more "user-friendly" than a spinnaker, but lacking a pole, less of the sail gets out from behind the main where the "clean" air is.

Like a spinnaker, it''s most easily raised and lowered while blanketed by the main so it won''t fill while you''re getting it up and down.

Hope this of help.

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Old 07-19-2005
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Flying a Geneker

Definitely a help. I will give it a try next opportunity.
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Old 07-21-2005
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Flying a Geneker

A few tips we have after learning from our mistakes...

-Make sure your sheets are at least twice as long as your boats overall length.

-Consider the use of floating polypropolene sheets. (You will make mistakes, this keeps the sheets away from your prop and keel.)

-Use your mainsail when first raising the sail, and dousing. It acts like a bit of a wind blocker as you pull the sail in making it easier to handle on deck. Make sure your helmsman is aware of the gybe risks as they will be more interested in the what deck hand is dong then steering the first time.

-Our gennaker sails well from a beam to a broad reach without a pole. Our sail is quite large and we don''t use it above 10 kts of wind. First day 4-8kts is ideal.

-When gybing let the sheets run forward before yanking them back to prevent a snag, or even better, simply douse the sock and walk it around.

Have fun...
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Old 08-07-2005
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Flying a Geneker

Thanks splitmind. This leads me to another question and topic. Poleing out the jib.

This weekend my wife and I sailed a downwnid run of about 80 miles. Actually our target was dead downwind. We had about 20 knots of wind. We started by sailing the full main and jib and this did well for a few hours. I noticed the jib would luff occassionally and was only able to manage about 30 degrees off dead downwind. After a few hours the wind picked up to around 25 or so and the boatspeed was in the low 7''s which is moving right along for my boat. I decided to try the jib alone and this was much better with a bit slower speed (5.5 - 6) but a much more comfortable ride. Still the best ride was about 30 degrees off the wind.

This course of action added at least 2 hours to our day as we had to put in a jibe of about 10 miles to get us back to course. Our boat has a pole for the jib but I have never tried using it. Wondering if poling out the jib could have gotten me closer to dead downwind.




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Old 08-07-2005
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Flying a Geneker

Using a pole to wing out a jib will make it more efficient on a dead run, since it will forcibly ''spread'' the sail out much as the boom does with your mainsail.

I''d be leery, though, of doing this in 25 knots of wind, whether by itself or wing-and-wing with your main. If you veer off too far to leeward, your jib can get caught aback while the pole (which, unlike your main boom, you can''t jibe quickly) holds it out the ''wrong'' way. That could cause a broach and is a lot of strain on the pole, ring, mast, and jib. the pole also restrains the ability to luff the jib freely should you need to.

In lighter air, with an attentive helm, it should be fine. But the limitations of poleing out a jib are the arguments in favor of using a gennaker or spinnaker.

In heavy air downwind, you might be better off with a reefed main and smaller jib--it spreads the forces out and you''ll be more balanced.
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Old 09-01-2005
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Flying a Geneker

I have often sailed wing and wing and do not hesitate to do so in 25 kts - but I have a lot of experience at it. I always pole the jib out in these conditions. The sailing is fabulous, but you do have to pay attention and keep the main on a preventer. Error on the side of the side of keeping the main from jibing, but even if it does, you can usually pull it back under control quickly with minimal problems.

If you have less experience in this, build up to it. On Lake Michigan these wind often mean waves big enough to get some surfing in and an exciting ride.
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Old 09-07-2005
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Flying a Geneker

I finally had my first good wing on wing in 12 knots dead downwind for about 15 miles. With the genoa traveler all the way aft (oddly) the genoa held the wind very well, but I can see how the pole would be the next step. We were able to hold the course perfectly dead downwind which was thrilling for me as I had never done it. In higher winds I suppose its safer to jibe but I suppose with proper reefing and preventers it could even be safe in 25 knots as well.

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Old 09-08-2005
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Flying a Geneker

Way to go!!
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