Flying my spinnaker
OK, so I've had my boat for more than 10 years and have done quite a bit of club racing but have never used my spinnaker during a race because it's a big freaking sail and I'm just not comfortable with it yet but want to begin to use it now.
Just in case, I have read the basic how-to by Steven Colgate in the Articles section of this site and it only deals with one line on each tack and clew. My setup has two on each and wonder how that is supposed to work.
But I'd like a little help with how to manage the lines for it. It came with a set of sheets and guys(?). One set for each side, port and starboard. The sheets have a large plastic donut on them just before the shackle which I assume is designed to keep the spinnaker pole from moving up onto the sail. The guys are also attached to the shackle.
OK, can someone walk me thru raising the sail, jibing it, and lowering it while managing it with the sheets, guys, and halyard? I went out yesterday with five of my closest friends and put it up in 15 to 18 knots of wind and it was a real circus but fortunately no one got hurt save for a little rope burn on one of their arms when we did an accidental jibe.
The guys go through a block on the rail near the shrouds, then aft directly to a winch. The sheets go outside to blocks on the strn quarters, then forward to winches.
When setting the sail, use the guy on the windward side and the sheet on the leeward side. To hoist,
- raise the pole
- preset the sheet (pull aft past the mast
- trim the guy (now called the aft-guy) to bring the tack out to the pole, and the pole aft to a right-angle to wind direction
-set the fore-guy (pole downhaul)
- (pre-setting the guy and sheet reduces the chance of a wrap) hoist like mad
- Trim sheet as needed,
- Bear off to a run
- Trim in the lazy sheet (the windward sheet otherwise not in use)
- release the aft-guy and lower the pole, remove the aft-guy,swinging the pole to the leeward side
- Gybe the main
- Set the old lazy guy into the pole, raise the pole then trim old lazy guy (now the new aft-guy
- release the old sheet..now the lazy sheet
it is probably a good idea to practice for a while in 5-10 knots..
Thanks, I'll try to get my mind's eye wrapped around this before I go out again.
Yes, I agree a bit less breeze would've been nice but I really wanted to give it a try as well as giving the sail a test of strength as it has a couple of repairs in it already.
With a '70s 37 footer you probably have a dip-pole setup, esp considering you're already set up with double sheets and guys.
To expand a bit on SF's great post... What we used to do was run both sheet and guy through the pole jaws on the initial hoist.. this avoided ending up with the lazy sheet under the guy (trapping the pole) on the first gybe. You're doing a dip-pole gybe, so you have to able to 'drop' the outboard end of the pole off the guy when you open the latch. There fore it's important that the lazy sheet lead over the pole end rather than under it. Also, to get the clearance through the foretriangle, the butt (mast) end of the pole needs to be hoisted high enough up the mast for the pole to swing through. (Hint.. figure out what setting that is on the track and mark it or the pole butt lift so you can quickly set it there)
During the Gybe the sail flies on the two 'sheets' allowing the foredeck crew to change guys with no load on it. The helmsman has to be very steady here to keep the boat under the kite. Once the guy transfer is made, the foredeck crew pushes the pole out while someone else pulls the pole lift up and resets the butt lift for level. This will pull the 'new' guy up under the tensioned (soon-to-be lazy) sheet and avoids the fore-mentioned trap.
We led our 'sheets' through blocks aft on the boat, and the guys through blocks at max beam.. this helped control the pole with more stability and avoided chafe on the lifelines and strain on the stanchions from the heavily loaded guy.
Hope this helps....
I can do the dip-pole manuever but only after I remove my baby stay from the deck. If you look carefully at the photo you can see a small staysail being flown by the POs. That stay now is attached about 18 inches forward of the mast but is readily loosened and removed during down wind runs.
Thanks again to both of you. I can hardly wait to get out there again.
btw - re-reading your OP, but sure to use the lines with the plastic 'donuts' as guys, rather than sheets.. The donuts will prevent the shackle from possibly binding in the pole end.
Generally for the douse, we released the shackle on the 'tack' of the sail rather than let the guy run (as is normal on an end-for-end pole setup) This avoids the drag of the double sheet's/etc going around the boat. Releasing the shackle lets the sail fully luff, then now that no load is on the sail suck it in behind the main with the lazy guy and haul it on board. Most of the time we pulled it down into the forehatch. The neat thing about the double line setup is that you can take the lazy guy (leeward side) out of the blocks and take it where ever you need to go with it to pull the sail down. Another option is a belly takedown line, but your sail will need to have a bellybutton patch for that. This is a line attached to the middle of the spinnaker, then you release all three corners and quickly drag the sail below using that line. We never used it.. it's another line hanging there all the time that's likely to cause a problem at some point.
Be sure to manage/control the release of the halyard, don't simply blow it. Whoever's on the halyard should be watching the proceedings and feeding the halyard at a rate that the crew can recover without letting the sail go into the water.
As SF said, 5-10 knots true is about the minimum to practice.. any less and you won't have enough apparent to easily fly the sail... in the beginning, over 15 knots true will make managing things dicey if they go badly.
As I was frequently reminded, generally speaking most of the snafus during gybes and takedowns can be traced back to the helmsman and the "quarterback" calling the shots.
Once you get it all right, though, it's really rewarding.
I too have a baby stay on my Pearson 10M and have note flown a spinnaker yet on my boat. I am getting there...
BTW, what is the purpose of the baby stay other than allowing us to induce mast bend using the backstay adjuster? Also, The baby stay can easily be detailed from the deck, however how does one stow it out of the way? We cannot bring it to the mast as the length is longer and it is not straightforward to bring it aft and attach it somewhere as we do the spare halyards.
Appreciate your thoughts. Cheers.
The baby stay can be a relatively brutal way to induce mast bend, as you say, or else is there to limit pumping of the mast in a seaway while beating in some chop/waves.
As for stowing it, is it too long to clip to the shroud base somewhere? IIRC the P 10M is more or less a flush deck which means the babystay is generally longer than those that terminate on a cabintop.
Another possiblity (unless it's rod) might be to put a hook on the base of the mast and take a turn around it and clip the babystay to something further up the mast... Yet another would be to shorten it (the wire portion) somewhat and put a longer tackle on it that could be shortened up to stow it.
Thanks!> I will try the shroud base...We sail in the SF Bay and sea is pretty choppy. Particularly towards the afternoon and while coming back from the GG Bridge...
The only time I would think of taking it off would be in lighter winds and relatively calm seas when we are running, heading back to the slip. Ideally I would just fly a Asym, and do an outside jibe. However I don't have a asym and have a radial etc.
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