hippophagy

What's the Tiniest Asymmetrical Spinnaker You Know Of

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I'm about a 1/3rd of the way into a 300 mile circumnavigation of Long Island (it's in stages so I'm back home now) in a folding sailing kayak. I have built/modded the kayak to sail. It has a cut down Opti sail and an Opti mast and I was thinking it might be nice to have an asymmetrical sail for light air. Just got an estimate on a custom and it's probably more than I want to spend. Can anyone recommend a small A sail with a luff around 8'. I'm having a hard time finding one. Or alternatively a sail that's pretty close that I could cut down without compromising performance too much. Thanks 37500338_10156580265651913_7154498496668

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I have an Optimist sail on my old Phoenix Tandem kayak. I put a small jib on it and found little change in upwind speed. Significant help off the wind.

Suggest instead of an asymmetrical, just get a small jib.

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I donno, go for it.  Or go with a self tacking foresail. Either way you'll need a sprit. Check with the South Bay Scooter Club, close by. They might have a recommendation?

 

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for a minute someone was making opti kites... more gimmicky than anything else but i guess they pulled the boat a little bit. no idea if they're still around or who made them. You could always get some cloth from Sailrite and piece something together yourself if you want - i suspect you won't be playing with it in any sort of real breeze, no?

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2 hours ago, sailwriter said:

I have an Optimist sail on my old Phoenix Tandem kayak. I put a small jib on it and found little change in upwind speed. Significant help off the wind.

Suggest instead of an asymmetrical, just get a small jib.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm about to do just that. Previously I'd purchased a Pico Jib here ($70) for a similar experiment. http://www.intensitysails.com/jibforpico.html

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I cant believe no one posted this, u guys are slacking...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mustang__1 said:

for a minute someone was making opti kites... more gimmicky than anything else but i guess they pulled the boat a little bit. no idea if they're still around or who made them. You could always get some cloth from Sailrite and piece something together yourself if you want - i suspect you won't be playing with it in any sort of real breeze, no?

on a 7' unstayed mast, this is all gimmick. Even more so as an asym. I would think.

To me if you stood a chance at all, you're looking at something more comparable to a Code 0. "Thengling" I think was on the right track.

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you'll get better shape out of that rag if you tie the clew directly to the boom (similar to the luff), so that the clew doesn't float up from the boom. 

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I recently bought just such a kite for my son's Taz dinghy. Contact http://www.jeckells.co.uk/ , they had one with 8f luff and one 9 foot luff. I took the larger one. They added webbing for a douse line at no additional cost. Price was right for a new small assy, shipped overseas at reasonable cost. Highly recommended. 

There's a lomg thread with my exploration here in SA. Inexpensive alternatives include second hand spinnakers from Mirror and Manly Junior dinghies.

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28 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

I recently bought just such a kite for my son's Taz dinghy. Contact http://www.jeckells.co.uk/ , they had one with 8f luff and one 9 foot luff. I took the larger one. They added webbing for a douse line at no additional cost. Price was right for a new small assy, shipped overseas at reasonable cost. Highly recommended. 

There's a lomg thread with my exploration here in SA. Inexpensive alternatives include second hand spinnakers from Mirror and Manly Junior dinghies.

Wow! Thanks so much. They have one that looks perfect! I'm emailing them tonight.

8'2" 7'3" 3'11"

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Very happy to be of help :)

The one I got is cut nice and deep, it's an asymmetrical spinnaker, not a screecher. Perfect for the boat, as you can seen on the video. We rigged a homebrew spi pole and chute, all in carbon-kevlar.

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5 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

 

Good God Man, good show and all that to get your kid going with a foresail, but jeez..  How much was that thing??  Bang for the buck??  Alittle overboard no?? At one point the thing is actually throwing them backwards.  

 

Reminds me of all the $$$ i spend on 5th grade LAX.  By freshmen year they didn't wear 1/2 the shit.  

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Second had RS Feva kite is the smallest I know of although it's still maybe larger than the one on that taz. But both I feel would be pretty much masthead height on your boat!

I would just go to your local sailmaker, they should be able to get you something made out of off cuts for pretty cheap. You don't need any fancy radial panelling just plain old cross cut. 

 

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Thanks again to @martin.langhoff I just bought that little asym from Jeckells in the UK. Dimensions seem perfect and it was $250 ( £150.00 + £40.00 shipping). FWIW I did speak to my local sailmaker and they wanted something closer to $400 if not more. Hope to have it soon as I am sailing on Monday. 

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Be sure to post a picture when you raise sail. Interested to see how it interacts (or not) with the yard.

 

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Yay! I got my hands on the slightly larger one of the pair they had, and couldn't be happier. 

They told me they were cut for display at a boat show. Modern spinnakers take a bazillion cuts of cloth to achieve shape, so even a small one is unreasonably costly in hours of stencil/tape/cut/sew.

You might have to play a bit with halyard/tack/sheet block positioning until you get it just right. Took us some work but I like the resulting shape and "slot" -- 

 

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9 hours ago, shaggy said:

Good God Man, good show and all that to get your kid going with a foresail, but jeez..  How much was that thing??  Bang for the buck??  Alittle overboard no?? At one point the thing is actually throwing them backwards.  

The boat is a 2nd hand beat up Topaz Taz, which I got at a very good price 3 years ago. Boat already includes a small jib, but after sailing on a high perf cat with me, and seeing 29ers/49ers, the young man asked Santa for an asymmetric spinnaker.

The spinnaker cost about $250 delivered, as the OP found. The rest we built at home with carbon/kevlar bits I have -- maybe it consumed $50 in ropes/carbon cloth/epoxy. It does use some hand-me-down blocks that cost some $.

We've been fiddling with it since Xmas, it's been a big project spanning half a year. Young sailor has learned about halyard / tack / mainsheet block positioning, designing lines/controls on the cockpit, composites, laminate sail cloth (for the chute).

I'm a hands on guy. It's been one of the best Xmas presents from Santa for him and me. Kept us pretty busy.

> At one point the thing is actually throwing them backwards.  

I don't think so. They hit the bottom with the centerboard and were stuck briefly.

Perhaps it is a bit overboard. I feel we're squeezing good sailing and learning out of a reasonable spend that we're very lucky we can afford.

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1 hour ago, martin.langhoff said:

Yay! I got my hands on the slightly larger one of the pair they had, and couldn't be happier. 

They told me they were cut for display at a boat show. Modern spinnakers take a bazillion cuts of cloth to achieve shape, so even a small one is unreasonably costly in hours of stencil/tape/cut/sew.

You might have to play a bit with halyard/tack/sheet block positioning until you get it just right. Took us some work but I like the resulting shape and "slot" -- 

 

Thanks so much again for tipping me off to it. How did you find it in the first place? Yeah I'm carefully studying your video for pointers on rigging. Any suggestions for a novice?

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46 minutes ago, hippophagy said:

@martin.langhoff Do you rig it like a jib to run from either side or just one side?It looks like the luff likes a little slack in the line.

Happy to hear my notes are useful. Jeckells has some good references on Mirror Dinghy sails, so I contacted them. 

Yes, works on both sides. I rig it on a fixed bowsprit, as a code 0, and sail it from tight to broad reaches. It's a bit like a 29er in that we sail downwind to VMG, tacking through 45 degrees or so. When only kids are on board, the boatspeed means it sails to apparent wind. Darts forward on the gust. That's another big fun learn.

The "slack" you see in the luff is due to the bowsprit flexing upwards. Great on a broad reach, but limits our upwind ability. Next DIY round I'll probably put a dolphin striker (ie: icecream stick wrapped with carbon fiber) to prebend it. The carbon fiber tube is a cheapo from ebay.

Build and initial on-land tuning picks https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOwCOSt0GNc1nRrC74nJmeIfgHnldzSgMxY9U-9K18Wly4sTl9-IHpwEFN5FPo-2w?key=ZHRBVkRzMFYwRExLU3JQTFhpMDZNczFNTFQxRmlB

 

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3 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

Happy to hear my notes are useful. Jeckells has some good references on Mirror Dinghy sails, so I contacted them. 

Yes, works on both sides. I rig it on a fixed bowsprit, as a code 0, and sail it from tight to broad reaches. It's a bit like a 29er in that we sail downwind to VMG, tacking through 45 degrees or so. When only kids are on board, the boatspeed means it sails to apparent wind. Darts forward on the gust. That's another big fun learn.

The "slack" you see in the luff is due to the bowsprit flexing upwards. Great on a broad reach, but limits our upwind ability. Next DIY round I'll probably put a dolphin striker (ie: icecream stick wrapped with carbon fiber) to prebend it. The carbon fiber tube is a cheapo from ebay.

Build and initial on-land tuning picks https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOwCOSt0GNc1nRrC74nJmeIfgHnldzSgMxY9U-9K18Wly4sTl9-IHpwEFN5FPo-2w?key=ZHRBVkRzMFYwRExLU3JQTFhpMDZNczFNTFQxRmlB

 

These are great! This is so helpful. I can't thank you enough. So good to see kids with tools too. My daughter is 3.5 and she has her own cordless driver. She also has a Mirror waiting for her in Australia for when she's a bit older.

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On that google photos album, the last couple items are videos, and they show the rig in quite a bit of detail -- perhaps you already spotted those. We used ronstan shock blocks as inexpensive blocks whenever possible.

My son got started on Hobie Waves at around 3, got his Taz at 5, and at 8 the "skiff" upgrade. Mirror dinghies look amazing -- I think that's what Jimmy Spithill got started with.

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14 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

 

My son got started on Hobie Waves at around 3, got his Taz at 5, and at 8 the "skiff" upgrade. 

Looks like an amazing training setup for your young sailor!   I'll keep my eyes open for him on the  29er junior team in a few years!   What a way to get him interested,  involved, and ultimately, capable sailing high performance dinghys.   And you get to do it with him, that is the best part.   As for the 'overboard' comment, I guess its all relative.  Most of us that sail high performance dinghy's could be considered 'overboard' by reasonable standards.   Who spends so much time and money, then endures stinking clothes and freezing water for the chance to go 15-20 mph?   We do.  And its our job to get our kids hooked on it too.....   Nice work!

My sons are now 17 and 18, and we still enjoy trying to master our old, beat up One Design I-14 that we got back into sailing condition a few years back.  They are also vying for time sailing the UFO, and we continue to try to set our family top speed record on it.  I'm still king at 16.8 knots, but likely not for long....   It is a great way to connect with the kids, and a passion that we'll hopefully share all our lives.

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@hippophagy - tell us more about your circumnavigation adventure. Is there a blog to follow? Bikini-sailing-videoblog on your Patreon account :-) ? 

@Champlain Sailor - thank you! I blush a bit. Good stuff on your teenagers! It's an amazing sport to learn and share with your kids.

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So happy with the new little chute. First time sailing one. It certainly made a difference. I tried it overlapping run back to the leeboard bar. In close like a jib mounted on the outriggers. I let it fly a bit by giving it some slack at the tack a few times and I even tried it wing on wing in light air. Seems very versatile.

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@martin.langhoff Because I live in Manhattan I need a sailboat I can bring on public transport (no car and no money for yacht clubs etc.) After a few false starts I settled on a folding kayak rigged to sail. Once I got it working I decided to do something I've always wanted to do. Sail around Long Island. As of yesterday I'm 146 miles into the trip with another 116 or so to go. I'm writing an article about the boat and the trip for Small Craft Advisor once it's finished. Thanks again for your help!

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On 7/31/2018 at 9:52 AM, thengling said:

Be sure to post a picture when you raise sail. Interested to see how it interacts (or not) with the yard.

 

Posted an update. See above.

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