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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Single-handed spinnaker
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Thread: Single-handed spinnaker Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-22-2012 02:39 PM
FoolishMuse I've watched the videos of the VOR racers and thought how cool it would be to have green water rushing the length of the boat, well I had my first green water experience yesterday on my O30.

Yesterday it was blowing 25-30 and I put up my big chute and full main. When the wind was down at 25, I was doing 12.4. When the wind went up to 30, I was hitting 15. This was without surfing. The water was quite flat.

And then the bow would bury and I'd get a rush of green water all the way back to the cockpit. The first time it happened I said "what the heck". The next couple of times I said "wow". By about the fifth time I realized that it was slowing me down.

The wind stretched the spinnaker halyard by 1 1/2 feet. More than I have ever seen. I've used my chicken chute in conditions like this before, but never my big spinnaker. What a blast!

When I popped the guy to douse the chute, the stopper knot ran right through the block. Even though it was just flapping in the wind, I still had to winch in the sheet until I could grab the foot and release the halyard.

When I came home, my wife said she hadn't seen me so happy in a long time! She wondered what was going on.
12-24-2011 09:45 AM
LupodiMare Doesn't matter. Yer gonna get wet.
12-24-2011 09:30 AM
smurphny Hey Bob, as anyone knows who has spent more than a week on the boat with no way to rinse out anything except by wasting precious fresh water (not an option): The more salt you can keep OUT of the cabin the better. Stuffing sopping salt soaked sails that you've screwed up by dropping in the water, down into the cabin is great when you're out for a day sailing but not when you have to live in the same space for weeks. NaCl, as you might not know, attracts moisture and creates a sticky, moldy, permanently wet mess. Once your cushions, clothes, sheets and sleeping bags are infiltrated with the stuff, you are done.
12-23-2011 07:45 PM
LupodiMare
Snuffers

Wow. An Alberg 35. I delivered 8 of them over forty years ago! Buy a sock and stop worrying about it. Oh my, salt water in a sailboat. What next.

Captain Bob
12-23-2011 05:54 PM
FoolishMuse Jeff H: Your technique sounds great. If I can make two suggestions, based on about a thousand spinnaker launches.
First, in above 10k wind, when launching make sure to leave the sheet really loose. So loose that the spinnaker is flapping in the wind in front of the boat. Only pull in the sheet when you have the tiller in hand and are ready to steer the boat. I had more broaches than I can count before I figured out this technique, and not one broach since. I generally will fly the chute up to 30knots.

Second, when gybing, gybe the mainsail first. To do this, steer downwind to about 165. Pull back on the guy and ease the sheet until the clew is 2-3 feet from the forestay. Then gybe the main. Go forward, grab the sheet and attach the pole while releasing the pole on the the other side. I only learned this method last spring, and now I wouldn't do it any other way. It is the way they teach at the Artimus Institute for the Figaro II's. I've done it with absolutely no problems in up to 20 knots (like two days ago).

I've outlined both of these ideas in my book. Singlehanded Tips Book
12-21-2011 01:02 PM
Faster
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I have a friend who races his SJ 21 with his 5-year old son as crew. I have seen him put his son on the helm while he does an end-for-end gybe.
As we did with our son... and now, nearing 30 he still races OPBs as well as his own! Doesn't get any cooler than that!
12-21-2011 12:59 PM
jackdale
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
C'mon James... you'll need to give that little person on your lap something to do down the road!!
I have a friend who races his SJ 21 with his 5-year old son as crew. I have seen him put his son on the helm while he does an end-for-end gybe.
12-21-2011 12:53 PM
Faster
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Isn't sailing supposed to be relaxing?
C'mon James... you'll need to give that little person on your lap something to do down the road!!
12-21-2011 12:49 PM
Faster Nice vid, Adam... For those of you unfamiliar, this is a 'dip pole' gibe using double sheets and guys. What is interesting about that segment is that something that should take only 20-30 seconds with crew can take nearly 3 minutes solo... and you can bet that guy's a bit knackered when it's done. I find it interesting too, that he waited til the end to gibe the main, I'd think the sail would have settled sooner if he'd flipped the main over half way through.

Still, he got through it without incident so good on him. This film also shows the necessity for some reliable self steering method for this to work.

Add to this idea: I've seen a plan that strung a loose bridle between clews on the spinnaker, and the pole clips to that. That way you can swing the pole from one gibe to the other without transferring the guys. Never tried it but it would have saved the trip forward if it works.

The beauty of a dip pole setup is that you never need to work the pole with a loaded line. It's the loads on the pole with end-for-end gibing that generally causes the big cluster$#% when things go wrong. Downhauls left too tight, guys not adequately eased, poles stuck on the ring (and perhaps taking out some teeth when finally popped free) are all things that can go wrong and are worsened by the fact that the guy and pole are under load at the time.

But not to discourage... flying spinnakers is great fun and rewarding when you get it right. As already mentioned, technique, sequence of events, and practice, practice, practice - in moderate conditions... not too light, not too heavy.
12-21-2011 12:48 PM
jameswilson29 Isn't sailing supposed to be relaxing?
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