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Hi Spinnaker Users,

After extensive research, it's time to ask those who really know. Theory now... why do I need a guy and a sheet for the symetrical spinnaker? Small boats don't use both, do they? They both get clipped to the clew, no? I've seen all the pictures and diagrams, but haven't found the explanation for "why". Thanks as always.

Dave
 

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you need two pieces of line, one from each clew, led aft.

If you want to gild the lily, you can use two each, with one being slack while you insert it into the pole end, then tighten up on it once the pole is in position to take the load.

that way you have a guy, a "lazy" guy, a sheet, and a "lazy" sheet. this is more common when you have a pole that remains on the mast during jibes (the "dip-pole" jibe), rather than the more common "end for end" pole switch for shorter poles.

Yes they are clipped to the clew, and the guy runs free through the pole fitting.
 

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The guy needs to be very low stretch and strong line to keep the spinnaker pole off of your forestay and furler.

The sheet needs to be very light line to avoid weighing down the spinnaker's clew in light air. You might even carry two options for different conditions.

On a small boat you can use the same for both because you can get strong enough and light enough line to do both duties. You use twings to move the lead point to the boat (guys go to the widest beam, sheets go to the aft quarter). On a large boat you use different lines for each so that you can optimize their purpose, because the 3/8" dyneema core line that is appropriate for the guy would be too heavy for the sheet.
 

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With guys:


Without guys (note that this image doesn't show pole topping lift and downhaul, but you still need them):

or
http://pacificnorthwestboating.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/newport-30-spinnaker-gear-layout.jpg

That last (linked) one doesn't show twings, but they do help. In the top view picture above they are using guy hooks instead of twings, that is common on dinghies.

If you want to fly a spinnaker get a ride on a race boat, you'll learn a lot more than looking online. I did figure out how to hoist and fly my spinnaker on my own, but got a lot better at it after a half season of racing on other people's boats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The guy needs to be very low stretch and strong line to keep the spinnaker pole off of your forestay and furler.

The sheet needs to be very light line to avoid weighing down the spinnaker's clew in light air. You might even carry two options for different conditions.

On a small boat you can use the same for both because you can get strong enough and light enough line to do both duties. You use twings to move the lead point to the boat (guys go to the widest beam, sheets go to the aft quarter). On a large boat you use different lines for each so that you can optimize their purpose, because the 3/8" dyneema core line that is appropriate for the guy would be too heavy for the sheet.
That's it Alex! Thanks. The second I read your answer it was crystal. See... that's why we come here! ;) Now, I've got 1/4" sheets, what diameter would you suggest for the guys?
 

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Hi Spinnaker Users,

After extensive research, it's time to ask those who really know. Theory now... why do I need a guy and a sheet for the symetrical spinnaker? Small boats don't use both, do they? They both get clipped to the clew, no? I've seen all the pictures and diagrams, but haven't found the explanation for "why". Thanks as always.

Dave
The lead for a guy typically needs be amidships at the widest point of the beam to maximize the angle between the line of the guy and the center-line of the pole when the yacht is close reaching to minimize compression loading on the pole/mast. The lead for the sheets needs be near the stern quarter to maximize the aerodynamic profile of the sail. One can also use a somewhat lighter weight line for the sheets than used for the guys to "unload" the sail in light air.

FWIW...
 
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That's it Alex! Thanks. The second I read your answer it was crystal. See... that's why we come here! ;) Now, I've got 1/4" sheets, what diameter would you suggest for the guys?
Something low stretch and that works well with your winches. 5/16" or 3/8" Samson XLS Extra (the extra moniker is important, it has almost 3x less stretch) would be a good budget choice. On my boat I use the same lines for sheets and guys and use Samson MLX with the last 10' striped of its cover. A friend with a similar size boat uses 5/16" XLS Extra for the same purpose. Lines smaller than 5/16" slip on my winches self tailer, but newer winches handle a wider range of line sizes.
 

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We have 1/4" on our 34 footer as "dental floss" and is good up to about 10kts windspeed. After that, they are cutting into our hands as we trim. I recently stripped off the covers of my 3/8" warp speed and they have been so light at the ends that I havent used the quarter inchers since. And they have just enough "hand" as to be comfortable while trimming in higher windspeeds. The Dymena is super low stretch and works well for both sheets and guys.
 

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The guys are necessary on a dip-pole gybe. They are not needed on an end for end gybe, but I have seen them used there as well.
 
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Something low stretch and that works well with your winches. 5/16" or 3/8" Samson XLS Extra (the extra moniker is important, it has almost 3x less stretch) would be a good budget choice. On my boat I use the same lines for sheets and guys and use Samson MLX with the last 10' striped of its cover. A friend with a similar size boat uses 5/16" XLS Extra for the same purpose. Lines smaller than 5/16" slip on my winches self tailer, but newer winches handle a wider range of line sizes.
Personal preference perhaps, but I like to use a line with a bit of stretch so I don't break anything (like the pole) when the spinnaker snap-fills after my absent-minded crew allows it to partially collapse in a decent breeze... Of course, if you have a top-class crew, you don't have this problem. ;)

Another tip: Do not under any circumstances tie stopper-knots (figure-8 or whatever) in the ends of your spinnaker lines - sheets & guys. Out-of-control spinnakers are the usual cause of knock-downs and one of the few things guaranteed to keep a knocked-down boat from righting itself again is a jammed spinnaker line...
 

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Oh a small boat I prefer to use this boat drawing to help me understand proper rigging. I stole this from another site, my compliments to the owner, due respect to them sorry, I really only downloaded it for myself... but my bet is they wouldn't mind me providing it for others to learn too.
 

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Oh a small boat I prefer to use this boat drawing to help me understand proper rigging. I stole this from another site, my compliments to the owner, due respect to them sorry, I really only downloaded it for myself... but my bet is they wouldn't mind me providing it for others to learn too.
So that looks like you put a snatch block on your jib car track, then when you jibe you slide the sheet into the snatch block?

But from looking at that diagram it doesn't look like the snatch block changes the angle very much, compared to just running it straight to the spinnaker block on the stern. Does it really make that much of a difference?

I think I'm going to need more equipment before I fly my spinnaker. My pole has a hook on one end and a spike on the other, I've been told that means I have to do "dip pole" jibes and from what I'm reading here that means I'll need both sheets and guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The guys are necessary on a dip-pole gybe. They are not needed on an end for end gybe, but I have seen them used there as well.
So if my pole has the center mounted bridle for up and down hauls... The guy is still to get hold of that pole and hold it, no? I can jibe doing an end for end. Is the guy attached to the pole?
 

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So if my pole has the center mounted bridle for up and down hauls...
...then it's designed for end-for-end gybes.

The guy is still to get hold of that pole and hold it, no? I can jibe doing an end for end. Is the guy attached to the pole?
Yes and yes. You unclip (fire) the active guy, end-for-end the pole and clip on to the new guy... :)
 

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So that looks like you put a snatch block on your jib car track, then when you jibe you slide the sheet into the snatch block?
Yes.. it becomes the guy. Confused yet?!?

But from looking at that diagram it doesn't look like the snatch block changes the angle very much, compared to just running it straight to the spinnaker block on the stern. Does it really make that much of a difference?
That's because the diagram is looking from the mast-top. In real life, what it's doing is pulling in and down on the "guy" to help keep the windward clew under control. Does it make a difference?? Most certainly. Especially in a decent breeze...

I think I'm going to need more equipment before I fly my spinnaker. My pole has a hook on one end and a spike on the other, I've been told that means I have to do "dip pole" jibes and from what I'm reading here that means I'll need both sheets and guys.
Yep, that's a "dip pole"... and no, although it can make things slightly easier nobody "needs" both sheets and guys - it's personal preference.

If you're not trying to win a club championships you can do perfectly well with just sheets and tweakers/snatch-blocks (as shown in that diagram) if you prefer.
 

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I think I'm going to need more equipment before I fly my spinnaker. My pole has a hook on one end and a spike on the other, I've been told that means I have to do "dip pole" jibes and from what I'm reading here that means I'll need both sheets and guys.
I would be surprised if your Catalina 22 were set up for a dip-pole jibe. Do you have a fixed ring on your mast?

It might be cheaper to modify your spin pole for end-for-end jibes or buy a cheap used one, rather than buying stuff to do a dip-pole jibe. I think a dip-pole set-up adds a whole level of complexity that's just not needed on a 22-footer.
 

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So that looks like you put a snatch block on your jib car track, then when you jibe you slide the sheet into the snatch block?

But from looking at that diagram it doesn't look like the snatch block changes the angle very much, compared to just running it straight to the spinnaker block on the stern. Does it really make that much of a difference?
You wouldn't slide the sheet (the guy really, once it's on the pole), in and out of snatch block after each jibe. I'd suggest that you permanently lead the guy/sheet through a block on a separate line. That line is then led to the toe rail to some cleat or another. When the line on the clew of the spinnaker is working as the guy, you cinch the block all the way down to the rail; when it's the sheet, you ease it all the way so that the sheet can fly free and you can trim the spinnaker. This sounds more complicated than it really is; check out this image from the Harken website: http://www.harken.com/uploadedImages/Tech_Corner/Deck_Layouts/One_Design/j22-top-lg.gif?n=3090

On the port side, you can see how the spinnaker sheet is led through a block (item 2146), which is then led to the rail (237) and cleated off on the deck. You have the same setup on the starboard side.
 

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Yes.. it becomes the guy. Confused yet?!?
Nearly always! :)

That's because the diagram is looking from the mast-top. In real life, what it's doing is pulling in and down on the "guy" to help keep the windward clew under control. Does it make a difference?? Most certainly. Especially in a decent breeze....
Ahhh, that makes a great deal of sense! It took me a while to figure out why jib cars made a difference, again it's the up/down pull. Got it. I am less confused.

I would be surprised if your Catalina 22 were set up for a dip-pole jibe. Do you have a fixed ring on your mast?
Who the hell knows what it's set up for. It's 40 years old and has been through several owners. The previous owner never touched the spinnaker.

But yes, I have a fixed ring on my mast. I've used it for wing-on-wing with the pole.

It might be cheaper to modify your spin pole for end-for-end jibes or buy a cheap used one, rather than buying stuff to do a dip-pole jibe. I think a dip-pole set-up adds a whole level of complexity that's just not needed on a 22-footer.
It's possible it's not even a spinnaker pole. It seems awfully light to me, like a whisker pole. I know on a larger boat it would be way too light, but I've been told that that's what they're like on little boats.
 
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