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post #11 of 19 Old 06-08-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

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Am I wrong when I think that the further back the pole gets, the further off the wind/more downwind/slower you are getting? How does this help VMG?
That's right: the deeper downwind you sail, the slower you go (as lift decreases), and the further back you bring the pole, to a maximum of about 45. The slower speed is offset, however, by a more direct course sailed to the mark. The J/29 I race in BC is a good example: on a light wind day, say under 12kn (90% of our sailing weather in BC!), we head quite steeply downhill, and slowly but surely win the downwind leg, as the asym boats criss and cross: without enough wind to plane well and go really fast, they can't bring the apparent wind in close enough to head down deep, and have to reach back and forth to the leeward mark. We'll be doing 7 knots, but the boats flying asymmetrical spinnakers sail twice the distance and only do two or three knots more of speed on average. In higher winds, then everything flips: we'll top out downwind at 9 knots (maybe 10-11 on a surf), and the asym racers are all planing at 12+, and can sail deeper as they get their apparent wind forward. The fastest boats that sail in this manner (some cats and tris come to mind) effectively sail upwind on BOTH windward and leeward legs! This is why they forgo spinnakers altogether and use Code 0s.

As a general rule, for windward/leeward racing, displacement hulls are designed to use symmetrical kites, and planing or semi-planing hulls are more successful with asymmetrical kites. Some, but not many, use both types, depending on conditions: the PHRF penalty is significant, however. Needless to say, triangular courses favour planing boats with asymmetrical kites, and they'll handily pass the older boats on the reaching leg. Offshore, asym boats also typically do well, if you find yourself reaching for any significant part of the race.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-08-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

Lazy Jacques, for a low post count you gave probably the most concise response I've seen for a very complicated subject. Huge kudos, and spot on. Been trying to get this across to some of our locals... We just got a J80 in our mixed fleet of mostly 80s vintage displacement racers (my S2 7.9 an example)... they are all besides themselves on the subject. My comment was in our venue, as long as we set W/L courses, the 80 will be equally matched if not outmatched, but if the course strays even slightly from W/L, or goes to a course with an offset, they'll crush everyone.

The Olson 25 is a nice light air machine... it DOES need railmeat to sail well in anything over 8 knots true. I also second the idea of getting a tiller pilot if you plan to launch that symmetrical solo.. but make sure you get a pass from your RC to allow a tiller pilot, for shorthanded racing as that's technically a no no.

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post #13 of 19 Old 06-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

Nice discussion. Thank you.

I do have a tiller pilot. Looks like I just need to practice more with the Symmetrical Spin and I'll be good to go.

Thanks again.
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-08-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

Stephen, if you perfect it, video it for me, I could use any help I can get.

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post #15 of 19 Old 06-20-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

This thread has run it's course, I guess: just wanted to thank you Shnool, for the kind words, and wish the OP luck with solo kite work. There's a guy in my PHRF fleet here in Vancouver who sails an Express 37 solo, and has perfected the art of raising and dousing his asym kite on W/L races (and distance races, too) with uncanny ease and expertise. That's right: you can imagine the size of kite that is carried by a 37' racer-cruiser! He regularly wins his div, and all this without the use of an auto-helm!!! (forbidden here, I believe, in PHRF). I haven't asked him, but I think he simply uses the clutch on his wheel part-way, so he keeps it from swinging freely, while still allowing some steering: I've observed him standing in the forward part of the cockpit, say, hauling on the halyards during a sail change, quickly reaching behind his back to move the wheel fairly forcefully one way or another to correct his course. Looks tricky, but he's obviously mastered it, so I'm sure you can do it too. Good luck, and please follow up on your progress, as single- or double-handed racing is something I've been thinking about as well.
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-20-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

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Originally Posted by Lazy Jacques View Post
This thread has run it's course, I guess: just wanted to thank you Shnool, for the kind words, and wish the OP luck with solo kite work. There's a guy in my PHRF fleet here in Vancouver who sails an Express 37 solo, and has perfected the art of raising and dousing his asym kite on W/L races (and distance races, too) with uncanny ease and expertise. ....
Not only that, he wrapped a sheet around the prop at the latest race, swam to clear it, and then caught up with the fleet once again.

But one has to wonder... will no one sail with him????

Ron

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post #17 of 19 Old 06-20-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

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Originally Posted by Lazy Jacques View Post
This thread has run it's course, I guess: just wanted to thank you Shnool, for the kind words, and wish the OP luck with solo kite work. There's a guy in my PHRF fleet here in Vancouver who sails an Express 37 solo, and has perfected the art of raising and dousing his asym kite on W/L races (and distance races, too) with uncanny ease and expertise. That's right: you can imagine the size of kite that is carried by a 37' racer-cruiser! He regularly wins his div, and all this without the use of an auto-helm!!! (forbidden here, I believe, in PHRF). I haven't asked him, but I think he simply uses the clutch on his wheel part-way, so he keeps it from swinging freely, while still allowing some steering: I've observed him standing in the forward part of the cockpit, say, hauling on the halyards during a sail change, quickly reaching behind his back to move the wheel fairly forcefully one way or another to correct his course. Looks tricky, but he's obviously mastered it, so I'm sure you can do it too. Good luck, and please follow up on your progress, as single- or double-handed racing is something I've been thinking about as well.
Even when full on, wheel locks are designed to allow easy moment of the rudder by turning the wheel. It's a safety feature. Locking the wheel simply prevents the rudder from turning on its own.

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post #18 of 19 Old 09-29-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

"effectively sail upwind on BOTH windward and leeward legs!"



I've heard this said of ice boats can you help me understand.
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-30-2016
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Re: asym spinnaker vs. traditional

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Originally Posted by albrazzi View Post
"effectively sail upwind on BOTH windward and leeward legs!"



I've heard this said of ice boats can you help me understand.
Hi perf multis and ice boats sail at such speeds that they 'pull the apparent wind' forward to the point that they are always 'reaching', and often 'close reaching'. "Sailing upwind" might be a tad overstating things; they are unlikely to be actually 'closehauled' unless truly beating.

Bear in mind that they never do DDW either...

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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