Guides to Helming with Spinnaker ? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-13-2010
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Guides to Helming with Spinnaker ?

I've been sailing for about 6 years now and over that time have progressed to helming someone else's 25ft aluminium keelboat designed purely for racing (= light with no cabin comforts, so is twitchy in gusts) in my club's around the bouys river/estuary races - but am only just starting to put a kite up when I'm on the tiller.

We usually sail with helm + 3 crew, but will fly the kite with just 2 crew if they know what they're doing. As a crew member I know all of the processes (and what gear does what) for spinnaker set-up, hoisting, gybing and dousing - but I am struggling to find much in the way of written material (books, web articles, etc.) that covers helming under spinnaker.

What I'm really looking for is detailed helming guidance about each manouvre (as above) as well as stuff about tactics and trouble avoidance/recovery (e.g. broaching, hourglass twists, forestay wraps, avoiding leeward boats coming upwind, etc).

Can anyone refer me to any specialist books, articles, video/DVD, websites, etc?

Thanks in advance.
SinbadOZ
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Old 04-15-2010
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North U has a series of books and videos that are pretty good - there are books as well. the most applicable to you would be "North U Performance Racing Trim."
Here's the scoop on the CD.................

CD: The North U TRIM CD puts performance in motion, and shows how changes in trim change the sailing performance of your boat. Use the inter-active "Sail Shaper" to see how different sail controls change sail shapes. Understand how to adjust angle of attack, depth and twist to match different sailing conditions. Detailed trim guidelines are provided for mainsail, jib, genoa, spinnaker, and asymmetric spinnaker trim.

In addition to sail trim, the CD covers boathandling topics, and shows the most up to date techniques for spinnaker sets, jibes and douses, for both conventional and asymmetric spinnakers. Through video, animated graphics and 100s of photographs, the TRIM CD covers the full range of trim and boat handling topics.

The CD also includes a voice over by the author, Bill Gladstone, turning the CD into a complete home study TRIM seminar.

Windows and Mac compatible.
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Old 04-15-2010
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I have the North U Trim book and it's great.

The chute is big on any boat and needs to be trimmed in time w/ the helms turning. That goes for gybes, luffing, mark roundings, etc. Pratice them all, a lot.

I take it you're concerned w/ the boat getting a little out of hand w/ the chute up? If it's rolling come up a little and put twings on hard, this should stabilize the chute and allow you to start working it down again.

Don't turn to fast as it takes a while to trim such a big sail.

communicate w/ the crew before you make a course change and get constant feedback from your trimmers on sheet loads.
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I have not found a guide that is any better then the north U book.
However for things negative example
Andy Herbick photography: VIDEO: J/22 Knockdown
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Old 04-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorAT View Post
I have not found a guide that is any better then the north U book.
However for things negative example
Andy Herbick photography: VIDEO: J/22 Knockdown
Negative because of the broach, or because of the soundtrack?
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Old 04-15-2010
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Been there, done that as the bowman and got the bruises and the t-shirt to prove it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorAT View Post
I have not found a guide that is any better then the north U book.
However for things negative example
Andy Herbick photography: VIDEO: J/22 Knockdown
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Old 04-15-2010
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I liked the soundtrack....

In 40 words or less:

Steer to keep the boat underneath the mast. Heeling to windward? Tiller to lee. And vice-versa.

In light to moderate air, head up in the lulls, and down in the puffs. Same in heavy air but don't head up as much.
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Old 04-15-2010
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Thanks all for the advice. I'll check out the North U resources.

To be perfectly honest, my heart rate goes up about 100 clicks when the kite comes out of the cabin - whether I'm working the bow or on the helm. (That maybe because of the broach we experienced in our early days of flying the kite when I was bowman - we got hit by a starboard bullet right after I'd taken the pole off the mast during a jibe, and somehow I ended up laying across the foredeck hanging on to the starboard gunwale and saying "What the?" - along with a number of other "character building" dramas that have occured with that damn chute up? I did mention that our boat is very light & twitchy, so the helm has to be "on the ball" and react very quickly to any gust or directional change.)
In the end, I realise that I won't learn what I need/want to by just reading books and watching videos - but only by getting out on the water and dong it, and doing it, and doing it , and....

Cheers
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Old 04-16-2010
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Listen while I have done a lovely tour of Eastern Oz including sailing for a week in the Whitsundays, and diving for a week on the reef I still have a great desire to visit Perth.

Pick up my airfare from Canada and I will be more than happy to give endless lessons on spinnaker handling.
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Old 04-16-2010
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Good grief, that sounds like me sailing!
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