self taught spinaker handling - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 44 Old 05-23-2008
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Tom-

If the boat was used for cruising, the pole may have been originally bought for sailing wing on wing, with the genoa poled out...

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Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
I kind of figured with a 31-year-old boat, it was a good old symmetrical kite, and once Hertford said he had a pole, I became convinced.

I may be too old-school, but I like symmetrical spinnakers better. You can get them out from behind the main and actually run.

Anyway, Hertford, let us know if you got the right weather (otherwise don't try) and if you did, how it went..

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post #32 of 44 Old 05-23-2008
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Just a hunch, SD. There's only one person who can tell us, which I hope he does eventually, and I hope it's a story about how things went right rather than wrong.

Anyway, a good Memorial Day weekend to you, and all.
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post #33 of 44 Old 05-23-2008
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Very true... and we've asked... a few times.
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Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Just a hunch, SD. There's only one person who can tell us, which I hope he does eventually, and I hope it's a story about how things went right rather than wrong.

Anyway, a good Memorial Day weekend to you, and all.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #34 of 44 Old 05-23-2008
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That post sure ramped a couple folks up. Sorry. I didn't claim it was my boat. I didn't say I flew it myself. I simply said it was very big.

Any sailor who can read and follow instructions should be able to get the kite up and down on an old Nick 31 in 8 to 10 knots of wind. This is not rocket science. There are a thousand books written on how to do it.

Giu, I fly mine (asym) alone too. I'd love to give yours a go. The ship (Oriole) was crewed with folks who had never been to sea before. It was a training ship. The three permanent crew knew how to sail and often some of the cadets had dinghy time. It was not the speed or the size of the sail that was worrysome. It was the loads on the lines. Remember, no winches. The ship was all about teaching teamwork. It took 15 people to sheet that puppy in on a light airs day.

Anyhow, sorry if I pissed you guys off. Flying a spin in light winds is not difficult. It is not like its a Moore 24 in 30 knots.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #35 of 44 Old 05-23-2008
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Difficulty is relative... the first time doing something like flying a symmetric spinnaker with absolutely no first-hand spinnaker experience at all is going to be a gold-plated bear compared to someone flying it for the first time on his own, after having seen it done and helped work on previously.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #36 of 44 Old 05-24-2008
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Quote:
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Nolasailing—

Last I checked, the OP doesn't know what type of spinnaker he has... and an Asym has a tack and clew... not two clews...

Obviously you're missing a clew too.
Obviously!

-Jason

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post #37 of 44 Old 06-11-2008
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Hertford - just read your thread for the first time, and I am in a somewhat similar situation to you. I bought my first boat in December and flew my spinnaker for the first time last Sunday.

I won't go rehashing all the old advice you received. Instead, I'll explain the procedure I used to get myself and my crew ready for the spinnaker.

First, I took careful account of what equipment I had, and made sure I was comfortable with all the non-spinnaker equipment before even touching the chute. The boat is a Catalina 27, and came with two symmetrical spinnakers (a 1.5 oz and a 0.75 oz) and a pole.

Second, like you, I did a lot of reading. The best guide I have found on the web is by Marlan Crosier of the Washington Yacht Club (google search will find it). I also read through some ancient sailing reference books that the PO left on the boat (he was a racer). Also watched some videos on spinnaker hoisting/jibing/dousing, for all types (right out of the bag, with a sock, even asymmetrical) as well as videos of people broaching-to.

Third, I familiarized myself with operating the pole by using it to pole my jib out to windward, and practiced sailing wing-on-wing like that. Made sure I could jibe the pole (using the end-for-end method) comfortably.

Fourth, I did a "dry run" with the spinnaker: put it in its turtle out on the bowsprit, rigged the pole, sheet, guy, and halyard, checked everything over, and then derigged all of it.

Fifth, I made sure my wife was very comfortable at the helm so that I could concentrate on everything else.

Then I did all the above things again. Every time we went through any of these steps, we talked about what was going on, and talked about what would be different with a spinnaker. Then I went out as often as possible and waited for the perfect conditions. This Sunday was excellent - we had around five knots of wind, so I went with the 0.75 oz chute, which didn't have any trouble filling. The most important thing, once I knew what was going to happen, was to communicate with my wife (only crew) to make sure she knew it as well, and was comfortable with what her role would be. She was assigned to mainsheet and helm, and was also responsible for hauling the spinnaker sheet during the hoist. Other than that, patience was our third crew member - if we didn't try to rush and do a million things at once, I was able to handle the foredeck tasks as well as trimming (but note: I have all halyards and pole control lines running aft to the cockpit).

Everything went off without a hitch. We did not attempt a jibe, but only because it was getting late. Only distraction was the dolphins who chose the exact moment of the hoist to start playing in our sad excuse for a wake. This weekend we will practice again.

So, to summarize:
1) Get to know your boat.
2) Communicate with your crew.
3) Practice as much as you can without the actual hoist.
4) Be patient and keep it simple.

Hope your first attempt went well, looking forward to hearing about your experiences!
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post #38 of 44 Old 06-11-2008
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That referenced link (I think) would be:

WYC Spinnaker Manual

-- Jody

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post #39 of 44 Old 06-11-2008
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Quote:
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That referenced link (I think) would be: ...
That's the one.
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post #40 of 44 Old 06-12-2008
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I think the OP has a case of nerves much as a divorce court judge might be gunshy.
There will always be a first time, but there is no reason in good conditions that it can't go well, particularly if you have some dry runs and mental rehearsals and the other crew equally understand their roles.
If it is a symmetrical spinnaker noone seems to have mentioned the importance of bag packing so each of the corners are marked and ready at the top. It requires some space to pack and starting at one end the luff and leech are bought together and tied every 2-3 ft with wool.Then you stuff the bag from the middle. This makes it easier to raise as it only fills when you pull on the sheet. Make sure you lead it outside the forestay.
The assymmetrical is easier in that the clew attaches near the forestay and you can deal with it as an oversized genoa except you can also let out some halyard to get some fullness on the luff.
Closer to dead down wind I found poling it out helpful, but you may find sailing say 20-30 degrees of DDW is easier, faster and more than makes up for any extra distance.

It is good fun and not too difficult, but first I suggest that you and all the crew build your confidence and competence in doing all the other basics so that you are not adding to pre-existing anxiety.
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