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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 11-04-2007
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running spinnaker when solo?

It may be next yr when I finally try. (not solo) I most likely will get help from someone that knows how to fly one.

Do you experianced sailors deploy em when your solo? .

Anyway, this inquiring mind wants to know.

thanks as always!
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Old 11-04-2007
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Denise, I do use the spi when solo. But there are a few howevers.
And I assume you mean the symetrical and not the assymetrical, as there is nothing to it to use the assy.

1) With my previous boats I had no problem, and would do it under most sea/wind conditions.They were smaller boats, and in the last boat I had a spi sock I bought from the old sailnet that was made by ATN.
2) I sailed those boats so much, that I could tell right away what they were about to do.
3) The speeds on those boats, also allowed more time to correct screwups and were also more gentile.
4) on my present boat, the situation is different. The spinnaker is 1500 sq Feet, so its slightly big, and the efforts it does are big too.

So I have only used it solo, I mean, Fred was with me, but he just steers, and I did all the rope/hoisting work. Its a fun thing when its up, but a PITA to get it there. You do need help getting it going.

Also everything happens faster now, and a lack of attention means a broach, so I don't risk it. This year when cruising I used it only once.

Edit: Thanks SD...

Last edited by Giulietta; 11-04-2007 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 11-04-2007
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Denise I am in the boat as Alex, I used to fly a chute by myself on smaller boats, typicaly 26-27 feet range. I now have a mast head 30 footer and the chute is more of a handfull. However certainly not as big as the one on Guilietta.
I have not flown it on this boat but then I do not have an auto pilot. When I do get one next year I will fly it under reasonable conditions.

Gary
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Old 11-04-2007
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I use it solo in light airs only.
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Old 11-04-2007
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Huh??? Did you mean to say And I assume you mean the symetrical and not the assymetrical,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
...And I assume you mean the assymetrical and not the assymetrical, as there is nothing to it to use the assy.
That said, assyms are pretty simple to fly single handed or short-handed, especially if you can fly them without a pole and use an ATN Tacker or similar sleeve to hold the tack at the forestay. If they're on a wire-luff furler, they can be even simpler to use. Flying a symmetrical spinnaker, with a pole, can be a real PITA and dangerous to boot, especially if you don't have the boat rigged to do so. Not having the spin pole downhaul and topping lift ran back to the cockpit makes it very diffiicult to fly a sym spinnaker single-handed.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 11-04-2007 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 11-04-2007
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Denise,
Too risky flying it solo unless you really know what you're doing. Things can get out of control in a hurry and recovery by one person would be very difficult at best. If you mean to try it anyway do it in very light air.
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Old 11-04-2007
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If you do so, it's essential to have a reliable method of steering the boat while you're busy handling the pole and lines.

A good autopilot, or in calm condition a way to lock the helm. but even a 30' boat will tend to turn as you gybe due to the shifting of the sail forces from one side to the other. So you have to be quick and sure enough to get the maneouver done and back to the cockpit in time to correct.

Any sort of sea running will cause difficulties so pick your days.

An "A" sail and a sock makes life much easier, thought gybing in a breeze can still be a challenge.
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Old 11-04-2007
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Not me yet! I'll get help! Wing and wing will do in the meantime! but I would like to know the whys and what hows yall do it!
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Denise, I flew the symmetrical spinnaker on my previous 23' san juan fairly often while single handing. I always did it without the spinnaker pole (as that's too hard to manage in my opinion without help), and had no sock but relied on my tiller tamer at times. I only did it in light air with a fairly steady (ie. not shifty) breeze. It would make the difference between sailing at 2 knots or 3.5 knots to get me home again.

I have not used it yet on the 30 footer we bought last year, but would do so again in a very light, steady breeze using our autohelm, and given the extra boat size, even more caution.

Frank.
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Old 11-04-2007
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I do set and recover a spinnaker by myself. As is the case with most jobs on a solo boat the trick is to organize the work so that you donít need to be in two places at the same time. Everything needs to be set out so the work is sequential. I set up the gear so that I can make one trip forward to rig the pole and guy and as I return to the helm I set the spinnaker while passing the mast and trim the guy while going down the windward side and trim the sheet from the helm when I get there. So the job works out to be,

Place spinnaker in the cockpit on leeward side
Attach sheet and guy which were run beforehand
Set helm to keep the boat on course for the 4 minuets it will take.
Go forward rig pole and guy
Go aft grab sail and take to base of mast, rig halyard and host sail
Trim guy while returning to helm
Trim sheet from helm
Relax and enjoy the ride

The length of the sheet was roughly preset and the guy is loose until the sail is up and then trimmed a second or two after getting the sail up.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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