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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-16-2008 03:54 PM
artbyjody Since I am in the same boat - I found a decent online resource. Racing Basics thought it might be of some interest as it relates to the thread - while targetted at having crew, diagrams etc come in handy...
06-13-2008 04:16 PM
sailhagg This was a great thread for me! My hubby and I are planning on trying our spin this season. Last weekend in 0 wind we practiced in our slip setting everything up. We have a 'sock'? the spin stays compact until you run up the 'sock'. We had a bit of trouble getting set up and both agreed we were glad we were at the slip and tied up.

It was a good practice run. This boat has more 'stuff' than our last sailboat and we've been slowly working up to this. We have found some club members who've set them on their own boats and they are willing to go out with us. Yippee!

Thanks for all the great info!
06-13-2008 02:13 PM
NOLAsailing The best, easiest, fastest, cheapest, most fun way of learning to fly a chute is to volunteer as crew for a decent race boat.
06-13-2008 12:27 PM
SEMIJim Call me a fraidy cat, but it is MHO that nobody who, by their own admission, is "pretty clueless about the actual sailing part," should be hoisting a spinnaker on their own for the first time.

The Admiral and I each had some sailing experience before we bought our new-to-us Pearson P30 last season. (She on a 7m wood dinghy. Me as crew on a Pearson P28, many years ago.) We both took ASA 101 and 103 courses before buying the boat. We've had about a half season on her. I'm very anxious to fly the kites that came with the boat. We're not going to do it yet, because we're still "becoming one" with the whole sailing thing. When we feel we are ready to give it a go, we'll tap one of our fellow club members to go out with us and show us how it's done.

I'm not afraid of the spinnaker, but I do respect its increased demands.

06-12-2008 08:42 PM
chris_gee 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.
06-11-2008 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
That referenced link (I think) would be: ...
That's the one.
06-11-2008 03:48 PM
artbyjody That referenced link (I think) would be:

WYC Spinnaker Manual
06-11-2008 03:39 PM
AdamLein 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!
05-24-2008 12:26 PM
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post

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.
05-23-2008 11:40 PM
sailingdog 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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