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  #1  
Old 10-21-2009
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Do I need a spinnaker sock?

My boat (Irwin 28) came with a nice traditional symmetrical spinnaker. We never flew it this season, but it is high on our list for next season. Do we need a spinnaker sock to douse the sail, or it that merely a luxury? How difficult will it be to douse it without one?
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Old 10-21-2009
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Hi kwalt,

I think it would be a "nice to have," but not a necessity.

Since it's a conventional symmetric chute, it probably is not nearly as large as an asym would be for your boat. The socks are very popular with asym chutes, because asyms are generally much larger sails than conventional chutes.

If you want to avoid the expense of the sock, you can practice setting and dousing the chute first in light air, and then in moderate conditions, next season. If you find it's still a bear after a season of practice, then maybe a sock would be a good idea. But you may find that you can mange just fine without.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
My boat (Irwin 28) came with a nice traditional symmetrical spinnaker. We never flew it this season, but it is high on our list for next season. Do we need a spinnaker sock to douse the sail, or it that merely a luxury? How difficult will it be to douse it without one?
Nope, no worries - you should be fine. Just drive deep and drop it behind the main. Easiest way is to have one person gathering the foot of the kite starting with the farthest corner to leeward, once they've got both clews in one hand someone else does a controlled dump on the halyard while the person with the foot stuffs the whole thing down the hatch or in the bag or however you choose to set it up. Little practice and you'll be able to drop it in 30kt no problem
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I'd agree with JRP given the size of your boat. A symm spinnaker on a 28 footer should be totally manageable without a sock (which adds expense, weight, and complexity - esp when/if they get fouled)

We sail a 35 footer now, but as a frac rig the headsails are the size of an average 30 footer.

For a easy, unloaded takedown this is our standard procedure:

Sail fairly square downwind
Ease (gently) the pole to the forestay
Grab sheet as far up as you can (under the boom, standing in the companionway)
Release the guy completely
Pull the sheet til you have the clew in hand
Gather in the entire foot so both clews are in hand. By now the sail should be completely in the lee of the mainsail and quite relaxed.
Ease the halyard as the spinnaker is gathered -almost in a tube itself, pulled in under the boom and stuffed below.
Don't forget to secure the sheets/guys on deck before starting the engine (don't ask!)

In really light air you can try to put it directly into its turtle bag - in that case from the foredeck grab mid foot, gather the clews and have someone ease the halyard as you gather cloth and stuff in the bag, leaving the three corners accessible on top.

It's a rewarding sail that can make an otherwise boring day more interesting. Choose your times (not too much wind, but not too little either - that's just frustrating). Enjoy!
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Thanks for the prompt replies, guys! Other than some sort of a sock, we've got all the gear we need (I think) to fly the chute. Based on what I've read, we'll likely go ahead withOUT a sock and see how we manage.

We've got a 2-3 month cruise planned for next summer, so I'd love to have the chute available for the many light air days I expect we'll encounter. Hopefully we'll be competent kite flyers by the end of the cruise!
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 10-21-2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: typo!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Thanks for the prompt replies, guys! Other than some sort of a sock, we've got all the gear we need (I think) to fly the chute. Based on what I've read, we'll likely go ahead with a sock and see how we manage.

We've got a 2-3 month cruise planned for next summer, so I'd love to have the chute available for the many light air days I expect we'll encounter. Hopefully we'll be competent kite flyers by the end of the cruise!
Didn't everyone say no sock? Not to be rude but why ask if you weren't going to listen to the responses?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ste27 View Post
Didn't everyone say no sock? Not to be rude but why ask if you weren't going to listen to the responses?
Easy, ste27, I suspect he simply mis-typed...
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Yup, just a typo. Should be edited now.

Based on the above responses, we'll likely go ahead WITHOUT a sock.
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Sorry - Jumped the gun a bit there.

Definitely give a go for the year without a sock, I think you'll find you don't need one at all and having one would just be extra $ and weight aloft, etc etc
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Sock or no sock, that is question. I wear one just on the left foot. All bases covered.
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