Help setting Spinnaker - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-03-2018 Thread Starter
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Help setting Spinnaker

ODay 30. I've never set up the spinnaker; in fact, I've never set a spinnaker. Any advice? I've got a helpful buddy and really wanting to get this up this weekend.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-04-2018
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Re: Help setting Spinnaker

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Originally Posted by smitrock63 View Post
ODay 30. I've never set up the spinnaker; in fact, I've never set a spinnaker. Any advice? I've got a helpful buddy and really wanting to get this up this weekend.
Well...where to start??

First, choose a light wind day as that will make for much less drama if things don't go well.

The sheets should be lead through blocks quite far aft, and then run forward outside all rigging and lifelines.

Where you launch the kite from depends on what kind of bag you have. A round "turtle" bag is designed to hoist from the pulpit. A rectangular "box" bag is meant to be launched from the leeward lifelines. (That is the race style). The bags should have clips to secure them so they don't hoist with the sail and fly away never to be seen again! In order to avoid the spinnaker being twisted you need to pack it properly. To do this you need to find all 3 corners of the sail, start from the head, and gather each luff tape until you find the clew it corresponds with. Stuff the body of the sail into the bag with the 3 corners and tapes on top. There is usually a tie or velcro strap to loop through the 3 corners so you don't lose them.
To set up for the hoist, place the bag wherever you are launching from and attach both sheets and the halyard( making sure the halyard is on the head!). Always look up and make sure the halyard is not wrapped around the forestay or caught on the rigging.
Raise the pole on the windward side with the uphaul, connect one end to the mast ring, and pass the windward sheet through the jaws on the outboard end. (I am assuming you only have spinnaker sheets, and not dedicated guys) the sheet that is attached to the pole now becomes the guy. There should also be a downhaul that holds the pole down.
When you are ready to hoist, pull the guy until the clew meets the pole. Hoist the sail quickly and smoothly and once it is up, pull the pole back to expose the sail to the wind, and pull the sheet until the sail fills.
The basic rule of thumb is to keep the pole perpendicular to the wind. Ease the sheet until the luff starts to curl, then pull it in a bit.

That is just a basic rundown. There is a whole lot of little details that depend on how the boat is rigged. Come back with more specific questions if you have any.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-04-2018
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Re: Help setting Spinnaker

Have someone who knows what he (or she) is doing go over it with you at the dock. Then, when you have the basics, go out with that person on a calm day, and have them show you how it works. You can get a lot of help from YouTube and the internet, but there are so many things going on with the spinnaker that I believe some instruction can really save you time and possibly costly mistakes.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-04-2018
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Re: Help setting Spinnaker

Symmetric or asymmetric? There's a big difference in rigging and in flying them. If asymm, do you have a sock?
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-04-2018
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Re: Help setting Spinnaker

I highly recommend Royce's Sailing Illustrated as a basic primer. It covers just about everything one needs to know to safely handle a small craft in a fun yet comprehensive format. From anchoring to boat nomenclature and even splicing, it's got most of what you'll need for getting started, yet is still a good reference book for the most experienced of us. No preachy tome here.
It has a good section on spinnakers.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-06-2018
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Re: Help setting Spinnaker

Large boat rigging for a symmetrical.

Small boat rigging for a symmetrical


A 30 foot boat I think I'd still rig as a small boat.
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Last edited by SailingUphill; 08-06-2018 at 07:33 AM.
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Re: Help setting Spinnaker

Thank you so much, this is so very helpful. Very helpful. I ended up not setting the spinnaker last week (too high of winds for my liking)... but, I'm taking every word in. Thank you.
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