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Thread: spinnakers or not

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default spinnakers or not

    Hi Folks,
    I would like to hear about the experiences, relative to performance, of folks who have raced single-handed without spinnakers. For Me, the SHTP comes under the bucket list category. My goal is to finish in under 21 days. I would appreciate hearing the experiences of those who have done it, if any, and if they have made it in the 21 day time limit.
    my boat is a steel Bruce Roberts 38 Spray derivative? Its heavy, and I expect a rating in excess of 200. I suspect line honors are out. In fact I would not be entering this race, in this boat, if the SHTP had a history of a significant amount of beating. The J measurement is 20 feet to the end of the six foot bowsprit, and the I measurement is about 51 feet. The gaff Rig mainsail is about 670 square feet . I have two large genoa's. A full size spinnaker would be huge. The plan is to pole out both genoa's, and experiment with the main and mizzen staysail on boat spped effect.
    So, can I finish in time. The closest similarly styled boat boat that I recognize as a past entrant is the Westsail 32: Tey have finished in 16-18 days. I dont know if any of them sailed with spinnakers?
    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    561

    Default

    A pair or large headsails poled out are nearly as fast as a spinnaker without the fuss. If you have extra budget for more sails I would get a nice set of "Twins" built over a full sized spinnaker.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    Palo Alto
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    Default

    I got the same question for myself… I am hesitant to predict any SHTP finish based on PHRF as compared with the Westsail 32s because those Westsail 32s in the SHTP are really good sailors… Look up the history and you will find a Westsail 32 beating many "faster" boats when sailed really well (and beating them by a lot). I do have a spreadsheet for past SHTP results and I will post that when I get past 2012 (which is where the easy to scrape results stop). So far looks like it tops out at 20 days (excluding the FADs).

    So I was also about to post a note about twin headsails… but maybe it belongs here. I got some questions on rigging. Everybody raves about their twin setup but nobody explains how theirs works. I have a Schaefer 2100 furler with a big aluminum lug welded to the bottom drum intended for a shackle (D or snap) and one headsail. I have two grooves on the foil. Here is what I am working on, shoot me down. I have two 130% high-cut Genoas. Call it 40 ft luff for arguments sake with a 20 ft foot, each. I hoist a double block attached to the top drum. I happen to find that a climbing double pulley works best so far, a GM CLIMBING 40kN Micro Double Pulley. It has snatch action though I dont normally need that, but its nice to be able to pull out the halyard from the pulley quickly in some kind of emergency. I hoist two 5/16 halyards on that double pulley. The halyards have a spliced eye at the bottom (yes, the bottom). The problem is what to do with all the excess line when you hoist either Genoa. So I cut it off and eye splice it at about 40 ft. of length. Bear with me and I will explain. At the bottom drum I use two climbing cams, one for each halyard, and so far the best is a Climbing Technology CT Rollnlock 2D625. The eye splice will go through this cam. When I want to hoist I join another 40 ft of 5/16, also terminated with a spliced eye, to the first length using a Dyneema shackle, and that too passes through the cam. So everything can go through the cam: two eyes and a soft shackle. (Thats why it is 5/16 line). Now I can hoist (and lower) from the foredeck without needing to faff with a prefeeder, its all there in my hands. The only tricky part so far is the attachment of everything on the bottom drum. I got a working system but it uses the drum plate right now, which is not meant to take vertical loads. I need a simple "rigging plate" to let the single lug on the bottom drum attach not only to two Genoa tacks but also the cams that lock the halyards. Not hard, just an aluminium plate.

    Sounds complicated I agree, but it does work, and pretty well. So please shoot me down and maybe explain a better way? Maybe explain why hoisting one Genoa normally and then the other separately is better than trying to hoist two independently? Or why I should just stitch two headsails together. However, I can barely hoist one 130% Genoa and definitely have trouble flaking and packing it on deck (or anywhere), let alone a two-headed monster.
    Last edited by GBR3068; 11-29-2022 at 08:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Palo Alto
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    Default

    Here is an Excel spreadsheet with SHTP results you can play with to get some idea of finish time. Credits are in the spreadsheet. So far only up to 2012 because beyond that I have to scrape each event individually. I will post the whole lot when I finish, but things wont change that much. Sheet 1 is raw. Sheet 2 you can sort by whatever you want.


    SHTP results v2.xlsx.zip
    Last edited by GBR3068; 11-29-2022 at 09:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    548

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GBR3068 View Post
    Everybody raves about their twin setup but nobody explains how theirs works.
    I don't rave about my setup, but it's adequate. I have a 125% high-clewed jib that I hoist in the Tuff Luff and pole out with the whisker pole. And I have a 107% staysail with a wire luff that I free-fly on the other jib halyard. I can use the outgrabber -- a block hanging from the main boom -- to hold its sheet out. So it's sort of a funky setup, but I used it two nights in a row in the 2010 SHTP and hit my highest speeds of the race. And I could stay below most of the time, which I wouldn't do with a spinnaker up.

    Some people like to name their sails. I thought I'd call my mismatched twins Arnold and Danny, but the names didn't stick.

    As for the question "spinnakers or not", if I'm not mistaken Philippe won the '18 race without ever flying one. And I think someone else was first to finish a previous race without flying a spinnaker on a fairly heavy boat.

    Max

  6. #6
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    Jun 2021
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    Max: Thanks! Thats actually a very do-able and simple setup. I like simple. What I would not have known was how well it worked. I do have a very old wire plus hanks reacher sort of sail with 40 ft luff and 20 ft foot that was with the boat before the furler was installed, but it is light, around 0.75 oz. I could fly that either free or on Dyneema line, but couldn't reef it. I think I would have problems getting that sail down at 3am. Do you set both sails from the same point or is more like a cutter? The more I read about this issue, the more I like the idea of having a rig with multiple stays and just using sails on different stays for downwind. Single-handers seem to be moving away from using spinnakers so much.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    548

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GBR3068 View Post
    Do you set both sails from the same point or is more like a cutter?
    Same point. I'm set up to peel from one jib to another -- two grooves in the Tuff Luff, two tack hooks, two halyards at the top of the headstay -- so I just use the free tack hook and halyard.

    I'm still set on using the spinnaker unless the wind gets up beyond some (ill-defined) level.

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