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Thread: Interested in a boat for 2018 TransPac

  1. #561
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    Can some share their experiences, techniques and cautions for handling spinnakers when the wind comes up? Who recommends socks? Do you do inside or outside jibes and when, why? Or do you douse, jibe the main and then reset the kite? Do you run halyard and tack back to the cockpit? Do you always letterbox the douse? Have you tried runing the control lines from a sock back to the cockpit...Does this work?
    Good questions. I've tried running the contol lines from a sock back to the cockpit. Singlehanded, it's a much better deal than going on the foredeck. Nevertheless, on boats smaller than 35 feet, I consider a sock as adding complexity and danger of possible entanglement up the rig..the risk is not worth the perceived advantage.

    The letterbox douse only works with a loose footed main. But is by far the best method of dropping: put the autopilot at a 150 degree AWA, release the guy, and pull in the sheet with the spinny hidden behind the main (and jib if possible.) Make sure the sheet is secured in case it gets out of hand. Drop spinny down the main companion way hatch using both hands, with 1-2 turns of friction remaining on the halyard winch. Remember to check the galley stove is turned off before hand.

    A variation of the letterbox drop is to retrieve the spinny under the boom. This works just as well, but requires attention to the boom vang area on the boom, making sure there is nothing sharp to snag the spinnaker: no cotters, rivets, sharp edges. The "V" between the boom and the boom vang can't be smooth enough, and requires pre-race attention with a file, sandpaper, silicon, and tape.

    Jibing a spinny depends on Auto-Pilot reliability, practice, and whether the spinny is symmetrical or asso. Also whether day or night, and urgency. If symmetrical spinny, then a trip to the foredeck is required. In this case, I've found the max TWS for safe jibing is about 16 knots. The last thing you want is for the boat/sail to get out of control, with no one in the cockpit.

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    WILDFLOWER SHTP 1978

    With an asymmetrical, usually an inside jibe is best in windspeeds below 16 knots. However, if the boat is masthead rigged, then pre-easing the halyard a foot or three assists in clearing the sail around the headstay. The problem with an outside jibe in any wind is the very real possibility of running over the spinnaker sheet.

    If you've been running DDW, or nearly so, on starboard jibe, and a squall lifts you with a 10 knot increase in wind so you are now running at a high rate of speed 70-90 degrees off course, forget jibeing the spinnaker and go for immediate douse. Then jibe the main, and sail course in a relaxed and safe manner while rebagging the spinny, and figuring out if you are going to rehoist on the new jibe, pole out the jib, or continue sailing under main alone until the squall passes, and the wind shifts back.
    Last edited by sleddog; 04-07-2018 at 09:36 AM.

  2. #562
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    I'll be back to explain - I need to head to the other office but the photo was in this one...

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  3. #563
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I'll be back to explain - I need to head to the other office but the photo was in this one...

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]3304
    I've seen you do it, and you make it look easy, but it looks awfully complicated from where I sit (in the cockpit of DM in the slip). Are you sure you want to encourage PJ to do something like that? We want all the racers to end up safely in Hanalei Bay ...

  4. #564
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    [QUOTE=BobJ;20280]I'll be back to explain - I need to head to the other office but the photo was in this one... QUOTE]

    BobJ's photo looks similar to my experimental rig. And it works a treat. Snuffing without leaving the cockpit. If you want to go the snuffer route. Another cool thing about the snuffer few mention is the ability to temporarily reef the spinnaker, all or part. This is a nice thing to be able to do in a squall, or jibeing.

    Nevertheless, I am not an advocate of a snuffer, having seen too many tangles as the boat weaves and bobs.

    BobJ's photo also shows an interesting point of contention. I believe a sprit boat, with no way to square the pole, is at a disadvantage in the SHTP. When running in breeze, all the sail area is on one side of the boat with very little groove and increased possibility of round up. Just a little square on the pole works wonders keeping things level, and boat pointing more downwind.

    Note in the photo that RAGTIME! has a track on the forward side of the mast. This track has multiple uses, of which I can think of 3.
    Last edited by sleddog; 04-07-2018 at 12:38 PM.

  5. #565
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    Sled, you mean like this?

    Philpott, my first photo (and pending response) is mostly for Smokester. OWL has an asymmetric similar in size to Rags' and a full dodger which can make even letterbox douses a challenge. I owe him a sail to try some of this stuff out but alas, the boat is still on the hard and I'm stuck doing people's taxes...

    As usual, Sled is right on with his responses. I'll add my experiences when I come up for air.

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  6. #566
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    A nice addition on any boat with a headsail are upper shroud rollers.

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    They halve the time to tack by reducing friction of both the jib cloth and jibsheet, assuming your jib is overlapping. In the 40 year old photo upthread, one notices WILDFLOWER's white PVC shroud rollers, 8 feet tall above the turnbuckle. These also assisted under boom spinnaker drops.

    Also, the smallish cabin windows (Lexan) were termed "tank observation slits" by more than one inquisitor. I just smiled, knowing they weren't going anywhere.
    Last edited by sleddog; 04-07-2018 at 01:04 PM.

  7. #567
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    full dodger which can make even letterbox douses a challenge.
    Yes, if I install the dodger then the companionway is obstructed. It's easy to remove and I wonder if it makes sense to keep when the weather calls for spinnakers out.
    P___/)___J

  8. #568
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    spinnaker gybing... it's difficult to explain in words, but I don't have photos taken during the heat of battle.

    Setup:

    I raced SSS TransPac in a 33' boat and a 45' boat. I set up the symmetric spinnakers on poles on both boats with ATN spinnaker socks - I think these are excellent tools, and yes, they have their idiosyncracies and add complexity. Now that I'm cruising and not racing so much, I still carry three kites - 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 (shy kite) AirX cloth and they are wonderful.

    I've tried two-pole gybe set ups with lines lead to the cockpit, too complicated to pull off easily. I took that off the boat.

    I've tried bringing the sock lines to the cockpit, that didn't work so well for me, sock lines are now left strongly attached to one of the big dock line cleats up forward. It's no fun when the sock descends when there is no wind and the kite collapses and it's no fun when the sock shoots up and you lose the sock lines off to leeward (or worse, up in the air) as the spinnaker fills when there is plenty of wind. Sock lines are never left loose on the foredeck, they are always under control.

    My spinnakers are big enough, even while still in the sock, to lift me off the deck. That's scary when you're pulling down on the halyard and instead the halyard lifts you up. Highest I've been is toes-dangling four feet up off the deck. It's a problem - if you let go the kite is going into the drink, if you hang on you might smack your head on the spreader. I now only hoist kites when I'm standing behind the halyard winch and have two wraps on the winch. It's a slower hoist but I'm not going to get yanked up the rig.

    Consider wearing gloves while handling the spinnaker halyard. It's too easy to have something go wrong and the halyard goes ripping out. Your hands are incredibly important for the race, protect them from rope burns. I mostly don't wear gloves unless I'm working the spinnaker halyards.

    Martin-breakers are a good thing when you want to unload the kite in a super hurry. They are nothing more than a way to remotely trip/release the kite from the afterguy. You need to use Tylaska/Sparcraft snap shackles that open using a fid shoved into the shackle body that releases the lock mechanism. Attach a light 1/8" line to a fid with a hole drilled in the tip (the martin-breaker) that is inserted into the shackle release, and lead that line aft to the cockpit, or even your bunk; if a squall appears unexpectedly you an trip the shackle and allow the spinnaker to turn into a gigantic flag as it flies from the halyard and spin sheet, hopefully it remains in the lee of the mainsail.

    Gybing:

    I will do a flying gybe in 15-18 knots of wind depending upon the autopilot's ability to control the boat in the existing sea state. In flat water I can gybe in more wind, in ocean swell with the masthead waving all over the place I gybe in less wind. For flying gybes I run really deep - 170 AWA or so - gybe the pole onto the lazy guy, square back the pole so it cannot strike the headstay but not raise it on the topping lift (otherwise the pole can poke a hole in the spinnaker foot - don't ask me how I know this) , shift sheets & guys on the winches, tell the autopilot to go through DDW and perhaps 30 degrees up on the other gybe, while this is happening the mainsail comes through. At that point the main and kite are now on the new gybe, time to make sure the mainsheet is way out and that the kite is now flying on the new guy and new sheet. Then arrange course & trim to suit.

    You do have a spinnaker net, don't you? You will want one. Use it. Religously. Don't leave home without it.

    Failing a flying gybe, I will leave the kite up, bear off, pole forward to blanket the kite behind the main, pull the sock all the way to the deck. I've had poor luck with only socking the kite halfway - the upper section that is socked likes to wrap around the headstay, it only takes one or two wraps and I can't unwrap it without dropping the socked kite all the way, only at that point I can't get the sock to come down or go up (too much friction). I find it easiest to sock the kite to the deck cleat (firmly attach the sock lines to the cleat), gybe the main, gyge the pole and square back the pole, poke the socked kite around the front of the headstay. At that point I have stop and look at conditions and decide if I want to hoist the sock straight away and release the kite, or if I would prefer to drop the socked kite to the deck and swap out to the correct halyard, etc. When I can't do a flying gybe, I often drop the whole sock to the deck, check everything out, swap halyards, and rehoist - much slower, much more organized.

    For douses, I just run super deep, pole forward, open the foredeck hatch (do not fall in, that would hurt), dump the sheet a whole bunch (but not free, just ease 15 feet or so), sock the kite, and simultaneously grasp the sock with my left arm, ease the halyard with my right arm (halyard has at least 1 wrap on the winch), and push the socked kite down the hatch.

    For crewed racing I love the letter box drop provided the cockpit crew and in particular the pit person, is good. If they're not so good, it's easier to pull the kite down behind the jib and onto the foredeck while stuffing it down the hatch.

    - rob/beetle

  9. #569
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger beetle View Post

    You do have a spinnaker net, don't you?

    Uhhh, no, I don't. I only have two halyards on the front side of the mast -- an internal one for the head sail on the roller furler and an external for the A-sym. Dropping the sail off of the roller to hoist the net seems really impractical, so the question becomes: Is this important enough with only an A-sym (in a sock) that I should consider adding another external halyard?
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  10. #570
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    This subject is not new, and some past posts are worth reading, for example see a succinct summary in #16, and a winning O30 method described in 19 here: http://sfbaysss.org/forum/showthread...=5264#post5264

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