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Old 06-16-2003
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Cruising Spinnakers (Symmetrical or Asymmetrical)

What is a cruising spinnaker?

The term seems to be used with either a symmetrical or asymmetrical configuration. The only difference seems to be that you do not use a pole (symmetrical pole/sprint pole) and it joisted out of a spinnaker sock? It seems to be the way to go when you are sailing short-handed.

Not sure but I believe the Asymmetrical (A sail) is cut differently (draft) than a Symmetrical. I think the A-sail is used when the apparent wind is between 90-120 while the Symmetrical (conventional) is used when the wind is further aft (> 120 apparent).

A symmetrical spinnaker has two clews both at the same height so that the luff and leech are interchangable. While asymetrical only has one clew and the luff is longer than the leech so the two are not interchangable.
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Old 06-24-2003
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Cruising Spinnakers (Symmetrical or Asymmetrical)

You can sail an asymmetrical closer to the wind than 90 degrees. You trim the tack line so that the tack is closer to the deck level, maybe two to four feet above it. I''ve sailed at 60 degrees with mine.
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Old 06-24-2003
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Cruising Spinnakers (Symmetrical or Asymmetrical)

How close to the wind that you can sail with a spinnaker very much depends on the design of the spinnaker, both Symmetrical or Asymmetrical. Racers will often have flat cut chutes that can be carried with the apparent wind quite far forward of abeam. Typical downwind chutes are cut much fuller and while they can be carried with the wind forward of the beam, they are generally less efficient than a genoa in those conditions, especially if there is any wind at all. Cruising assymetrical chutes are generally very full cut and really do pretty poorly once the apparent wind approaches a beam reach even though they appear to be usable at closer angles.

Jeff
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