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zarabeth 10-19-2006 01:35 PM

Learning to sail a cruising yacht with a spinnaker
Hello all,

I was looking for an advice about how to sail a yacht (not dinghy) with a spinnaker and found the Sailnet. I've just registered and entered this forum - with a hope that someone will help me to find some practical course in the United Kingdom (I live in England, not far from Portsmouth).
I will be happy for any help. ;)

CharlieCobra 10-19-2006 02:36 PM

Hmm, the best way I know of is to go out with a friend that flys a spin off of their cruiser boat. That's how I learned to fly a big symmetrical spin and what gear it took to do it.

sailingfool 10-19-2006 03:58 PM

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Read a book and skip the course, this skill is something best learned by doing and repetition.
For that join a race crew. There pay attention, ask questions, and solicit the foredeck ape to mentor you. A dozen days where the spinnaker goes up and down several times a day, and you'll get it down. Look for a boat with the spinnaker setuppyou want to understand best - such as "symmetic spinnaker with dip pole gybes", or sail on different type boats and learn 'em all.

Good luck.

hellosailor 10-19-2006 11:56 PM

It would take a sympathetic race skipper to let a total novice work the chute. Too easy to destroy it, lose the race, lots of time to invest. Hopping a race boat as rail meat and observing how the chute is flown, sure. But...that's still just observing.

And the books, I don't know, I find it isn't the same as the hands-on and visceral feedback. I'd vote for taking any intermediate/advanced course that gives you actual time on a boat, with an instructor, who is going to have you working the chute for hours. And observing at other times.

I don't know UK courses, but this is common for any sailing school program.

zarabeth 10-20-2006 04:40 AM

Thank you all for your opinions. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any sailing school in the UK which would offer sailing a yacht with spinnaker (lots of them offer sailing a ginghy, as a part of RYA sailing course). I found lots of school in the USA or Australia offering sailing with the chute - too expensive for me to fly there for couple of days ;-) So, I will look for a patient and sympathetic race skipper and try to learn as much as possible...

hellosailor 10-20-2006 01:31 PM

You might try contacting some sail LOFTS and asking them if they know any sailing schools that teach spinnaker sailing. Odds are they would be fairly large repeat customers, and someone in the lofts would be able to refer you.

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