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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2012 03:08 AM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

I designed a 3' aluminum retractable sprit that uses the existing stay sail car and track on the inboard end. The outboard end slides through a stainless collar pinned to the stem fitting using the same pin as the forestay. I have a block on the end of the pole that swivels on the centerline of the pole to avoid any torquing of the pole. I used one of my old guys for the tack line so it is long enough to douse the sail into the companionway just by blowing the tackline from the cockpit. The sail is relatively small (code 4) but still plenty powerful. It was cut a bit short on the hoist to allow for a sock or furling but I haven't got either yet. I launch it out of a racing style box bag clipped to the lifelines. We use it whenever the wind is right for it. It is very effective in lighter breeze where the genoa just isn't quick enough. I haven't used it in strong breeze much because the headsail can get us to hull speed easily.

07-12-2012 08:34 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

i have a 12' carbon fiber 4" dia. retractable bowsprit that swivels side to side on curved track at the rear. on the top front of the mast is a bail with a strong swivel block and a external halyard. this works very well with either of my two asymmetrical spinnakers on my 30ft nimble express.
07-12-2012 04:54 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
I converted my boat to asymetric, but if I was going to campaign it seriously I would go back to the symetric!
this sounds like it might be a good thread... did you fit a sprit, how large a asym, using a furler? Do you use it for daysailing?

This is something more folks should be doing...
07-12-2012 11:00 AM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

At 19k displacement shes a heavy beast, and very tender. Shell go over 25 to 30 degrees without much thought or provocation at all. Given that, we had the sail maker (Doyle) come out and look at the boat, do some research, and come up with a custom designed pair of sails. The main has a large roach to help get us moving in light air, the jib is a #2 cut like a #1. A 155 would start to over power the boat, as a rough guess, in about 7 or 8 knots of air. We start to get overpowered in 12 knots with the 135 and need to bring the jib cars back a touch to twist off the leech, spill a little air. By 15 knots we have to take in a bit of jib and/or stick a reef in the main, 18 knots for sure we are reducing sails, both of them.

Having a 155 out there then, on a roller furl, wed have it furled in to 135 or less much of the time, creating a bag-o-sail out there on the forestay, which would (and does) limit our pointing ability. It would, however, be great on a light air reach or downwind run, and this is where the a-sail comes in. The 135 fits the conditions for a little better than half of the time we are on the water, racing or not, but we could use something to fill the gap when the winds drop below 8 knots.

My tactician has been racing for the past 4 decades, the mere mention of putting a symmetrical on causes him to go pale. Of course, Im sure much of it has to do with us being a rookie crew, but still, if hes unnerved by it

The boat was originally billed as a racer/cruiser, were talking Ted Irwin after all. Why it didnt come with a third halyard baffles me some. The goal isnt so much to turn it into a flat out race boat, but to a make it a reasonably fast, easy to handle, cruiser that can be somewhat competitive in the local beer can circuit with similar boats.

The Bay-Mac race starts this weekend and weve been frantically trying to get in touch with that sister ship. At this point we dont know if shes racing or not, but she makes berth in Port Huron, where the race starts. Thought we would drive up and watch the start and combine that with a look-see at the other Irwin.

Appreciate the links for the sprit and mast hardware, wasnt having much luck finding them on my own.
07-10-2012 02:37 AM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

It sounds like you are getting serious about setting your boat up for racing. If you are determined to go with an A-kite then you should definitely go with a sprit. Flying it from the tack is for cruising spinnakers. If you are planning on getting a full sized chute, you are talking about alot of power and alot of load, and that may call for a stayed sprit.

I am sure the sistership that is racing and winning at 129 is running a symetrical chute. If you really want to make your boat competitive THAT is what you should be thinking about.

I converted my boat to asymetric, but if I was going to campaign it seriously I would go back to the symetric!
07-09-2012 08:06 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

One of the things you might want to look at is jib size. I am pretty surprised that you are only using a 135. In the conditions you describe I would have a 155 up on pretty much every boat I race.
07-08-2012 11:24 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

For a boat of the Irwin 39's displacement (17,000 lbs ?) the Selden kit using a 99mm aluminum tube offers a "maximum unsupported" length of about 41 inches. Their carbon fiber or other aluminum sprits would not safely extend even that far on such a heavy boat. Adding 6' to the sail's foot length is going to get pretty pricey. The Evelyn 32 we saw Friday displaces perhaps 5000 pounds, and their permanently mounted sprit extended about 3' beyond the stemhead.
07-08-2012 01:20 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

If you want to race dont listen to this advice about flying an asym off your bow - that would be a slow and losing proposition. An asym is all about sail area, you need an extra 6 or more feet in your sail's foot, or you wont have enough sail area to power your boat. an asym for racing should have something like twice the area of a cruising chute, which flys off the stem. You dont need a small sprit, you need a BIG sprit. Take a look at these:
Carbomax Carbon Bowsprit
Selden Bowsprit Kits

You should talk to a local sailmaker who makes racing sails, for advice on sprit length and target sail area for racing.

If you dont do the asym right , go with a traditional symmetric with a pole, it is a much simpler fit and size question.

You can find spinnaker cranes here:
Masthead Spinnaker Bails
07-08-2012 01:03 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

Chris mentions setting up a sprit of some sort to handle the tack of the A-sail. Make sure it's strong enough. Rode in a launch on Friday with crew from a boat (Evelyn 32?) that rigged up their own A-sail sprit. They said their first two sprits had had...longevity issues. You're dealing with a big sail on a heavy boat. Using the anchor roller may work - but it is designed more to handle downward (anchor) forces, not upward (sail) strains.
All in all, you may be able to spend several thousand dollars setting up the hardware, and another several thou on the sail. On an Irwin 39, this may give you an extra knot on reaches, compared to a big genoa. The cost/benefit ratio starts to look very tight from this angle.
07-06-2012 07:10 PM
Re: Rigging up an A-sail

It looks like your forestay goes to the stemhead or very close. Presumably there is something there for an anchor roller to which you can attach a pulley for the tack line. You may have to as I did have a small extension to this made but this was to get some separation for a furler.
A furler has some advantages, but also means the tack line is fixed in length which is ok but not optimal for racing.
You also need to clear the pulpit. That would probably mean that the tack is not attached directly to the stemhead, rather the tack line allows it to project out and up. To me that is an advantage as a cruiser in terms of visibility.
To a racer you would probably want a smallish removable prod. Harken make them in various sizes. You would probably need to reinforce the deck where it attaches.
On that size boat the forces would be substantial at all 3 points tack head and clew. However since you are obviously prepared to spend money on racing that may be your best option.
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