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Windseeker
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kraken (Beneteau 36.7, roughly 900sq ft spinnaker) came equiped with a foreguy rigged between a bridle and blocks mid foredeck.

This had two problems (bear in mind a complete lack of experience at the time):
- Extra lines on the foredeck led to more spinnaker launch mistakes
- Adjusting the pole fore and aft requires adjusting the foreguy, an extra step we kept forgetting

To get around these issues I moved the blocks to the base of the mast, turning the foreguy into a downhaul. This has less leverage on the pole than the foreguy position and at the time was my main concern. I always intended on revisiting this change as we managed to eliminate mistakes and learnt to sail the boat. Moving the blocks fixed the issues I wanted to fix.

We've got a lot better at flying the kite since then, though winds above 17 knots are still an unknown and I've had time to evaluate the change. There are couple of issues with our new downhaul setup.
- Less leverage on the pole (though I believe the attachment point at the mast to be considerably more robust than the padeyes on the foredeck).
- Pole end moves more as the kite loads and unloads

This second point is the main thing that got me thinking as it leads to less control of the tack than we might otherwise get. I believe that a foreguy allows you to pretension the pole forwards and reduces the likely movement. This has mainly been seen in lower winds when everything is a bit slack buts gusts increase the forces considerably.

An extra point in favor of the downhaul is that since then we've moved to storing the pole on the boom, which completely clears the foredeck (no sheets snagged under the pole, no pole in the way of the hatch, fewer lines running across the foredeck), and I believe is made easier with the mast base attachment.

I'm interested in what other differences there might be between the two setups that we haven't noticed and if anyone else is split between these two setups, or has strong opinions in either direction. The lack of control has mainly been an issue on reaches when the pole is close to the forestay. One potential solution is to add a foreguy specifically in this circumstance, perhaps from the bow of the boat to the pole end, that we only attach when reaching.
 

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Windseeker
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Twings makes some sense. We <currently> run lazy sheets / afterguys with the afterguys led out from midships. This should have the same effect as twinging and if there's pressure I think it does. The problems arise when there is little pressure to push the pole forwards. Having said that we don't sail in strong winds often, there may be other issues with greater pressure I just haven't become aware of yet.

Actually one other occasional issue is if the foredeck crew doesn't make sure the pole stays forwards during the gybe until there is some pressure on the lazy (becoming working) afterguy it can slap back against the shrouds. Hopefully now we've got enough people up front who have learnt to prevent this....
 

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Windseeker
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We just switched back to End for End this last weekend and our gybes were noticably crisper after a couple of dry runs. Keeping the lazy guys we snap in the new guy at the mast and then position the pole without effecting sail trim too much and no load on it.

With twings you end up with the sheet rubbing against the stanchions don't you? Is that something you just don't worry about because the sideways force is pretty low or am I missing something?

I've seen videos of good crews doing amazing dip poles but we've never come close to emulating in the last year of trying.
 

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Windseeker
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Messing around today (still with downhaul) I found that getting more tension between the uphaul, downhaul and afterguy helped stabilize a bit, mainly I think the uphaul vs afterguy part.

I also found that uphaul would drag the pole forwards to the correct point post gybe, so that's one downside of my current setup eliminated through practice.
 

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Windseeker
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very unlikely to used end-for-end because of size of pole? As I mentioned earlier we've switched back to end-for-end, trying to improve our gybes in general and initially things seem better with them, the the pole off the working guy and it's unloaded, switch it to a lazy guy then adjust lines to get it working on the new side. So far seems easier both crewed and single handed.

Despite being carbon the pole is still pretty unwieldy but seems doable so far. I'm not sure I'd want to do it with anything larger, or heavier.
 
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