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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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silversailor

Light air spinnaker sheets

38 posts in this topic

I'm about to order some light air spin sheets for my asym for my 37' Hanse. Product suggestions? Suggestions for attaching sheets to sail (tie on? Soft shackle? Snap shackle?) . Thanks.

 

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If you are considering soft shackles then consider what I call a line shackle. It is a lot easier to attach and remove than a normal soft shackle, there is nothing to fall in the water, and in general just a better way to attach a line to something. I used to think of them as a halyard shackle but I figured out a better way to do halyards so just use them to attach lines to things. Think of them as a soft shackle where the eye is on the line and the knot is attached to the clew and those two pieces are not attached to each other except when you "close" the shackle. They are not a lot harder than a metal shackle but definitely harder.

shackle_and_stopper_2.jpg

 

I would not use a soft shackle although if you want to, by all means use my improved version HERE. It is the one Brion Toss teaches in his lectures. He helped me with the strength testing.

soft_shackle_9_ss9_1.jpg

 

Writing this post gives me the (now) obvious idea of making an improved line shackle by combining these two techniques. That should be even easier to attach and remove than the line shackle in the article.

 

These assume you have either a 12 strand line or something with a core. I have been considering this very issue to this is a thread I will follow. The lines I have been thinking of is 3/16 Tenex. I don't know where to buy it though. Tenex is not a yacht braid, is polyester, and only buy White. It is a 12 strand and very strong and very cheap. I need to find a source though.

 

Allen

L-36.com

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Not many replies here Silversailor. I have picked my line but still not settled on how to attach them to the clew. I am leaning toward making a line shackle out of some core dependent Ultri-Lite, which is the line I settled on. 3/16 Ultri-lite is 1200 pound rated and weighs .9 pounds per 100 feet. The lightest metal shackle I found on Defender is equivalent to 17 feet of line so that is out. I found some Lewmar plastic snap shackles but they are not made any longer. My advisor on these things uses bowlines. Below is what I am considering but as I have not seen the core in the Ultri-Lite so I don't know if it will work. It would be very easy to put on but could not be released under load, which may or may not be an issue I guess.

 

Silversailor, what have you found?

 

line_soft_shackle_open.jpg

 

line_soft_shackle_closed.jpg

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this looks like a neat solution!

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Soft shackles are nice in that they are light, don't beat up the boat/crew and cheap (if you make them yourself)

 

You have to consider how you sail. Soft shackles have the disadvantage that they are a little slower to operate than e.g. Tylaskas but about the same speed as Tylaskas spool shackles or equiplite shackles. You might want to have a Tylaska on your tack line (if you want to be able to spike the tack for a takedown/peel) - it is a hell of a lot easier to spike a Tylaska with a fid than undoing a soft shackle while climbing out to the end of the pole. If you use Martin breakers you naturally need a metal shackle, although I have seen a remote triggered soft shackle (but is was a bit temperamental)

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although I have seen a remote triggered soft shackle (but is was a bit temperamental)

I have worked on this problem without much success. I made some but they would not release under high loads so I gave up. Do you have a link to the remote triggered soft shackle or is that something that didn't make it online :-) I know not everything is online...

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I would seriously love to see this.

 

Yeah, as a bow guy, there's no way you'd catch me on a pole end fiddling with a softie trying to do a peel. Unless you don't mind it being sliced...

 

HW

 

 

 

although I have seen a remote triggered soft shackle (but is was a bit temperamental)

I have worked on this problem without much success. I made some but they would not release under high loads so I gave up. Do you have a link to the remote triggered soft shackle or is that something that didn't make it online :-) I know not everything is online...

 

I would seriously love to see this.

 

Yeah, as a bow guy, there's no way you'd catch me on a pole end fiddling with a softie trying to do a peel. Unless you don't mind it being sliced...

 

HW

 

 

 

although I have seen a remote triggered soft shackle (but is was a bit temperamental)

I have worked on this problem without much success. I made some but they would not release under high loads so I gave up. Do you have a link to the remote triggered soft shackle or is that something that didn't make it online :-) I know not everything is online...

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As I said - they Are not easy to make work. Some are made like the kiteboard safety releases but they are not good for high loads. The better version (though far from perfect) I have used is basically a dogbone with a line attached to pull it out. Think of it as mounted the same way as a Tylaska spool shackle but the "spool" being just a smooth pin or dogbone. At one end of the dogbone there is a trigger line attached and you basically just yank on the trigger line when you want to blow it. Obviously it can be a bit tricky to pull the pin if it is highly loaded so you want to have a pretty smooth pin - downside being that it will have a tendency to pop out if the connection gets unloaded. This can to an extent be remedied by a bit of tape over the dogbone. It works but not necessarily a very elegant solution. I have also seen a couple other versions - some which may have potential but require some refinement. I will have to make some experiments....

 

 

although I have seen a remote triggered soft shackle (but is was a bit temperamental)

I have worked on this problem without much success. I made some but they would not release under high loads so I gave up. Do you have a link to the remote triggered soft shackle or is that something that didn't make it online :-) I know not everything is online...

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I experimented with things like that but there is still a lot of friction between the pin and the line so I was never happy with how it worked. I ended up using metal snap shackles. But on the light wind sheets, I am not going to do that. I think I will use the line shackles and cut them with a knife if needed. The little stopper loops are easy to replace. They may be some way to create a release for the line shackle but that also requires some thought and experimentation.

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I'm looking at 3/8" flight line (NER) for my sheets with a small eye at the end. Then attach a single snap shackle through both sheet eyes. This is for an asym set-up on a 37' boat. Trying to keep price under $1.50/ft. Figure I'll need 150'. Any other product suggestions?

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Samson Ultri-Lite looks to be about the same strength and weight but cheaper. Defender has it. Kind of depends on what your vendor carries I guess. Not sure about the snap shackle arrangement as my experience is with symmetric spinnakers.

 

Allen

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The cheapest and lightest light air sheet around is NER Regatta Lite. It is roughly half the price of Ultra Lite.

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Regatta Lite also is half the strength of Ultra Lite. When considering specs and pricing, Ultra Lite looks like the right choice of light air spinnaker sheets for my Hanse 370.

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I'm looking at 3/8" flight line (NER) for my sheets with a small eye at the end. Then attach a single snap shackle through both sheet eyes. This is for an asym set-up on a 37' boat. Trying to keep price under $1.50/ft. Figure I'll need 150'. Any other product suggestions?

 

I consider Flight Line to be a better choice than ultralite for this application. We will work with you to stay within your budget, for a complete set, including the splices and shackle.

 

Drop me a note to go over specs and details.

 

Rod

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I consider Flight Line to be a better choice than ultralite for this application.

 

Rod

Why is Flight Line better? Same strength and weight so must be something else.

 

Allen

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I consider Flight Line to be a better choice than ultralite for this application.

 

Rod

Why is Flight Line better? Same strength and weight so must be something else.

 

Allen

 

The tensile strengths are, indeed, very similar (Flight line:4,700 lbs vs. Ultra Lite at 4,400 lbs), my comment comes from the feeling of the lines after some use: the flight line feels firmer after some time and the Ultra Lite tends to get a bit fatter and rougher. These are little details and I am not bias for any in particular but I have used Flight Line in boats between 27 and 35 ft. and Ultra Lite on 24 to 26 and on those ranges, both perform well. We have even tapered Flight line (yews, very small core) and has worked very will and the older the line is the better it gets without increasing its diameter.

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Rod, which one and what size would you recommend for my Hanse 370?

 

Sent you the email mentioning either 3/8" as a good overall size sheet or 5/16" if you really want to have an specific light air sheets.

 

Rod

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Regatta Lite also is half the strength of Ultra Lite. When considering specs and pricing, Ultra Lite looks like the right choice of light air spinnaker sheets for my Hanse 370.

 

Weren't you buying light air sheets ? If you were then strength is not a factor because the load will never be greater than 100 lbs or so.

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3/8 as light air spin sheets on a sub 40 footer - that's waaaaay overkill. something like 1/4 and stripped is more like it - you want them to be light after all

 

 

 

Rod, which one and what size would you recommend for my Hanse 370?


Sent you the email mentioning either 3/8" as a good overall size sheet or 5/16" if you really want to have an specific light air sheets.

 

Rod

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I bought 3/16. My heavy sheets are 3/8. I wanted something lighter... I considered 1/4 but it just seemed like it was too close to 3/8. Hope it is strong enough.

 

Allen

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3/8 as light air spin sheets on a sub 40 footer - that's waaaaay overkill. something like 1/4 and stripped is more like it - you want them to be light after all

 

 

 

Rod, which one and what size would you recommend for my Hanse 370?

 

Sent you the email mentioning either 3/8" as a good overall size sheet or 5/16" if you really want to have an specific light air sheets.

 

Rod

 

 

I bought 3/16. My heavy sheets are 3/8. I wanted something lighter... I considered 1/4 but it just seemed like it was too close to 3/8. Hope it is strong enough.

 

Allen

 

Christian I agree, even though we all know that usually the light air spinnaker sheets stay for longer time than super light air, that's why I mention the 5/16" option which I consider is small enough to keep the whole thing very light and also will respond well if the wind picks up. I can see 1/4" on drifting days, but can't tell if the owner will be comfortable with that size; also we must add that in short handed crews they may be using the self tailers on the cabin top so you also want to have a good grip on the jammer.

 

Allen, 3/16" is certainly light, I am sure strength is not an issue, but gripping that line in anything more than 6 knots of TWS must be interesting.

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Allen, 3/16" is certainly light, I am sure strength is not an issue, but gripping that line in anything more than 6 knots of TWS must be interesting.

 

Well, I am new to Spinnakers having used them just a handful of times on my boat. I do have a brand new one I am dying to get some miles on and in practice found the sheets weighing down the clew.

 

I learned on a Tartan-10 where we did hundreds of drills some of which were with light air sheets. I just copied the size of his light air sheets. He only uses them in very light air and has plastic clips on them so they need to come off pretty quickly when the breeze freshens. If there is any pull at all, he switches to the heavy sheets.

 

If they are too thin, I guess I will go up one size.

 

Allen

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Regatta Lite also is half the strength of Ultra Lite. When considering specs and pricing, Ultra Lite looks like the right choice of light air spinnaker sheets for my Hanse 370.

 

Weren't you buying light air sheets ? If you were then strength is not a factor because the load will never be greater than 100 lbs or so.

Good point. I'm back to considering 5/16 Regatta Lite. I already have a pair of 3/8 all around spin sheets.

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Regatta Lite also is half the strength of Ultra Lite. When considering specs and pricing, Ultra Lite looks like the right choice of light air spinnaker sheets for my Hanse 370.

 

Weren't you buying light air sheets ? If you were then strength is not a factor because the load will never be greater than 100 lbs or so.

Good point. I'm back to considering 5/16 Regatta Lite. I already have a pair of 3/8 all around spin sheets.

Looking at the specs I see that Regatta Lite has a lot more stretch than Ultra Lite. In 1/4 inch Regatta Lite if you did have 100 pounds you would have 10 inches of stretch on a 35 foot line.

 

I added Regatta Lite to my line stretch calculator so you can compare over 30 different lines at 8 diameters for strength or stretch.

 

Here is what I would consider a more realistic look with just 50 pounds, still perhaps more than this application would get.

Line Stretch Comparison

 

The 5/16 is only 4 times the stretch so maybe not a big deal.

 

Allen

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Has anyone spliced UltraLite?

 

I have my 3/16 UltraLite and have made a line shackle our of 1/8 Amsteel. I need to do an end splice to connect the two. I had not realized that the inner strands of the UltraLite were not braided, just straight fibers, so I cannot make the line splice out of the core. Thus the need to splice the Amsteel to the UltraLite.

 

I am unsure how to splice this stuff and can't seem to get the core to go through the cover as the cover weave is so tight.

 

Allen

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OK, got it. 3/16 UltraLite spliced to 7/64 Amsteel with a soft line shackle on the end of the Amsteel. Cover of UltraLite is stitched over splice.

 

Allen

 

 

lineshackleonultralite.jpg

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Allen - how did you go about splicing the two together?

 

Can you weave the spectra through the ultra light cover and line?

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In my experience its rarely worth splicing 3/16" ultra lite for the reasons you found. Ultra light cover in 1/4" and smaller has a very tight cover. And yes the 3/16" is parallel braid and according to most resources is "not spliceable".

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Allen - how did you go about splicing the two together?

 

Can you weave the spectra through the ultra light cover and line?

The splice puts buries the Amsteel inside the cover of the UltraLite and buries the UltraLite core inside the Amsteel. A small section of UltraLite cover is stitched to the splice.

 

The most difficult part was getting the UltraLite core to come through the cover. I worked a fid (actually a knitting needle) into the cover to open up a small hole. Then I used a sewing needle to pull strands of the cover out one at a time. This used the fact that the core is parallel and not braided as an advantage. I should say that I tied a knot back a few feet to lock most of the UltraLite cover and core together. Then I pulled the cover back which makes it larger in diameter giving room to work.

 

The next difficult thing was getting the Amsteel inside the UltraLite cover. I use a wire pulling fid made out of stainless rigging wire. Take about a 2 foot section of rigging wire and fold it in half. Then put a small loop on the ends so you can pull on the thing. Thread this into the UltraLite cover back about 8 inches of the pulled back cover and press it out to the other opening in the cover where the core comes through. Taper back 4 strands of the Amsteel back about 1 inch and put 1/2 inch between the two wires on the fid. Now you have to pull the Amsteel and fid back into the cover. That is not easy and the way I did it was to pull out the UltraLite core which just sucked the Amsteel and fid into the cover. Once you get the fid out you can milk the cover back over the core and Amsteel and you are half done. The other half is easy using the pulling wire. This would be easier if I had some smaller diameter wire but it worked with what I had. I have used very small diameter wire to make a soft shackle out of Lash-It. If anything would be considered unsplicable, it would be lash-It but it can in fact be spliced. Maybe I will write it up on L-36.com if there is some interest. I didn't take pictures the first time as I was just trying to figure it out.

 

Allen

L-36.com

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For the OP's assym I would get the UL as one piece the total length of the two sheet combined, then do the "simple centerline take-out"(http://marlowropes.com/simple-centreline-take-off.html) in the middle, with a line or soft shackle built in there. It's not the prettiest thing in the world but it runs smooth over the forestay and I've used it for F18 all around sheets with no issues.

 

Save a lot of splicing and only one soft shackle to undo when you have to make the switch up to bigger sheets. If the wind is up and down you could probably even leave them rigged and tight along the deck.

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Allen,

 

I gotta say I don't understand why all that effort to only taper a foot or two at the end? Surely you can get 6' or more of tapered line from the sail to the winch? Otherwise what's the point?

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Allen,

 

I gotta say I don't understand why all that effort to only taper a foot or two at the end? Surely you can get 6' or more of tapered line from the sail to the winch? Otherwise what's the point?

The point is to get the soft shackle "line shackle" so that you have something quicker to attach and remove than a knot and lighter than a metal shackle. The issue with light air sheets is that you have to put them on and off quickly as the wind speed changes. That said, the idea of making the Amsteel 6 feet long or longer is a good one as Amsteel is lighter than the UltraLite. It just had not thought of that as I was trying to solve the shackle problem.

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For the OP's assym I would get the UL as one piece the total length of the two sheet combined, then do the "simple centerline take-out"(http://marlowropes.com/simple-centreline-take-off.html) in the middle, with a line or soft shackle built in there. It's not the prettiest thing in the world but it runs smooth over the forestay and I've used it for F18 all around sheets with no issues.

 

Save a lot of splicing and only one soft shackle to undo when you have to make the switch up to bigger sheets. If the wind is up and down you could probably even leave them rigged and tight along the deck.

Yes. I have a symmetric so lost sight of the OP's application. However, you are not going to get that center line take off with 3/16 or 1/4 UltraLite as the weave of the cover is too tight. But you could do a luggage tag hitch to a line with a soft line shackle on it and it should be fine. The issue I was dealing with is making something that the spinnaker pole could run freely over.

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I spliced 1/4" ultra-lite to 1/8" amsteel for my spin sheets. Getting the core out of the ultra light was quite difficult but not impossible. I used a pick from a weaving set to get it out. The core in the 1/4" is braided so you need to take the whole thing out at once and can't do it a strand at a time.

 

Then I cut the core shorter and buried the amsteel in the core and the core in the amsteel, like a normal single-braid end-to-end splice and tapered the ends.

 

Then I pulled the spliced core/amsteel back into the cover. This was also quite difficult as the ultra-lite cover is very tight to start with and now there was an 1/8" line in there. Originally I tried to use 3/16" amsteel but there was just no way that cover was going back up.

 

 

I then buried the tail of the ultralite cover into the amsteel, like normal tapered sheets. The end of the buried ultra-lite core was just at where the amsteel left the cover (which is why I cut the core shorter), so both the cover and core aren't buried at the same time, which would be quite a lot to fit in the amsteel.

post-39862-0-04485300-1369969294_thumb.jpg

 

I didn't go smaller as it often goes from light wind to not as light, and I didn't want to be stuck needing to change sheets. I think 3/16 is just too small to handle and isn't very effective in the ratchet blocks.

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@xyzzy btw, your name there is a magic word...

 

I got to thinking about your splice and it has made me uneasy about mine as I am depending to some extent on the outer braid because the UltraLite in the size I am using does not have the inner strong line braided so my splice is just a side by side. It is also a pain the the but to make. So I decided to just use a soft shackle and tie the line to it using a strangle knot. The strangle knot will hold tight to the soft shackle and is also a fair amount stronger than most knots because there are no sharp bends that are under load. A 1/8 inch soft shackle will be more than strong enough. Using the improved soft shackle makes it easy to connect and disconnect. Too easy.

 

Allen

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My splice, and the sheets, have proved strong enough for 30 kts and also strong enough to explode my spin blocks. So I'm not too worried about the sheets. Little worried about the blocks now. I was reaching high with my small spin (~290 sq ft) in only 16-18 kts when the Ronstan Orbit 55 ratchet block on the guy exploded. I didn't think the loads were that high.

 

Have you considered 1/4" ultra-lite and using thinner, lighter, cheaper, amsteel for as much of the tip as you can? Most of my sheet supported by the kite is amsteel and not ultra-lite, so going to 3/16" ultra-lite would save me very little weight were it makes any difference.

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My splice, and the sheets, have proved strong enough for 30 kts and also strong enough to explode my spin blocks. So I'm not too worried about the sheets. Little worried about the blocks now. I was reaching high with my small spin (~290 sq ft) in only 16-18 kts when the Ronstan Orbit 55 ratchet block on the guy exploded. I didn't think the loads were that high.

 

Have you considered 1/4" ultra-lite and using thinner, lighter, cheaper, amsteel for as much of the tip as you can? Most of my sheet supported by the kite is amsteel and not ultra-lite, so going to 3/16" ultra-lite would save me very little weight were it makes any difference.

I think what you did is a better solution that the 3/16 I used. Stronger, lighter, and only slightly more expensive.

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