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Thread: Flying a Spinnaker on Dura Mater

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,363

    Default Flying a Spinnaker on Dura Mater

    And they said it couldn't be done! Well, actually I said that I was afraid to do it. And so my red 1/2 oz spinnaker has been sitting in its bag in my vberth for ... 14 months. But today, ladies and gentlemen, in wildly tossing seas (5-7 knots on the Berkeley Circle) I threw caution to the wind and raised my spinnaker for the very first time. What does this tell you? Well, if I can do it, dear readers, you can CERTAINLY do it, too. And what have we learned from this experience? Lines will get crossed, spinnaker poles will bang against the forestay, and sails will wrap around said forestay. But prevail away! In low wind nothing bad happened and I was able to disentangle everything, the sail rose up and everything worked the way it is supposed to work. I was then able to bring the sail down and dump it into the forward hatch, I didn't fall off the boat, and I feel very confident about next time. Gulp. When the wind might be higher.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    3,034

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    Woo hoo! Did you get any pictures?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Montara, CA
    Posts
    733

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    WAY TO GO!!! The first time is always the most intimidating. Thanks for taking us there with you. It is inspiring :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Honolulu
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    228

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    congratulations Jackie! these boats sail nice with spinnakers. have fun.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    94

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    Congratulations Jackie. Welcome to the tangled plate of spaghetti club.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
    Congratulations Jackie. Welcome to the tangled plate of spaghetti club.
    thanks, John. Yes, that's a lot of line. When I had the rigging done awhile back I asked that all running rigging, front and back, be a different color. The rigger rolled his eyes but did it. One jib halyard is white with blue flecks, the other is solid white, the main is grey, the topping lift is solid blue, the spinnaker halyard is green, the spinnaker sheets are yellow, main sheet is red, reefing lines blue with white flecks, furling line black and I even have some orange line down in the cabin for tweekers down the ... line. hahahaha. did that make a difference when I raised the spinnaker for the first time? Well, the yellow line was under the blue line and the green line was on the wrong side of the forestay. Then the black line got caught on the spinnaker pole chocks (thank you, Ed Ruszel) and that was when a gust came through. Just a little gust, but enough to send me scurrying back to the cockpit because I'd forgotten to loosen the foreguy - which is just a ratty old piece of line that used to be a jib sheet on my Cal 20. Whoo boy! Thassa lotta rope!!! I'll set up the Sony next time so I can laugh at myself.
    Last edited by Philpott; 11-25-2014 at 06:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    3,034

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    I tied up my J/33 one time after a race and noticed the floor of its (large) cockpit. I literally could not see it because of the mess of lines. That was when I decided to find a J/92 (with asymmetric spinnaker).

    As to colors, all the lines having to do with the jib have red in them, those for the main have blue and those for the spinnaker have green. Reefing lines (main and roller furling) are grey. It seems to help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    santa came early and brought dura mater a new BIGGER spinnaker in red white and blue. I know this because I opened the big present early. today dura mater and I rode the 6.1 knot ebb all the way from berkeley to crissy field. that didn't take long! Usually it' a million tacks, but today it was a ssw wind and that current just shoved us over there. I set up the new (to us) spinnaker, which came in its own turtle bag (whoo! just like the big kids!) and raised it right in front of the st fancy. and up it went! until the halyard caught on something way up there. But still. I was impressed. of course, being raised Catholic I immediately started worrying about the fact that I was headed straight for that big ALCATRAZ!!! Of course it was miles ahead, but still. Plus that tourist boat stopped to watch. It's probably good entertainment for them to watch dumb bunnies make spinnaker mistakes, but it gave me performance anxiety. Plus there was THAT ISLAND! So I went forward to grab the tack of the spinnaker, except that I forgot to undo the sheet on the other side, so a good portion of the sail fell gently into the water and under the boat. Huh. good thing there wasn't' any wind to speak of. Because of the ebb, I was now back in front of the St Fancy again, where the nice ladies and fellas were probably playing bridge and drinking old fashioneds. Sigh. Providing sport for the swells. every time I raise a spinnaker I learn a new way to tangle lines. Never the same lines twice, though. So, kids, if I can do it you can probably do it better. So, next time they tell you it might rain and there's no wind, come on out and you can watch me and I can watch you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Montara, CA
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    Wish I had been there to cheer you on. Tho we are living it vicariously, your telling it is better than reality TV

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Capitola,CA
    Posts
    2,138

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    Good stuff, Jackie!

    As kids, we'd practice flying the spinnaker on the family L-36 in zero wind by backing around the harbor in reverse, one brother the helmsman, the other the trimmer.

    What we found, and is still true, is the best way to learn symmetrical spinnaker trim is disregard the pole and leave it on deck.

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