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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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Gypsy's Child

Asymmetrical Spinnaker Setting

10 posts in this topic

I have a 2012 Harbor 25 by Schock. The spinnaker size is something that I have on my list to determine this week; a sailor with a boat and spinnaker like mine in San Francisco, refers to the spinnaker as a 180? I can tell you she is large and flies pretty close to the water; a sailor friend questions whether she is really asymmetrical. She flies closer to the water than all the other boats that I race in the beer cans (Js from the 145 on down to the 22s, C&C 36, Sabre 386, etc. The boat has a tall rig for her size & the A sail goes all the way to the top.

 

I purchased the spinnaker new shortly after I purchased the boat; hence, the spinnaker was made for my particular boat & made by the sailmaker who makes the sails for Schock's new boats. I also purchased a sock with the spinnaker.

 

When I've set the sail properly in a proper breeze, I'm convinced that she is about as fast as she could possibly be. I experience all the foul-ups you would expect from a newbie in setting and jibing the sail. It is generally getting better each time we use the sail.

 

The sock seems too much in the way on my small boat. Not having bow pulpit & lifelines, keeping the sheets from fouling on the anchor mount, cleats etc. is a big job. So, I'm ready to start flying without the sock.

 

Questions:

 

1. From your experience, where is the best place to stow the spinnaker in its bag while racing & before the 1st set? While in the sock, I have had it all rigged and lead into the companion way. After the first set, do you store it differently.

 

2. Except for the halyard, I have tied the sheets and tack with bowlines. Are there any light weight fasteners that you would recommend?

 

3. Do you use rubber bands or wool? & if so, where do you know where to place or tie them? I'm aware of the environmental & legal issues with rubber bands & that is not part of the question.

 

4. Is there a good YouTube, or any other reference material you would recommend?

 

5. Is there someone you would recommend in the Seattle area that I could hire to spend some time with me on the boat while using the A sail? I'd like to find someone well versed in the tactical aspects as well as rigging, setting, jibing and dousing the sail. I would like to have the acumen to be able to sail her with one crew. However, would usually have two & have found 2 to be ideal.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Steve

 

P.S. Is a picture with us racing with the A Sail; sorry it isn't a closer shot.

post-98665-0-27525400-1376856954_thumb.jpg

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1. From your experience, where is the best place to stow the spinnaker in its bag while racing & before the 1st set? While in the sock, I have had it all rigged and lead into the companion way. After the first set, do you store it differently.

 

2. Except for the halyard, I have tied the sheets and tack with bowlines. Are there any light weight fasteners that you would recommend?

 

3. Do you use rubber bands or wool? & if so, where do you know where to place or tie them? I'm aware of the environmental & legal issues with rubber bands & that is not part of the question.

 

4. Is there a good YouTube, or any other reference material you would recommend?

 

5. Is there someone you would recommend in the Seattle area that I could hire to spend some time with me on the boat while using the A sail? I'd like to find someone well versed in the tactical aspects as well as rigging, setting, jibing and dousing the sail. I would like to have the acumen to be able to sail her with one crew. However, would usually have two & have found 2 to be ideal.

  1. This will vary. J24s like the companionway. On my boat, we go out of the forehatch. It works. Find what works. No one is re-packing kites upwind on small boats. It's slow. Leave it hooked up and always drop on the left. for w/l courses.
  2. Yes there are. You can use soft shackles or other plastic options but most cannot be released under load for a spin peel, if you have one kite, this isn't an issue. Just keep tieing them for now.
  3. No wool, no bands, it's a 25 footer, not a 45 footer. Lose the sock too.
  4. I'm sure there is a video, but you'll have to search for that one.
  5. Sorry on the "other" side. But you may be happier with 3. Why do you like 2? I sail with 4 and J's sail with 5, mostly for the weight. Sure, 2 can do it, but we wouldn't be fast at it.

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Thank you, Merit 25! Too bad you are on the "other side". You sound like the person I'm looking for only closer to home. Ever thought of Seattle? it is great place & lots of water!

 

As to the number of crew: I agree with your numbers; however, I would like to be able to race with only one. I agree that more would be better especially in better breezes since I have a tall rig.

 

Smooth sailing,

 

Steve

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Shock 25 can be basically run like a J-24. You want to go to North Sails and buy a Companionway launcher.

 

And no you don't need bands - I single handed launched my J-24 kite in 25knots of breeze from the companionway.

 

Do NOT use bowlines. They are a formula for fouls in the jaws of your pole. figure out which side of the Spin is "forward" (usually one of the tapes is green and one red, if you assume Green goes on Stb and Red on port then you know wich side is front). Hopefully the grommets in the clews are just barely large enough to fit your spin sheet through. assuming they are, you pull the sheet through the hole from "back" to "front" and tie a doubled stopper knot in it. That way the side of the kite that the pole attaches to is free from anything to foul the jaws of the pole.

 

Note - from the photo that is NOT an Assymetric sail, though its hard to see competely

 

though what you probably have is a cruising kite (hence the sock). Cruising kites are designed to be sailed without a pole. Since you bought it from the sailmaker, ask the sailmaker to come aboard and show you how to rig it and sail it properly. A decent saiilmaker should offer that service for someone buying a customized new sail.

 

Also, go down on a Tuesday night at around 4:30pm to the Leschi public moorage, introduce yourself to the J-24 sailors and explain what you are trying to learn. Particularly if it is a light wind night, you will find some willing to walk you through the basics. Particularly try the boats with the name Hot Pursuit, And Your Little Dog Too, to start out with. Tell them Baltic Bandit sent you

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Thank you Baltic Bandit for your usual helpful spirit; much appreciated. I will definitely endeavor to go by & meet some of the fellows at Leschi.

 

I have attached another photo that I had forgotten that I had taken which should show the sail in more detail. (Well, wouldn't load because file too large)

 

Sailmaker is in the Newport Beach, CA area; not conducive to a demo in Seattle. Which brings me to a post I'll be making in the NY: Looking at a new B 40CR & it comes without sails. Have the name of a great sailmaker here; however, think he has the sails cut overseas? That is a totally different topic for a different time.

 

To the subject at hand: I also have a sprit and not a pole.

 

Are you amenable to doing a little teaching aboard Gypsy's Child this Wednesday at 6:30 PM from Carillon Point?

 

Best,

 

Steve

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Well Steve - if you fly me from Paris to Seattle I'd be glad to :-) But seeing as I now live in Paris that would be a bit tough. II might be back in the Seattle area in the next 2 mos and if that happens I'll PM you and I'd be happy to come out to lend a hand (I'm the classic boat whore - I'll sail anything :-) )

 

Ok so if you are running off a sprit then it is an Assy. in which case you aren't working with a pole and you can use bowlines or shackles. HOWEVER you are better off with a "custom" solution" - and one that you will learn a skill while creating. Search around youtube for instructions on how to make "tapered" spinnaker sheets. But what you REALLy want is a single length of spiinnaker sheet that has the middle section be simply an exposed section of 6mm Dyneema (if it was my boat I'd go with 4mm but I'm more tolerant of building new spin sheets every season).

 

So what you really want to look up is how to splice braided Dyneema (Spectra) into an existing cored sheet. That way you can use the sheets you already have. (more below on how to figure out how much exposed Dyneema you need)

 

So now you need a way to attach this to the kite. One simple way is to simply "luggage tag" the whole set of sheets into the clew of the kite (ie take the middle point of the Dyneema, fold it into a loop, pass it through the clew ring, and then pull the two tail ends of the kite sheets through the loop like you would with a luggage tag. Once loaded up, this won't really slip much and that way you have no knot to hang up on the forestay or anything else. The downside is that you do bash the clew of the sail across the forestay and that can wear on the forestay and the sail SOOOO

You can add a short pennant between the spin sheets and the clew. (Splicing lesson #2). you start with about an 24" section of braided Dyneema (I'd go with 4mm here for your size of sail). Look up how to splice an "eye loop" onto the end of a piece of braided line. This will shorten the length of this section to about 18". Now find the middle of your Spin Sheets and loosely luggage tag this bit of line around that point. To keep this in place and from slipping latterally you just fold over the unlooped end and poke it through the braided dyneema of the spin sheets. So now you have about a 17" bit of line looped around and then poked through the middle of the spin sheets.

To attatch this to your spinnaker you can simply tie a bowline to the clew (but that means you have a knot that can catch on stuff even though its not rubbing on the forestay) OR you can use what is called a "skiff knot". For a "skiff knot" you simply tie a stopper knot (figure 8 knot) in the end of the line (make sure you leave about 1"-2" sticking out past the end). you pass the stopper knot through the clew (that's why you go down to 4mm for this) . Now you just "figure 8" this around the line coming into the clew and cinch it up so that the stopper knot is locked against the clew of the kite.

This is why you leave the 1"-2" if tail. To undo this knot you grab the tail and just work it back and forth to loosen the stopper knot.

 

This gives you a set of spin sheets that pull across the forestay without any knots to hang up in the gybes. Ok since open braid spectra/dyneema is "slippery" you don't want your trimmers having to hold it or run it around the winches. So basically figure out where the wear max sheeting point is on your existing sheets. You want spectra to go from just beyond that point out to the clew of the kite (remember to include the length of the pennant as well)

 

 

Clear as mud?

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So by tying in the spinnaker, you never actually unshackle it. But given the size of your boat this isn't a problem. Basically you set the spinnaker up to ALWAYS be hoisted and doused in and out of the companionway hatch on the port side of the boat. Since most roundings in seattle are "marks to port" the only reason you want to set the kite from the starboard side is if you want to "Gybe Set" ((ie gybe as you hoist the kite). On your 25'er this is easy even if the kite is on the port side. All you do is lead the tack out to your bowsprit as you approach the mark. Then at the mark you hoist the kite as normal - but YOU DO NOT DROP THE JIB!. Instead you gybe the boom and your trimmer gybes the spinnnaker WITH THE JIB STILL ON THE PORT SIDE OF THE BOAT - this last is key... you DO NOT gybe the jib. This lets the Jib act as a surface along which to pull the spinnker so that it does not get blown through the foretriangle by the wind during the gybe set.

 

Then as soon as the kite is around the forestay, you just drop the jib (but not before) and Bob's your uncle.

 

 

For your takedowns, if you are approaching from the port side and are going to gybe around the mark, this is easy, just hoist the jib, and blow the halyard and gather the kite into the back the normal way (or you can do a "Mexican" - go search for that in the Sailing Anarchy section - there's lots of instructions on how to do that))

 

 

If you are approaching from the STB side layline, and your kite is to starboard, you do what is called a windward takedown. For a windward takedown you hoist the jib, then your foredeck grabs the lazy spinnker sheet and pulls the kite around to the windward side, at which point you release the halyard and pull the sail down. The KEY to making this work is that when your foredeck is ready to pull the kite around - YOU the driver, point the nose of the boat almost directly downwind. With the mainsail out on STB and the jib hoisted on STB, this will essentially blanket the kite completely and unload it so that foredeck can pull it around the forestay.

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Thanks; it will take awhile for me to digest all of this.

 

We're going to practice this evening for the first time without the sock.

 

We'll practice just setting the A sail and driving as long as possible on one tack just to get some positive reinforcement and to try to get a feel for the trimming.

 

Then, see what we can do beyond that; baby steps.

 

Ran into a fellow over at North Sails and he suggested tying a bunjie on the lower shrouds about a foot under the spreader to prevent the A Sail from getting pinched and possibly torn.

 

Your sheeting ideas will be most helpful. I have internal sheets led from the rear outside coaming of the cockpit to the inside bulkhead of the cockpit. It would be good to have a single point of attachment at the clew with sheets that are snag resistant and ... Will play with different concepts.

 

BTW: If you haven't read it, I strongly recommend: McCullough's "The Greater Journey". I thoroughly enjoyed it as have many friends.

 

If you find yourself in this neck of the woods, please let me know, it would be great to have you sail with us.

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Jack Christiansen from north sails seattle is one of the nicest smartest sailmakers I know and would be of great help to your learning process, just give the loft a call....

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Thanks, for the recommendation, RMB. "Great minds run in..." As it so happens, 2 days ago, I ran into a fellow at North Sails named Angus Brackett. He has made a backstay flicker for Gypsy's Child and has helped with the issues re the spinnaker. He really knows his business and has a lot of racing experience.

 

I am pleased to report that, thanks in large part to the help from Baltic Bandit & Merit 25 on this site, Chapin Day at Signature, Angus at North Sails, my brilliant and nimble crew, we have mastered setting and dousing of the A sail. We now only need to refine & practice, practice, practice.

 

The issue of running over the lazy sheet was due to inadvertently rigging the A sail for an outside gybe with no horn attached to the sail to catch it. We rig for the inside gybe and all works well.

 

The sock doesn't seem to be an asset on my boat; the spinny is to the top of the mast without it & she seems to lift higher and is therefore higher off the water and the shrimping issue has been ameliorated if not eliminated.

 

The companionway is undoubtedly the best place to stow and launch.

 

We're racing this evening & if the forecast holds, we'll start with a downwind leg.

 

Thanks for all of the help!

 

Steve

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