spinnakers vs spankers - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010
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spinnakers vs spankers

I am considering buying a like new, used Neil Pryde Spanker. This will be our second season club racing a Hunter 28.5. Is the Spanker the same as an asymmetrical or is it a small flat spin from the 80's. Is it a good choice for a first kite or should we stick with our 155 until Santa brings something new from the North people. Would love to hear from someone who's used one of these.
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Old 08-11-2010
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Spanker is another term for a blooper, a sail meant to be flown in support of a symmetric spinnaker. They were such a pain to use with little effect, that they have pretty much disappeared from use. I'd pass on one even if it were free...
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Old 08-12-2010
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Asymmetric spinnakers have been refered to by many names,
ie. Genaker, Spinoa, Flasher, Cruising Spinnaker,and racing
designations such as Code Zero, 2A, 3A etc.
These sails can be designed for a wide range of
different wind strengths and angles, so you really need
to evaluate an individual sail and determine its functional
wind range. If all you have is a small headsail on a furler,
then any type of spinnaker will help in some particular
condition, it could be close reaching in light air or
running off in stronger breeze, but that will depend
on the cut of the particular sail in question.
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Old 08-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emiller775 View Post
I am considering buying a like new, used Neil Pryde Spanker. This will be our second season club racing a Hunter 28.5. Is the Spanker the same as an asymmetrical or is it a small flat spin from the 80's. Is it a good choice for a first kite or should we stick with our 155 until Santa brings something new from the North people. Would love to hear from someone who's used one of these.
On fore'n aft rigged racing yachts, a "Spanker", also known as a Blooper or Tall Boy, is set to windward of the Spinnaker and may offer a little in terms of stability without a rating penalty. Absent a fairly sizable crew to manage the headsails, however, I wouldn't bother as they don't seem to offer all that much in exchange for the effort involved, particularly at the Club Racing level.

FWIW...
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Old 08-12-2010
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Spankers aka TallBoys aka Bloopers fell out of favor when sailors learned to 'tack downwind' for a faster VMG course due to higher apparent wind. ditto on 'spinnaker staysails'.

When sailing/racing DDW was thought to be 'fast', spankers were used because of the extra SA aloft; but, when 'trigonometry' was re-discovered and the downwind sailing angles 'sharpened' the spankers became too unstable due to the apparent wind angles.

Yup, Im that old that I can remember that far back .... and it was 'ugly'.
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Old 08-12-2010
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Bloopers were common in the IOR days - basically the hull forms the rule encouraged were unstable downwind... lots of rocking and rolling leading to the "not if but when" wipeout. Bloopers helped stabilize things, they're actually rated as jibs, so no penalty hit. However, they're the only sail the gets you a .25kt speed increase when you put it up AND when you take it down. Trimmed by raising/lowering the halyard - these things are seriously better off as a memory!!

Blooper in action
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Old 08-12-2010
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For amusement -
Terminology could become somewhat confused with lots of masts. I was taught that one acceptable set of names for the masts on a seven masted schooner was as follows:
Fore
Main
Mizzen
Frigger
Jigger
Driver
Spanker

well, maybe not socially acceptable.
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Old 08-13-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
On fore'n aft rigged racing yachts, a "Spanker", also known as a Blooper or Tall Boy, is set to windward of the Spinnaker
FWIW...
I saw that Wiki entry also, but it is incorrect.
A Blooper, or Shooter, is flown to Leeward of
the Spinnaker, behind the mainsail.
A Tall Boy generally refered to a tall narrow
staysail set inside a Spinnaker.
A Blooper is technically a headsail,
as far as measurement is concerned.
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Old 08-14-2010
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Thanks for all the comments, I have laid the sail out on the front yard and looked at it. It appears to be a fairly flat slightly asymmetric spin. Since it's about the right size for this boat which is only 28 foot I doubt its a true blooper, etc. I don't think its shaped right for a true Asymmetric. I'm going to give it back and wait for the next really good deal...got to love this sport.
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