Old question about spinnakers and racing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-24-2002 Thread Starter
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Old question about spinnakers and racing

I am buying a new Dehler 34 and will get into racing for the first time next season (I sail in New England). The boat is already rigged for an asymmetrical spinnaker.
My question is, and I''m sure this has been asked a million times, which is the best for racing, asymmetrical or symmetrical spinnakers. Also, should a boat be rigged to go both ways in general or is that just overkill and a waste of money. Thanks for any input you may have.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-24-2002
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Old question about spinnakers and racing

You might look at some testing that US Sailing did on this subject;
You can also look at http://www.phrfne.org/adj.htm
to see how PHRF adjusts for asymmetrics.
Subject to getting better spot-on advice on this board, I recommend you work this question over with the hot-shot sailmakers who will be eager to sell you sails for your new boat - they are folks likely have seen both alternatives in good use and I suspect this question doesn''t have pat answer (but what dooes with sailboats...).

Good luck.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-26-2002
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Old question about spinnakers and racing


SailingFool is right. We''re still battling with that question ourselves! However, here are a few thoughts to consider:

The top 2 considerations are:

A) What type of racing does your local fleet usually do? Windward / leewards or point to point racing with a higher probability of reaching.

B) Does your local PHRF board have an asy. penalty? (Usually a 6 second adjustment for those fleets that do.)

Lots of the older (read heavier) PHRF boats racing today will only have a limited benefit from an Asymmetric, especially if they are subject to a rating adjustment or if they mostly do W/L short course races. Those Asys don''t do you much good packed in the bag and symmetric spinnakers are still the best option straight down the hill. On the other hand, if you''re not subject to a rating adjustment, it''s a real nice weapon to have in the inventory for those reaching legs when the 155% is just not enough. It can often turn a reaching parade into a real opportunity to make a big move. Just some food for thought.

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post #4 of 4 Old 11-17-2002
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Old question about spinnakers and racing

My sailmaker unequivocally answered "symmetrical". But I''d say it depends on the crew you have available, and the races and ratings in your area. You want to have a competitive opportunity, but if you crew can''t handle a big symmetric ''chute, the specific races in which you will compete don''t have long runs, are mostly around the buoys, the ratings kill you with a spinnaker of any kind anyway, you will mostly be racing ''one design'' etc. you can make appropriate compromises.

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