I've always been envious when I see a boat with a spinnaker up. The boat looks really cool with the big colorful sail out front of it. And I think, that guy must really know how to sail, cause I've heard how difficult it is to fly it.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I have had a spinnaker aboard for two years and this past week is the first time I've flown it. I was intimidated by all the equipment that came with it. The pole, the dousing bag/turtle and all the other lines you are supposed to rig.
But I fouled the turtle and its lines the first time I tried raising the spinnaker early on, so I got rid of the bag. This time, I raised the spinnaker in light air with the mainsail up, blocking the wind.
I rigged the spinnaker pole, but on my boat it appears to do nothing. With my wide beam, the lines are spread well apart. And when done, I just doused the spinnaker with the mainsail blocking the wind.
The spinnaker is my new favorite sail! I used to hate sailing downwind. While my boat tracks effortlessly on a reach, downwind sailing always required active helming. Not so with the spinnaker up in 5-10 knots wind.
I look forward to refining my skills so I can fly it in heavier winds. Maybe the turtle bag and pole will of more use then, but I still feel like a bad ass sailor with my spinnaker up in light air.
Any tips or advice for flying the kite in the future? I still feel like a newbie doing it. It's an old school symmetrical spinnaker.
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision