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J109 PHRF Asso douse in big air (20knts)


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41 minutes ago, Movable Ballast said:

I'm interested to know the best way to get these huge assos down in a blow. We seem to really struggle with it. 

Thanks.

Over the boom letter box drop into the cabin.

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Because I ran my boat with a big PHRF chute, and my young teen kids as crew, we routinely doused into the foredeck hatch with a retrieval line tied to the tack.  Works really well, esp when coming into a mark on a tight angle.  Blow the sheet, then blow the tack line, then squirrel starts pulling in on the retrieval line.  Once tack is in the hatch, start feeding halyard to them.  As long as you don't dump halyard, it's nearly foolproof, and keeps the kite forward out of the cockpit.  Leave lines attached and you can set again right out of the hatch.  We would run the tapes just to make sure something hadn't twisted on the drop, and to get the tack (which is at the bottom of the pile) back up and ready to prefeed on the next set.  Depending on what gybe you doused on, you also might need to relead the halyard.

Not the fastest, most tactical takedown, but the easiest to execute with newer/younger crew.

Letterbox pretty foolproof as well...

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Bill Gladstone filmed J/109 Loki doing a tack line drop during the 2018 J/109 NAs.  I personally haven't used this method, but Loki does it very efficiently in all breeze conditions.

J/109 Loki Tack Line Spinnaker Drop

In big air (PHRF sails) we usually don't use the big (120 sqm) kite but use the class 108 sqm kite, and will do a letterbox as mentioned in the posts above.

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Ours was 130+ sqm (aka "The Whomper"). Routinely did letterbox takedown in marginal conditions.

Plus, it's the helm that make it super easy or super hard!

I see boats struggle in 12 knots when the helm doesn't help out, but we do "standard" takedowns with 155 sqm on the J/111 in 20+ knots without issues. But the back of the boat needs to concentrate 100% - both in calling the layline as well as getting room to bearing off to unload.

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Our big kite is even bigger at 150sqm, and we've taken to spiking in a blow.

Jib out, head deep, strap the kite, lazy sheet led to the companionway, and then spike it. Works every time, no drama.  Just have to re-run the tapes & make sure bow person doesn't fall off.

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Raced J109 for years with 141 sqm kite. We went through the forward hatch every time. (Fully crewed) Never did a letterbox. 

Preferred method is gybe drop, followed by mexican/lee drop, sometimes substituted for windward drop. WW drop is safer but takes a while. The two keys are a good shadow by the helm, and being slick in the pit. In all instances, tack line last, let the pole help you keep it out of the water.   

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22 hours ago, Salona said:

Our big kite is even bigger at 150sqm, and we've taken to spiking in a blow.

Jib out, head deep, strap the kite, lazy sheet led to the companionway, and then spike it. Works every time, no drama.  Just have to re-run the tapes & make sure bow person doesn't fall off.

Sorry Salona, could you clarify what you mean by spike it? I get everything you wrote except that.

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10 minutes ago, danstanford said:

Sorry Salona, could you clarify what you mean by spike it? I get everything you wrote except that.

We use a T12 Tylaska trigger  shackle on the tack lines. Bowman crawls out on the end of the pole and trips the tylaska using a spike.  (When it's loaded up, don't be tempted to use your finger, or you might lose part of it.)

Tylaska trigger shackle:

image.png.b4e9289804f88cdf5c3e4bc972b6690d.png

Spike:

 

image.png.38c8c6bd4450a34b0d2f50a52b64754b.png

 

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How different is this from just opening the tack line clutch? Is it that it releases more quickly and fully collapsing the chute more easily? 

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26 minutes ago, danstanford said:

How different is this from just opening the tack line clutch? Is it that it releases more quickly and fully collapsing the chute more easily? 

With proper gear, there's no difference. Just a longer tackline (ours is 8 mm w extra cover in proper areas).

And you can keep people back in the bus. To send someone out on a 2 meter sprit going downwind in 20+ knots it's kind of :unsure: 

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1 hour ago, danstanford said:

How different is this from just opening the tack line clutch? Is it that it releases more quickly and fully collapsing the chute more easily? 

Just my opinion, but after doing it both ways, I'd rather spike it, because the sail seems to flag behind with less drag and almost no chance of problems. Whereas blowing the clutch has the risk that the tack line jams or snags and resets the kite 20-30 ft behind the boat, which is a disaster.

But yeah, going on out the end of the pole can be sporty.  For this season, I'm replacing the tack lines with longer ones so that we can try blowing the clutch, and we're also going to experiment with using a trigger line on the tylaska, to avoid going out on the pole. 

That said... we only spike the tack when it's too difficult to do a windward takedown, like when reaching all the way to the mark and immediately hardening up. Blowing the tack is also only suitable for distance races, not W/L, because the entire kite has to be repacked in between.

 

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1 hour ago, danstanford said:

How different is this from just opening the tack line clutch? Is it that it releases more quickly and fully collapsing the chute more easily? 

There's also less gear flying around. A big Tylaska becomes a weapon above a certain wind speed. Letterboxing one through a carbon boom also makes me cringe a bit.

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If you’re gonna blow the tack line (vice spike) then you don’t need the  tylaska... just tie the tack line on.  No big heavy metal thing whipping arourd...

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we found a martin breaker was way better than just blowing the tackline, but its can also be a PITA.   both have pros and cons, nothing like the martin breaker that pops open in a gybe, or the tack line that gets fouled.   

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2 hours ago, Crash said:

If you’re gonna blow the tack line (vice spike) then you don’t need the  tylaska... just tie the tack line on.  No big heavy metal thing whipping arourd...

Agreed on avoiding the metal thing.  Do you have experience with this?  Is there a preferred knot and line?  I assume that you still have the trip-line.  Don't want it to slip or come undone but it should be able to be tripped under tension.

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When I had my J/109, tack line wasn't stripped, as it doesn't attach to a "flying" end of the sail.  So a plain bowline worked fine.  Only way to "trip" it was to release tack line clutch on side of cabintop.  Or cut it with a knife.  So making sure tack line ran cleanly matters.  Old trick of tossing into the wake when really blowing applies..

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20 minutes ago, Crash said:

When I had my J/109, tack line wasn't stripped, as it doesn't attach to a "flying" end of the sail.  So a plain bowline worked fine.  Only way to "trip" it was to release tack line clutch on side of cabintop.  Or cut it with a knife.  So making sure tack line ran cleanly matters.  Old trick of tossing into the wake when really blowing applies..

Got it! I got ahead of myself there (need to read things more thouroughly before posting). 

Methinks that keeping the tackline clear to run clean and avoiding the complex stuff would make sense.  Simple is not always foolproof but if you're not a fool, you might just stay out of trouble.

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1 hour ago, Teener said:

Simple is not always foolproof but if you're not a fool, you might just stay out of trouble.

So true.  I'm an old ex Navy Fighter backseater.  I always have said that sailboat races are like dogfights.  You didn't "win" a dogfight...the other guy lost be making more mistakes than you made.  Sailboat racing is much the same (esp. with friends and family crew).  The crew that wins is the crew that makes the least number of mistakes.  So with a less than perfect crew, I always tended to be conservative with my tactics, and gave plenty of time to conduct sail handling maneuvers as well as picked the more simple techniques...like a retrieval line takedown vice a mexican or gybe takedown.  You lose more time if you screw up a maneuver...so I always worked to first minimize screw ups, then secondly to be "more tactical"

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1 hour ago, Crash said:

So true.  I'm an old ex Navy Fighter backseater.  I always have said that sailboat races are like dogfights.  You didn't "win" a dogfight...the other guy lost be making more mistakes than you made.  Sailboat racing is much the same (esp. with friends and family crew).  The crew that wins is the crew that makes the least number of mistakes.  So with a less than perfect crew, I always tended to be conservative with my tactics, and gave plenty of time to conduct sail handling maneuvers as well as picked the more simple techniques...like a retrieval line takedown vice a mexican or gybe takedown.  You lose more time if you screw up a maneuver...so I always worked to first minimize screw ups, then secondly to be "more tactical"

Lots of crew screw-ups are do to poor tactical decisions and driving errors such as not bleeding off upwind boat speed on bearaway sets, and not blanketing the chute with the mainsail during takedowns.

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