SailNet Community banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

We're still trying to figure out how to sail with a gennaker. After hoist number three yesterday, we finally got the hang of hoisting without tangles with sheets, the foresail halyard or twists in the gennaker itself. So that part's ok. Takedown also seemed to be not bad.

However, once it's up, I have NO idea what to do with it. I've sailed with a convential symmetrical spinnaker, but have by no stretch of the imagination mastered that. I know to watch the shoulder of the sheet side, and to "play" it by letting it out until it just about collapses, and then giving a quick yank to rein it back in, keeping it full. However, I can't seem to manage (or even grasp) what to watch for with the gennaker.

Part of the problem is that I can't actually see the sail ahead of the main. We find that the most efficient way to sit is with the helmsman forward in the cockpit, just behind the traveller, with the headsail trimmer sitting aft of him, near the winches for the genoa. This puts me (usually the trimmer/foredeck crew) in a position where I simply can't see the sail. Well, I can see the foot of the sail, though not the clew. Where would one normally position oneself for optimal boat balance/handling and, helm visibility and sail trimming?

We were mostly sailing with the gennaker on a broad reach, heading east up burrard inlet. I found that the sail was quite loose and flapping along the foot. What am I doing wrong? :)

We don't have a tack line, simply a ~18" wire line attaching the tack to the forestay chainplate if that makes any difference.
 

·
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Joined
·
4,334 Posts
You trim all your sails so the luff is just breaking, jibs, symmetric spinnakers or gennakers, until the point where the wind is too far aft to flow around the sail. The sail trimmer should be located so he/she can see the luff of the sail, with a spinnaker which is often off the wind, sitting or standing forward on the windward side usually works best. usually the trimmer can take the sheet forward and trim it by hand, if the loads are too heavy then someone needs to sit within arms reach of the winch and crank on request. in a race crew, you'll usually see the spinaker trimmer standing near the windward shrouds, looking forward.

Ease the sheet til the luff breaks, trim a bit...repeat the process as frequently as you care to. As the wind goes aft, you might ease the halyard a bit to help the sail fly forward and to windward.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,484 Posts
You may need to shift your positions a bit.. the best place of a spinnaker trimmer when reaching is near the windward shrouds so he/she has a good view of the sail.. if you can't see the luff, you're just guessing. Your sheets should be long enough, and the lead from a winch such that this is possible.

As far as playing the curl, there's really no difference between a sym or an asym. Also don't forget to use the tack line, tighter/shorter for close to the wind, and ease it out for downwind/broad reaching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,322 Posts
To answer your next-to-last paragraph: probably nothing, don't sweat it.

Real spinnakers are attached to a pole, and you can run. Real jibs are attached to a headstay, and you can reach. If yours is attached to neither, you just do the best you can. It's a "spork", neither a fork nor a spoon, and does a poor job at being either one.

Sorry, I'm old-school. You're doing fine.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,484 Posts
We were mostly sailing with the gennaker on a broad reach, heading east up burrard inlet. I found that the sail was quite loose and flapping along the foot. What am I doing wrong? :)

We don't have a tack line, simply a ~18" wire line attaching the tack to the forestay chainplate if that makes any difference.
Sorry Serah.. missed that bit the first time.. if the foot is not setting nicely then your lead block is likely too far forward for your point of sail. Or it could be that you're simply trying to sail the boat too deep downwind.

Once you work things our, you will probably want an adjustable tack line, but your pennant should be fine for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
Yeah, that must be the the reason all of the round-the-world record holders use poles

To answer your next-to-last paragraph: probably nothing, don't sweat it.

Real spinnakers are attached to a pole, and you can run. Real jibs are attached to a headstay, and you can reach. If yours is attached to neither, you just do the best you can. It's a "spork", neither a fork nor a spoon, and does a poor job at being either one.

Sorry, I'm old-school. You're doing fine.
... attached to the bow;)

... or real boats get down wind faster by jibing;)

Yes, asymmetric sails prefer the apparent wind to be ~ 50-110 degrees off the bow (depending on the sail), with the sweet spot for speed forward, and for VMG aft.

As for the flapping foot, you are either too far up-wind or too far down wind. Try staying in the sweet spot. Practice at 80 degrees apparent first; then, expand the envelope, understanding that it has limits. Remember, it will out reach a symmetrical chute, so enjoy that. It just isn't for windward-leeward racing. Who cares.

You did not mention jibing. Because asymmetricals jibe down-wind, you need to master this. You want to do an outside jibe, where the sail flaps out in front of the boat like a flag. Inside jibes are for skiffs and performance multihulls with bowsprits.

inside
YouTube - Gybing an Assymmetrical Spinnaker on "the Inside"

outside
YouTube - Gybing an Assymmetrical Spinnaker on "the Outside"

and work up to this...
YouTube - Musto Skiff dinghy action Lord Birkett Event 2007
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gybe

Thanks for the advice. We managed to gybe her quite a few times, and seemed to have that down (at least to the point where we're not an embarassment to one all... especially as we're usually out sailing right when the Sunday races are on - don't worry, we're very careful to avoid the course, or at least be at the opposite end from the pack)

I think our problem may have been trying to run too deep from the wind. WE'll give it a shot again tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,376 Posts
Some hints

A couple of comments

1)The inside jibe might be necessary if you are using a spare genoa halyard. The outside jibe is only viable if you are using a spinnaker halyard. A genoa halyard will foul on the forestay if you jibe outside.

2) If you are using a dousing sock, you need to move the dousing line around the forestay when bring the sail down on the tack opposite to the one on which you launched it.

3) When using a spinnaker halyard make sure that the halyard is on the side as the gennaker.

4) The gennaker should be used in conjunction with the main. If you get overpowered with a gennaker you can depower it behind the main. DO NOT HEAD UP WITH A GENNAKER. You are inviting a big round up. If the main is blanketting the gennaker, you might centre it.

5) Trim they luff of the gennaker with the tackline. On a close reach, harden the luff; on a broad reach, ease it out. As with a spinnaker, the clews should roughly the same height.

6) Use a tack strap to keep the tack in close to the forestay. If you have roller furling, the plastic ones are better than the cloth ones.

7) Wear gloves when trimming; my worst rope burn was with gennakers.

8) Do not use stopper knots in the sheets. If you have to let the sheets go you want nothing stopping them.

I love sailing with a gennaker. Enjoy yours.

Jack
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top