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Old 06-12-2009
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SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
Spinnaker Handling: 180 Turn - beam reach to beam reach?

We were going to race this-coming Sunday, and fly the kite for the 1st time. The course is basically south down to a channel buoy, round it with the buoy to port, and back up. Wind was projected to be more-or-less from the east. So we would've been on a port tack beam reach on the way down, and a starboard tack beam reach on the way back. (Of course: Either reach might've ended-up being anywhere from broad to close, depending.)

Here's the question: In rounding the "mark" at the bottom of the course, how do you handle the kite? You can't hardly cross thru the wind--the thing would just collapse. (And that's assuming the wind wasn't strong enough to cause a broach at some point.)

If the wind was to be out of the west, or the rounding with mark to starboard, you could just gybe around.

ISTM you'd have to either get the kite down or you'd have to go low, gybe around and come back up with the mark to port. Kind of a reverse-chicken-gybe, if you will .

(Btw: The question is academic at this point. Forecast has changed to "variable winds, 10 kts or less." We're probably going to skip the thing entirely. Not inclined to mess with the kite for the first time in variable air, and drift-"racing" until midnight does not attract. We're pretty disappointed .)

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim; 06-12-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 06-12-2009
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Assuming the wind was 90* from your stern, I'd bare off 5-15* near the southern mark, douse, round/tack, and then set again. Drop the pole early, make sure the crew is sailing the boat with what it has. I'd also find a way to keep everything attached to speed up the hoist on the new tack. Maybe drop the chute on deck, tack, and pull the sheet back while hoisting. A windward set if you will. The breeze should blow the kite around with 'help' from the new sheet.

Get it flying, then set the pole, and douse the jib.
Seems like this would be very unlikely for the wind to stay 90* to the beam. Keep an eye on shifts and you'll have to change your strategy at the drop of a hat. I don't believe a sym kite is very efficient that close to the wind anyhow.
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Assuming the wind was 90* from your stern, I'd bare off 5-15* near the southern mark, douse, round/tack, and then set again.
Yeah, I thought of that. Boy, that'd be one heckuva busy rounding

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Seems like this would be very unlikely for the wind to stay 90* to the beam.
Yeah, well, especially on Lake St. Stupid.

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I don't believe a sym kite is very efficient that close to the wind anyhow.
The authors of what I've been reading apparently believe it can be, but I'm in no position to comment. Wouldn't mind having an asym, too, tho.

Thanks for the follow-up. Someday I'm sure we'll get to put it into practice.

Jim
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Old 06-12-2009
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I actually think a light and variable day would be ideal for practicing with the spinnaker. Everything light and easy, no drama, etc. You could always bail and take a DNF if it turns into a complete drifter. Maybe there's a time limit and the race will be abandoned anyway.

In my experience, it's pretty rare that you get to fly the chute up and down the course without some favorable (good luck with that ) windshift. More likely you'd be able to use it on one leg, and the other would just be a bit too tight on the wind. So more than likely the scenario wouldn't really pan out.

You can actually tack an asym in real light air. But with a symmetrical chute I would probably douse and reset at the mark (if possible). This approach allows the crew to assess the new wind after making the mark rounding -- to see if the chute is even possible again. You can lose a lot more time in a chute-goat-rope-mark-rounding than by delaying the set for a minute or two.
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Arrange the jib along starboard rail making sure that the port jib sheet goes over the spinnaker pole and lift bridle forward of the pole lift; set the jib; drop the chute to leeward (probably under the foot of the jib and into the forward hatch leaving the sheet, guy, and halyard attached); drop the pole to the deck leaving the pole lift and down haul attached; take the slack in the pole lift aft and tie it to the base of the mast; harden up; tack; bear off; snap the new guy into the forward end of the pole; untie the pole lift from the base of the mast; raise the pole to the proper position; open the forward hatch; cheat the tack forward to pole; and hoist the spinnaker.
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If it turns out to indeed be a port tack reach out and stbd tack reach back with marks to port, you've really no choice but to hoist a jib, douse the kite, tack around and reset.

In actuality you'll probably find at least one of these legs too tight to make the kite worthwhile. Keep an eye on the angle of the halyard to the centerline of the boat. if the halyard lead has any aft component, you're probably better off with a headsail. As long as it angles forward from the masthead and control isn't an issue it may be paying off.

Try it! You'll like it!
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Ok, thanks for the tips, everyone!

Looks like we're back on! The forecast has changed Yet Again. Now calling for 5-15 kts, starting out of the NW, veering to N at about race start. (It being Lk. St. Stupid, who knows what'll really happen.) So we'll probably broad reach down with the kite, then douse it and raise a #1 for the beat back up.

Looking forward to it! I'll report back and let y'all know how it went. (Maybe even with pictures!)

Jim
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Old 06-13-2009
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Can't help you with "tacking" your chute, but

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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
I don't believe a sym kite is very efficient that close to the wind anyhow.
the fastest we ever sailed was two weeks ago in maybe 10 knots of wind. We had the spin pole just a couple of inches off the forestay and the apparent wind maybe ten degrees before the beam. The sea was nice and flat and we had no trouble keeping her on course.

Of course our speed (6.3 knots) was a large component in our apparent wind, so it might not work out so well with the true wind right on your beam.
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the fastest we ever sailed was two weeks ago in maybe 10 knots of wind. We had the spin pole just a couple of inches off the forestay and the apparent wind maybe ten degrees before the beam.
The fastest the PO of our boat claims to have ever had her was 11 kts on a close reach with a chute in 20+ kts of wind. He had lots of meat on the rail. Hull speed of our boat is 6.7 kts.

Jim
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The fastest the PO of our boat claims to have ever had her was 11 kts on a close reach with a chute in 20+ kts of wind. He had lots of meat on the rail. Hull speed of our boat is 6.7 kts.

Jim
Sounds like he was throwing down a challenge. Now you just HAVE TO hoist that chute and try to break his record.

Keep us posted. In fact, this would make a good thread unto itself: "Semi-Jim's Attempts to Beat Prior Owner's Speed Record."

Remember: No photos, it didn't happen.
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