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  #1  
Old 05-06-2009
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Asymmetrical vs symmetrical spinnakers

Hi All...

My Scampi came to me with a symmetrical spinnaker and its pole. Its old and worn and probably lets lots of air through it, so I am thinking of replacing it.

I am trying to decide if the new one should be symmetrical or asymmetrical and I have no experience with an asymmetrical. From the reading I have done, I can fly an asymmetrical spinnaker on my Scampi by adding a block up at the bow for the tack line, and use the rail with snatch blocks for the sheets. I have winches.

I will be doing some racing in the coming seasons, so I want to select the better sail for that. The racing I will do will probably vary based upon when I can find crew and who is available when, so I don't know for sure what kind of courses it will mostly be. Probably it will be a mix of evening club races and day long NBYA races.

I don't know if there is a good answer to this, but in general, which is the better sail to be equipped with? It seems that asymmetrical sails are better at higher reaching up to a beam reach but don't do so well when running. I know a symmetrical will do broad reaching and running.

Comments?

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2009
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If you intend to do round the cans racing on the Scampi, you're far and away better off with a traditional symmetrical spinnaker, esp since you've already got the gear (pole, downhaul, etc)

Older designs are different than the new purpose-built sport boats. You can't expect to make up the distance required with an A sail without a boat designed to take advantage.

If you were primarily cruising my answer might be different, though we still prefer the symm because we end up sailing deep downwind a fair bit in our area.
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Old 05-06-2009
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I agree that the symmetrical spinnaker will be the better sail in the long run for a boat like the Scampi. Racing Assyms are hard to jibe short handed in light air without getting a wrap. The key to raising, flying, dropping and jibing a symmetrical chute short-handed is to use conservative maneuvers.
Launch- to leeward of the jib
Jibe- Mark the sheet and guy for thier jibe settings, head down wind and End for end the pole rather than do a dip pole jibe.
Drop- Break and Flag drop to leeward of the mainsail with the jib set.

Once you get the hang of it you can do all of this single-handed.

Jeff
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Old 05-06-2009
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Thanks guys... I won't be racing single handed, but I see your point.

Along those lines, how is the apsin jibed? If it is rigged outside the head stay and flown with the spinnaker halyard, does it reverse itself, so the opposit side is now collecting the wind?
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Old 05-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Older designs are different than the new purpose-built sport boats. You can't expect to make up the distance required with an A sail without a boat designed to take advantage.
Other than the bowsprite, what are the differences?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
Other than the bowsprite, what are the differences?
Much more powerful stern sections, more slippery designs, less weight add up to speed that will allow you to compensate for the wider jibing angles required with Asymm sails. Try to get your Scampi alongside a Melges 32, you'll get the picture!
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Its really about weight and hull forms. Modern boats can achieve very high reaching speeds as compared to their speeds dead downwind and at those speeds they can then head closer to downwind while the apparement winds remain quite far forward.

Without a bowsprit, assymetrics really are not all that great as you get close to dead downwind but they work great on sport boats because having to reach around the course at hot angles is okay on a modern boat since almost never heads dead downwind unless the winds are very high since they have a much faster VMG on a reach.

Boats like yours do not make big gains by reaching up and so can take full advantage of a symmetrical chute.

Jeff
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Got it, thanks guys!

I don't have a POLAR for my boat so I can't say for sure that reaching to the down wind mark is not faster, but I'm inclined to take your word for it. The POLAR would cost about $300, and right now I don't have the electronics to feed into it. Maybe next season. Heck, I am still trying to figure out for sure which model Scampi I have

The long term plan is to race this boat for the next 8 seasons until my daughter graduates from college, then get a nice fast boat By then I'll hopefully have a much better idea of what to get and how to equip it.

Based on your advice for now I'll play with the worn out spinn I have and maybe get a second one next season. I know there are advantages to having two on a race course, with regard to not having to repack the first. But I think the worn out one will become the practice and heavy air chute, assuming it holds together

Thanks!

Related topic: Are spinn socks worth having on a race course? I'll post a new thread for that!
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For racing I'd not bother with with a sock.. good crew work will be faster and more effective.

If you're going to the trouble of carrying two chutes, think about getting some different weights... a .5 oz for the light stuff and maybe something heavier for the windy days. Some go to extremes and have running kites, light air kites, reaching kites etc etc, but i think you can get by just fine with a .6 - .75oz spinnaker unless you sail in heavy air frequently (although the payoff decreases as the wind pipes up - laying on your side for a minute and a half broached can wipe out any speed advantage you might have had for a time......)
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There is no point to carrying two identical spinnakers on the race course. Learn to pack the chute, its quick and easy.

In heavier winds on the race course, you will want to fly the new chute because it will be less stretchy and more controllable especially if you need to rerech up, than some stretched out old sail.

If the old chute is in decent shape, use it for practice and cruising. I have an old 3/4 once that I call "Patches" which is my cruising chute. I only use the good chutes on the race course.

Forget about a sock. They are next to useless on a cruising boat your size but they are too slow to deploy and retreive and frankly guaranty that something will go really wrong in the heat of battle. It is very easy to get a twist in the sail in the sock while the sail is on the deck that you can't get out and can't get down to the deck.

Jeff
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