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yeahbuoy

J80 - Spinnaker Help

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Hey all, I'm looking for some help with understanding when it is best practice to use the "Reaching" spinnaker vs the larger downwind class spinnaker.    I'm fairly new to racing and would love some input. The course is typically a there and back race over 5 miles (occasionally we'll have a triangle course).  Putting both legs of the race on a beam reach.  

In lighter air is it better to use the reacher, class spinnaker, or the 135 genoa?   I know there are a lot of variables that help.  I'm looking for just a broad rule of thumb so we can start testing things out.  Typically we have a southern wind with very little chop. 

Also is the reacher decent in winds over 10knots?  Or is it just a light air sail?

Sincerely,

Noob sailor.

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 if it's really an out and back on a beam reach, put the reacher up unless you can't carry it because the angle is too tight or you don't have enough rail meat. Then go to the genoa.

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Thanks for the reply.  We were able to carry the large class spinnaker last night on a beam.  The wind slightly clocked behind us for a little bit which helped carry it.  It had a ton of pressure loaded up.  So we had to ease quite a bit.  Letting the tack out helped a bit. 

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I'm surprised to hear that letting the tack out helped if you were reaching and a bit overpowered.   We find that if when the tack is let out that the tack drops to leeward of the centerline of the boat, we are just pulling the boat over harder, and not gaining speed.   If we are sailing deep and flat enough that the tack comes to windward of centerline, then the sail is rotating forward and the extra power in the sail is pulling you forward, not sideways.   

The question of how big a spinnaker to fly on a reach is always a tough one.  We find that we try to fly the biggest spinnaker we can that allows us to keep the boat on her feet and headed for the mark.   Unfortunately, sometimes you find out that you underestimated how windy it is, or you get headed, and you have too much spinnaker up.

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1 hour ago, Champlain Sailor said:

I'm surprised to hear that letting the tack out helped if you were reaching and a bit overpowered.   We find that if when the tack is let out that the tack drops to leeward of the centerline of the boat, we are just pulling the boat over harder, and not gaining speed.   If we are sailing deep and flat enough that the tack comes to windward of centerline, then the sail is rotating forward and the extra power in the sail is pulling you forward, not sideways.   

 The question of how big a spinnaker to fly on a reach is always a tough one.  We find that we try to fly the biggest spinnaker we can that allows us to keep the boat on her feet and headed for the mark.   Unfortunately, sometimes you find out that you underestimated how windy it is, or you get headed, and you have too much spinnaker up.

Just a few puff's that had us overpowered.  Other than that it was real steady and we were able to lay the mark fine.  The tack was no higher than the bow pulpit.  1' max.  Good to know that hauling in the tack is better for heavier air.  Always learning.

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breeze on reaching = tack down.

The deeper you sail the more you can ease it out as long as the tackline stays perpendicular to the water.  When it sags to leeward trim it in.

Fraculate the headstay on a reach, or any angle for that matter, if your jib is not up in displacement mode.  We use our reacher kite mainly for port racing when you know you gain a few degrees of height over time to gain leverage.

 

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