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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boat (CAL 29) came with a spinnaker of some kind. I usually sail single-handed and have just gotten around to pulling that sail out and unfolding it in the backyard to see what it is.

I am fairly ignorant about these. I believe it's a "cruising chute" but am not sure. It looks asymmetrical, and had a a red tape along one side (the luff?) and blue down the other (the leach?). The NorthSails logo is on the corner with the blue tape.

It's 38 ft down the red edge (luff?) and 22 ft down the ft.

1. Does this sound like a cruising chute?

2. I'm tempted to sell it, as I haven't touched it in a few years and have the feeling it might be difficult to use single-handed. Opinions on ease of use?

3. Is there a market for used sails like this? How much might I fetch?

-Charts
 

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Remember you're a womble
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1. Sounds like it to me
2. Easy to use in lighter air, do you have an autohelm to help with hoist/douse?
3. Yes, depending on age/condition, likely worth $500-700 or so I guess.
 

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Unless you are 100% positive you will never use it, you should hang on to it. If you sail in a light wind area it could mean the difference between sailing and firing up the engine! They are worth having in your inventory, and it would cost you far more to replace it than you could sell it for.
 

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There are a number of systems that can make flying an asymetrical spinnaker fairly easy. There is a dousing sock that you can pull down from the top, others are essentially a furler that just twists the chute around its own luff. I assume you have the deck hardware and halyard to hoist it?

I would keep it.
 

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1. Does this sound like a cruising chute?

2. I'm tempted to sell it, as I haven't touched it in a few years and have the feeling it might be difficult to use single-handed. Opinions on ease of use?

3. Is there a market for used sails like this? How much might I fetch?

-Charts
1. Yes.
2. Easy to use, no pole required, not much more difficult than a jib, but requires a larger set of balls.
3. Yes, look on eBay - prolly worth $200-$600 depending on condition.
 

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Chastened
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Take your skills to the next level and learn how to fly it.

An assym is easier to fly singlehanded than a traditional symmetric. No pole involved, and you can buy a sock to set and douse it with (but it's not necessary).

Every single year, my return trip from Solomon's Island, MD back home to Mayo, MD is downwind in light air, in oppressive heat and humidity. The spinnaker is the sail that gets me home quickly, and without needlessly racking up maintenance hours on the engine.
 

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For what its worth, we owned and sailed a 1976 Cal 2-29 for 20+ years (and in some respects, I wish we still had her). We acquired a Neil Pryde asymmetric when they were first making their appearance, in the late 1980's and used it to good advantage, even when I sailed the boat alone (not infrequently). What helped was the use of an ATN style sock, and the fitting of a pad-eye in the middle of the foredeck to which I could attach a small snatch block that held the up- down-haul for the sock. We easily carried the sail from about 35º off the wind to 150º in up to roughly 12-15 knots apparent. Sailing at 110º, that boat will fly with the sail (we routinely covered the distance from Bird Rock at Catalina's Isthmus to the breakwater at Alamitos Bay in less than 3 hours!). Over the years we found that inside gybes, with the sail passing forward of the headsail but inside it's own luff, were easiest. With a little effort, you may find that sail to be more than worth while and certainly worth more than you'll get for it in a re-sale.

Again, FWIW...
 
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1. Sounds like it to me
2. Easy to use in lighter air, do you have an autohelm to help with hoist/douse?
3. Yes, depending on age/condition, likely worth $500-700 or so I guess.
Agree on this advice. I am a big fan of using a spinnaker on a cruising boat because of the additional sailing time the sail affords. But I would recommend against using one single-handed without a reliable auto-pilot. If you dont have and dont plan to install an auto-pilot, sell the cruising chute.
 

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A cruising asymmetric spinnaker with sock was one of the best purchases we have ever made for our Catalina 36. It makes downwind sailing fun and fast. Wind range and angles sailed will depend on how your sail is cut. We sock / un-sock the sail for gybes in high winds or do an outside gybe where the sail rotates around the luff in light winds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, everyone! I have to admit, when I unfolded it in the yard I felt an urge to just try to use it. I think I'll do that.

Do I really just need a short painter for the tack, a spare halyard, and a single sheet?

-Charts
 

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You want to be sure you have an appropriate anchor point to attach the tack to. Some grab a piece of a bow roller and find it won't take the load. If you can grab the same point as the forestay, that should be strong enough, but further forward is more desirable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks. I forgot to say, that I DO have an autopilot that mostly goes in the direction I want that should help when hoisting single handed. I already use it to raise/lower sail.

Is it hard to add a sock since it doesn't have one currently?
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Definitely keep it. I have an asym in a Chute Scoop that came with the boat. It's a postage stamp of a spinny, and the lines in the sock can get tangled sometimes, but I'll eventually muster the confidence to put it up when I single-hand. You can do it, too....
 

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Thanks, everyone! I have to admit, when I unfolded it in the yard I felt an urge to just try to use it. I think I'll do that.

Do I really just need a short painter for the tack, a spare halyard, and a single sheet?

-Charts
The stock bow roller on the Cal 29 is quite adequate for securing the tack of the sail. We did that with a short wire pendant that passed around the bow roller and was connected to the snap shackle of a mid-sized snatch block. To hold the block up, away from the deck when not under load, we passed a length of 1/4" shock cord through the snatch lock on the block and tied to the bow pulpit. The shock cord was "loose" to permit the block to rotate as necessary. A tack line from a cabin top winch and cleat ran up to and through the snatch block and allowed one to adjust the height of the tack which one needs do as the wind angle changes (Down and tighter for a close reach, farther off and higher for a run--ideally, the tack should be near the height of the clew although, with an asymmetric, that's not always possible. Note too that one can somewhat control the amount of power in the sail by adjusting the tack height.)

The sheets are passed through snatch-blocks on the quarters, outside of everything, and up to the bow. If one will use "inside" gybes (which are the most reliable) the sheet that will be to windward when the sail is launched is led forward of the head-stay but behind the tack line and back to the sail turtle (bag) which is clipped to the leeward life lines. In our case, the up- down-haul line for the sock is captured by a snatch block that is clipped to a pad eye on the foredeck rather than allowed to float free as some do. (The snatch block allows one to use all of one's strength to pull "up" on the line when either hoisting or lowering the sock, which is easier and safer then pulling down, particularly if one isn't quite so "hefty".) Note that when down hauling the sock to "dose" the sail, the down-haul line needs be on the same side of the head-stay as the sail and so must be "gybed" around the head-stay if the sail has been gybed.

We launch the sail by running off at roughly 120º apparent and hoisting the sock/sail behind the main and taking a strain on the lee sheet. (We don't hoist the sail all the way to the mast-head but leave it shy by about 2 feet or so to give the head of the sail room to rotate as necessary for trim.) With that, we ease the tack line by about 6 feet and, with my (much) better half (or the autopilot) holding that course, I up-haul the sock until the wind catches the sail, which will push the sock the rest of the way to the head of the sail. (By keeping a little pressure on the up- down-haul line, I can control the rate at which that happens.) With this, one can stroll back to the cockpit and trim the sail by adjusting the working sheet and tack line as necessary- tightening the sheet only enough to take any "curl" out of the sail's luff.

Depending upon how close to the wind we will be sailing, we may use a "tacker", which is a device that holds the sail's tack close to the head-stay, but we do not always do so as it prevents the tack line from following the "curve" of the luff and can make trimming somewhat more problematic.

Dosing the sail is simply the reverse of the launch procedure.

For more see (click on) Cruising with an Asymmetric Spinnaker.

By the way, our "Avatar", above left, is the asymmetrical on our current boat with colors/design laid out on a blank line drawing of the sail by my daughter when she was 9 years old!

FWIW...
 
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