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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2

    Default Drifter versus asymmetrical

    Greetings
    I have a Roughwater 33 (sistership to the Aries 32); a heavy, slow cruiser, for sure. I'm prepping for a Pacific Loop in 2015 (Ha Ha, Puddle Jump, then who knows), and need to augment the sail inventory (on a budget). I'm looking for advice regarding the different aspects of a drifter versus an asymmetrical, deployment and useablity. I'm trying to discern which is easier to use, I single-hand most of the time, don't race at all. She's a sloop, has a new main with 2 deep reefs, a furling 130% genoa and a whisker pole w/ topping lift. Currently has just a main and jib halyard, so need to modify the rig to accommodate whichever is selected.

    Any advice for a short-handed cruiser?

    Marshall
    S/V Tenacity
    Seattle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Go with the drifter. A lot of light air (and heavy at times) in the zone above the equator. Good for downwind when poled out, but can also go to weather. As a matter of fact, get two so you can fly "twins" downwind. Advice based on many miles in two ocean crossing boats (albeit a lot lighter than yours) incl 2 trips to French Polynesia.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    235

    Default

    One additional thing: "drifter" means different things to different people/sailmakers. The drifter I'm recommending is really a 155% genoa, made of 1 1/2 oz (perhaps 3 oz? for a heavy boat like yours). At any rate, it should be cut flat, like a genoa, so you can go to weather, using it like any other normal headsail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Berkeley
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Hi Marshall,

    I have no experience yet with a drifter, so take this with a salt lick.

    For the SHTP this year I'm building a drifter (150%) out of 1.5oz nylon and a 135% genoa out of 5.4oz Dacron. At the suggestion of other seasoned racers in small heavy boats like my own, I originally intended on building twin drifters on a single luff. However, I decided that two sails that would be usable in other conditions in other places throughout the year made more budgetary sense. The downside is that they will have to be hoisted separately and are not symmetrical, though I'm not sure how much that will end up mattering. I have a dual track on my furler, so two sails simultaneously is possible.

    I also have an asymmetrical spinnaker, but based on those same conversations, it sounds like the ability to easily reef the two headsails by furling is the primary benefit of choosing to use the two headsails instead of the spinnaker for a long downwind sail such as the SHTP. And as Harrier pointed out, you can use the drifter to sail upwind as well. Not so possible with the asym.

    Good luck!

    Brian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Harrier & Brian, thank for your thoughts. During the boat show season I've talked to a number of sail makers and only one, Carol Hasse of Port Townsend Sails, suggested a drifter. All the rest uniformly pointed to the a-sail. Carol is very highly regarded in the cruising community, so you've affirmed my gut feel to take her advice. A drifter sounds easier to manage when short or single handing, so it's likely to get more use.

    Thanks again!
    Marshall

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