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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-08-2009 08:32 PM
Asym Spinnaker

I regularly single hand an asym spinnaker on my 40'. I was using an ATN tacker but after making sure the anchor roller attachments are beefy enough have re-rigged the tack line through a block from the bow. You have to make sure the bow is reinforced properly though! There is more force than you think hauling on that tack line.

This arrangement seems to work really well and reduces the time spent forward sliding the tacker over the furled genoa prior to hoisting the spinnaker.

I have a sock for my spinnaker as well and have found it simple even in 20ish knots to blow the tack and dowse the spinnaker in the mains lea. Light wind allows dowsing without blowing the tack.

I will say I modified the dowsing line to go through a block which is fixed to the foot of the mast prior to hoisting the Spinnaker. This keeps the line from getting fouled when you need it most!

As for jibing the chute I have the safety of the boom brake to assist with the movement of the main and I have yet to have a problem jibing the chute forward of the forestay (I might want to knock on wood).

11-08-2009 08:24 PM
NautiG Very funny. I'm happy that I had to buy a spinnaker for the boat and a nice dress for the admiral. I'd hate to think if it were the other way around.

My advice as a spinnaker newbie would be to just throw the damn thing up in some light air. It can be daunting reading all the technical stuff about poles, guys, barber haulers etc. I'm sure those things are necessary, but experience is the best teacher and I'll figure them out as I work with the sail (with a little help from the internet and some books).

Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
Captain's Blog
11-08-2009 07:29 PM
wind_magic I'm looking forward to trying a spinnaker out for the first time, must admit I'm a little anxious about it too. I still have to get the spinnaker pole rigged, etc, so I still have a long ways to go.

11-08-2009 06:29 PM
NautiG Wind,

Thanks for digging up this old thread. I flew my symmetrical spinnaker for only the second time this weekend, and am still trying to figure it out. So far I don't have the confidence to fly it in much more than light winds.

I'll use Jeff's advice to mark the sheets for raising the sail, and to let the guy go and the sail flag for lowering the next time I'm out. Seems pretty obvious, but I hadn't thought of it yet.

What a beautiful weekend on the Chessie! Caught another Rockfish and worked on my jacklines. I'm still not satisfied with my jackline setup. Seems with my big deck that I should be able to set it up so there's no possibility of falling overboard.

Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
11-08-2009 05:38 PM
roline I single hand/ cruise with a symmetrical on both boats, Santana525 and a Cal 9.2. It is easier on the 525 due to being a smaller chute. Both boats are set up for end for end jibing. When the wind gets over 10 apparent, I have to use an autohelm to control course, hull speed is too fast for me and she can get out of control too fast while I'm up on the fore deck.. TO drop the chute, just pull her in the the lee side blanketed by the jenny and main and stuff her below. If it is a dry drop just repack into the turtle.
11-08-2009 03:21 PM
wind_magic Jeff_H, I know this post is like a million years old, but I have a question.

Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
To ease flying the chute single-hand I have marked the sheets for the proper setting for the jib. I head a few degrees above dead down wind and set the sheet and guy to their marks. I then jibe the pole, walk back to the cockpit and jibe the mainsail and then head up to the new course. This is actually easier than tacking an assymetrical because assymetricals require you to haul in so much more line and the timing is so critical.
Could you explain the above a little more, I am having trouble imagining what you are saying.

To douse the chute I head just above dead down wind and either on an assymetrical I release the shackle on the tack line or on a symetrical chute I release the shackle on guy. The sail then ''flags'' with no load on it. I then grab the sheet and pull the chute close into the lee of the mainsail. I gather the foot and only then release the halyard. I then haul the chute down like a rope, hand over hand, stuffing it down the companionway. I can usually do this within reach of the helm.
So above, when you say "I release the shackle on guy." are you saying that you release the shackle on the side that is not connected to the spin pole ? I am just asking you to define the term because my sailing lingo isn't what it ought to be. Also, does the sail go into the water when you do this ? It seems like you would want to release the side this is upwind so that it clears the forestay before it flags ? Or maybe that is more likely to cause a wrap ?

I'm curious what your advice is for fixing wraps when single handing. I have never had to deal with this before, I haven't even been on a boat that has flown a spinnaker before, but what I imagine is that the sail falls in and wraps around the forestay and then doesn't want to unwrap. How do you get it down when that happens ? Maybe throw a line up that has a weight on it between the halyard and the forestay and then use that line to pull the wrap clear ? I'm very curious how this is done!
08-26-2003 05:27 PM
Flying a spinnaker single-handed

I''ve been single-handing symetric chutes for years and have never had any difficulties. I would whole heartedly agree with Jeff on his worries of attaching the tack of the asymetric with the Tacker at the rolled-up genny.

The only thing I add to the symetric equation, I use lazy sheets and guys. On Silmaril, with her large foretriangle, I feel safer that way. A bit more fuss when jibing singlehanded maybe, but doing a dip-pole jibe works better for me with the extra control I feel with them. When I am getting ready to douse the chute, after the guy is released, I bring the clew to the leward mid-ships rail by hauling in the lazy guy, cleating it off, and then gather the chute and drop it down the companionway.
08-25-2003 10:14 AM
Flying a spinnaker single-handed

The Asym is really somewhat of a hybrid shape. The tacker allows you to tighten and straighten the luff for the closer reaching angles the Asym. is able to do over the Sym. I guess we''ll have to agree to disagree on the rest.
08-25-2003 10:05 AM
Flying a spinnaker single-handed

I know what a tacker is, but I really don''t see any possible advantage. Ideally you want the luff of the chute to separate from the rolled genoa which the Tacker would prevent. I see the real danger to having it rigged that I mentioned in my previous post. I have always jibed assymetrics forward of the forestay but I have also had wraps with small crews. Wraps occur when the boat heads too far downwind and the chute colapses inward. Add a wave or two to that and an assymetric wraps. With a symetrical chute you have a chance to pole back to clear the wrap. With an assymetrical you have a good chance of being in serious trouble. A Tacker would seem to aggrevate that problem by holding the chute closer to the stay. In my experience, at least here on the Chesapeake with its ubiquidous chop I see far more assymetrics badly wrapped than I do symetrics. While a lot more gear is required to fly a symetric, jumping back and forth between boat that have symetricals and boats that have assymetricals, syumetricals are actually much easier to fly especially single-handed.

08-25-2003 07:39 AM
Flying a spinnaker single-handed

The Tacker is a strap that wraps around the furled jib at the tack of the asym. The downhaul is attached to it alowing you to control the luff shape of the asym. Tight and straight for sailing closer to the wind and loose as you sail down.
I have been using this arrangement with a sock for about 10 years. You are right though when you say you need to blanket the chute with the wind in heavier air. I have never had an hour glass though. Wraps and hour glasses happen when you try to gybe the chute inside the forestay like a jib. The correct way to gybe an asym is to release the sheet as you turn and let the sail fly foward and proud of the forestay bringing it in with the other sheet. This eliminates most of the problems. If it''s really dicey you can blanket the sail then snuff it and then gybe and relaunch. Another thing I do sometimes with the sock is to snuff the sail and just leave the sock cleated to the deck while still hoisted. I then bag it at leisure at the dock. IMHO this is far less complicated and prone to problems than a Sym. setup with a pole, topping lift, after and fore guys etc. The only negative I see is the inabilty of the Asym. to sail as deep as the Sym.
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