Setting up a spinnaker - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-12-2015 Thread Starter
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Setting up a spinnaker

My Alberg 35 came with a spinnaker but no lines for it or indication of how to set it up. There is a spinnaker pole mounted on the mast. It hooks to two rings on a track. There is a spinnaker halyard. There is a pad eye ring in the middle of the foredeck.

I just want to make sure I understand what I need to set this up. As I understand I need --
  1. Two lines for sheets about 70' each (I read the length should be twice the length of the boat)
  2. Two 70' lines for guys
  3. A line that goes from the cockpit to a block in the middle of the foredeck and then to the spinnaker pole (foreguy)
I have snatch blocks for the sheets and guys and winches to run them to.

What am I missing?
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Topping lift for the pole.
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Sounds like an 'end for end' pole.. a pic would be helpful.

If it is, then you don't really need double sheets and guys, saving you quite a bit of coin. You will need a pole lift and a foreguy/downhaul as already mentioned.

If you are going to be doing a lot of deep downwind sailing I'd also suggest rigging 'twingers' (google it...) they will stabilize your sail esp in a breeze and if properly rigged ease the strain on your lifelines/stanchions when sailing higher angles.

Ron

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post #4 of 19 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Not my picture (sorry I try to credit where I can, can't recall from where I got it)... Note you are better off with downhaul at the mast base than the middle of the foredeck. Depends if there is a bridle on your spin pole.

This one is from Harken's website
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Great diagrams, SNOOL..

My only beef with a downhaul at the mast base is that there's no 'foreguy' component in the down haul and no natural tendency for the pole to slide fwd to the guyed clew/tack on its own. However, it does facilitate stowing the pole along the boom without disconnecting the downhaul or pole lift... and the downhaul doesn't require adjustment with every pole 'back or fwd'.

Twingers help here by creating the 'snatch block' lead position in the top image, the steeper guy angle and the sail's lift on the pole help keep the pole end close to the sail.
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

I collect these diagrams myself for my (albeit much smaller) rigging design.

Faster you are correct in that the pole doesnt' like to slide forward on the guy, to the clew, however we start by pulling the guy clew to the pole, and it usually stays lock step from there. We really only twing on when we start to get oscillations. This is all still very new (running under symmetrical spin) so my words aren't golden... just my observations. Also I didn't have nice adjustable twings, I used rachet blocks on the toerail, which sort of worked but were a PITA (cause you had to slide them up to twing on, and back to twing off). I'll have real twings this year. But putting the block at the mast base (again if there is a bridle on the pole) allows you to sheet/ease without monkeying with the top lift and downhaul on each adjustment. This is HUGE important for us because we are always short handed.

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post #7 of 19 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

You have gotten a lot of good advice here, especially Faster's comments on not needing to buy guys, and Shnool's comments and green diagram.

I do have a couple additional comments as follows:
- Before you purchase any new gear, you might want to confirm whether you have a symmetrical or asymmetric chute. You may only have a cruising chute, or other assym., in which case the gear is different.

-My family had a Vanguard with a similar deck plan. You may have a cheek block aft, but on the Vanguard, the sheets were lead to a snatch block attached to pad eye located back by the stern rail. We used a snatch block on a car on the outboard genoa track for the twing block.

-You should get low stretch line for the sheets since you plan to short-hand race and use the same line as both the sheet and the guys. When approaching beam reaching, the guy will tend to stretch in a gust allowing the pole to hit the forestay. This requires constant trimming of the guy in gusty conditions which is not ideal when short-handed.

- You may want to use the padeye on the foredeck for your foreguy if you will want to rig for short-handing. That allows you to run the foreguy back to the cockpit since it gets adjusted pretty frequently with windspeed changes. (Some short-handers set the foreguy up double ended so that it can be adjusted from the mast or the cockpit.)

Having the foreguy mounted in the foredeck is a mixed blessing to a short handed racer. It means more adjustments, but it allows you to bring the pole forward to the forestay after the drop without leaving the cockpit until you have time to clean up for the next leg.

Jeff
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
......
I do have a couple additional comments as follows:
- Before you purchase any new gear, you might want to confirm whether you have a symmetrical or asymmetric chute. You may only have a cruising chute, or other assym., in which case the gear is different.

.
When he said he had a pole stored on the mast I made the leap to symmetrical!

Otherwise, as usual, good post

Ron

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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Thanks to all of you for the great advice and information. What's great too is no one said, "Why are you so dumb you have to ask about this?"
I'm pretty sure it's a symmetrical spinnaker; I had it out of the bag once, just to look at. There are no bridles at all on the pole. Sorry, I can't post a picture; the boat is five hours away in Baltimore while I'm stuck in snowy Albany. The snatch block attaches to a track that goes fairly far forward, so I think that could work for the guy. I think we'll experiment with the foreguy options.
I think there is a topping lift already in place for the pole.
Thanks to all!
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Re: Setting up a spinnaker

Very important to add a bridle to the downhaul.. esp if the downhaul attachment point is mid-pole. The loads on the downhaul can be significant and that loaded centerpoint can lead to a pole with a undesirable bend if things to snaky on you.

Very easy these days to rig a simple bridle with Dyneema or some such.

Generally the pole's weight is largely supported by the Spinnaker so a bridle on the pole lift is not nearly so critical.

Ron

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