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Code Zero on J boat sprit


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I'm interested in finding a light air headsail that can be flown without having to remove the jib from the furler and putting on a new sail (I know, I know - lazy) 

 

I've been reading over posts where people are talking about flying Code Zero sails, but based on what I've read so far, a Code Zero is a no-go on a J Boat bowsprit because the sprit can't handle the luff tension. Since some of the posts pre-date the production of my J/95, I thought I'd re-raise the topic.

Can you fly a Code Zero on a J/95 Sprit?

Are there other solutions for light air? 
 

BTW, I'm talking about daysailing, not racing. 

 

 

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You would have to consider a bobstay for the sprit on a J95. I have sailed a J95 a few times and once in quite a lot of breeze and there was a lot of sprit flex even with a small kite (the sprit snapped on a test with Yachts & Yachting magazine). You could also look at mounting a code 0 tack on the stem of the boat instead of the sprit. It’s isn’t as optimal but like you said, you’re not racing

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Blur who you will see referenced often here, has rigged up a bobstay about half the way out the pole on their J/111. It isn't rigid so they can retract the pole with it still on. Peter would likely share some info if you asked.

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J 95's look like a lot of fun.

Fitting a bobstay is not hard. I have done it twice on Corsair Tri by adding a u bolt just above the waterline with a white oak back block epoxied. The lower down you get it to the waterline the better. A piece of 1/4 spectra with a lashing on one one end.    I will be adding one soon to my J32. The Anchor well drain holes might be able to be reinforced on the inside with less cosmetic consequence, and  a loop pushed though and a dog bone. It's only a day project with the right planning.

Code zeros are fun to fly. They certainly can keep you entertained on light air days going up wind and heavy air days of the wind.

https://www.colligomarine.com/products has some lashing blocks that are sexy. John is great to talk to about stuff like this.

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On J/111 BLUR we were told by J/boats that we could run a code max 1 meter out on the sprit. So we did a setup that worked great with both a 75% code, a 50% code and a Jib Zero (essentially a big jib). 

More on that setup here: "Why tack the code halfway on the sprit?"

But for this season we looked at a new cableless code, or Helix as North Sails call them, and decided that the lower loads would allow us to run it from the end of the sprit. Seen here on Ramrod:

RamrodHelixCode.jpg

So, in conclusion:

If you want a real light upwind sail, we're talking about a Jib Zero that needs lots of tension. I would run that 1 meter out like we did. But if it's not for racing I would stay away, since you run into many things (you'll probably want a 2:1 halyard).

For fun daysailing I would ge a modern 50% code, put a bobstay on and run it from the end of the sprit. So much easier. Will work kind of "upwindish" but also be super fun on a tight reach. 

Here's our new setup during Roles Middle Sea Race:

RMSR21-36.jpg

 

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Since you are lazy, you might consider a smaller than full size Code 0.  Max size Code 0's require attention when sailing and have a limited range of wind speed and wind range.  A smaller version might suit the lazy sailor better as well as reducing the load on your sprit.  Also, if you aren't racing the sail you don't need sail to rate as a spinnaker.  That could allow for design latitude outside of a Code sail.

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2 hours ago, longbeachsailor said:

@Blur do you have a torsion cable in that north cableless code zero? We have one without one and the furling can be tricky 

Yup, there's a cable in there, and we're experimenting with the proper load distribution between sail/cable. Right now we're probably at 60/40 or 70/30. Top-down furling works perfectly. 

Our setup below: Profurl NEX 2.5 + Facnor FX+ 2500 swivel.

FURLING-10.thumb.jpg.fc449b23857ad4e9efabfa7ce1e916af.jpg

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@Blur nice setup! Our north rep was weary about putting a cable in, for concern of limiting the efficiency of the luff projection. But top down is super reliable, nice to have assurance of a good furl every time offshore…

not sure if ramrod has a cable in theirs hard to tell from the picture

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3 hours ago, Monkey said:

A J92 I race on runs a fractional zero tacked to the middle of the sprit without a bobstay. Going on three years now, there’s been no issues. 

I don't know if this question is daft, but could that same thing be accomplished by just deploying the sprit halfway?

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10 minutes ago, Quickstep192 said:

I don't know if this question is daft, but could that same thing be accomplished by just deploying the sprit halfway?

Logical question. We use a strop to hold the zero halfway and fully extend the sprit just so everything is always repeatable. That way halyard tension only relies on the halyard, and not trying to figure it if you set the sprit just right. There’s also a turboed Melges 30 in our fleet with the same set up. I’ll most likely do the same this year with my Mount Gay 30. My current zero relies on a fully extended sprit, but doesn’t have a bobstay. It has also removed one sprit already, so something has to change. Lol!

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14 hours ago, Blur said:

Yup, there's a cable in there, and we're experimenting with the proper load distribution between sail/cable. Right now we're probably at 60/40 or 70/30. Top-down furling works perfectly. 

Our setup below: Profurl NEX 2.5 + Facnor FX+ 2500 swivel.

FURLING-10.thumb.jpg.fc449b23857ad4e9efabfa7ce1e916af.jpg

The new Toggle from Cyclops might be useful in finding cable tensions!

What we’re finding is yes you can make a sail furl without a cable but it isn’t reliable. The new future fibres hybrid cable I believe is smaller and is only there for the purpose of furling and nothing else. I’ve heard from customers that North have been selling them a “cable free code 0” for cruising that’s easy to maintain and easy to stow but the sail has still turned up with a fat Marlow furling cable in the luff and the thing doesn’t want to go back in it’s bag!

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On 12/6/2021 at 2:05 AM, Blur said:

 

But for this season we looked at a new cableless code, or Helix as North Sails call them, and decided that the lower loads would allow us to run it from the end of the sprit. Seen here on Ramrod:

RamrodHelixCode.jpg

I'm trying to figure out how the bobstay is fitted to the end of the sprit on RamRod. It looks like there's a loop around the sprit, then the line goes through the furler, then past the end of the sprit and then down to the stem. What I can't determine from the picture is how the bobstay is held in place on the end of the sprit. I'm also wondering if they'd use the same line for the chute. 
 

Any thoughts on how to rig the bobstay to the end of the sprit?

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30 minutes ago, Quickstep192 said:

Any thoughts on how to rig the bobstay to the end of the sprit?

New England Yacht Rigging made this custom sprit end for my J/111. You can see the bobstay feeds into it. Inside the sprit is a system that automagically retracts the bobstay when we retract the sprit, and lets it feed out when we extend it. Of course, we always have to fully extend for any sail. My Code Zero is North (a slightly older design I think) with a top down furler. Under the drum is a shackle that we connect to that loop. 

Excuse the dock line and headsail feeder, this was taken at the slip, standing on the bow.

 

IMG_3237.JPG

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4 hours ago, Blur said:

sprit-ends.thumb.jpg.990bfcd282d18f9f5bb603784cb80ad2.jpg

Top + left = SD Boatworks. Right bottom = Ramrod.

We attach the bobstay with a lashing over the outer end of the custom tack-line lead (seen above).

 

Thanks for the detailed photos. Another possibly daft question: Can I mod the existing end in my sprit, or do I need to replace it? It appears to be some kind of high density plastic like HDPE. 

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I guess you have the same sprit end as the J/111 (with the U-bolt)? I would be careful modifying it to much...

We got down to three alternatives:

  1. Fasten a Dyneema-loop for the bobstay in the existing hardware. Would work for the bobstay, but would make it hard to use twin tackiness (we needed a 2:1 tackline to stabilize the furler
  2. Maker a custom sprit end, like the ones above. But we don't have a local "boat works" and some Transpacific racers advised against Dyneema loops because of chafe. Works great for static loads, but 10 days to Hawaii is another matter.
  3. Get the engineers in the crew to design a custom part that could be fitted inside the existing U-bolt. Many iterations later... The biggest benefit is that we get the code "inside" and the normal tackline for the genanser "outside" that aligns very well with the halyards on the J/111.

sprit-versions.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, Blur said:

I guess you have the same sprit end as the J/111 (with the U-bolt)? I would be careful modifying it to much...

We got down to three alternatives:

  1. Fasten a Dyneema-loop for the bobstay in the existing hardware. Would work for the bobstay, but would make it hard to use twin tackiness (we needed a 2:1 tackline to stabilize the furler
  2. Maker a custom sprit end, like the ones above. But we don't have a local "boat works" and some Transpacific racers advised against Dyneema loops because of chafe. Works great for static loads, but 10 days to Hawaii is another matter.
  3. Get the engineers in the crew to design a custom part that could be fitted inside the existing U-bolt. Many iterations later... The biggest benefit is that we get the code "inside" and the normal tackline for the genanser "outside" that aligns very well with the halyards on the J/111.

sprit-versions.jpg

 

Option 4 also exists. Pay off a coworker with beer to redesign the cap then abuse work resources to print it in carbon. That’s what I currently have in process to add a second tack line. 

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10 minutes ago, Zonker said:

"Develop alternative prototype manufacturing methods/designs"...

Also "Vodka + grapefruit juice" = office supplies

I like the way you think. 
 

Edit: to be fair, I paid for materials and was a volunteer Guinea pig in trying them, so work was cool with it. But now I’ve got three lower rudder bushings (which should last me at least ten years or so) already made and the sprit cap is waiting for it’s slot in the print schedule. 

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Blur - Unless it's already been modded, my sprit cap is not the same. Mine is just a plug with a hole through the center. 
 

Monkey - I'm seriously envious. I think I could actually draw the design, but I'd need to find someone to fab it. 
 

I like this end from Selden. It seems to provide an attachment point on the top for the Code furler as well as an attachment point on the underside for the bobstay. This seems to transfer luff tension through the fitting itself. (Which I think is good, right?). It also provides a center hole for the spinnaker tack. Best I can tell, Selden doesn't sell just the fitting. I think I'll have a go at drawing it while I try to find someone to fab it. 

 

 

4593B279-3504-401C-A6C7-A40C13B207BA.jpeg

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Are you able to get enough tension on the bobstay to make it effectively work?   When the bobstay runs to the end of the sprit the pulling angle is not very effective and as you can't use a turnbuckle to pre-tension the bobstay I wonder if it effectively prevents the sprit from moving upwards in case the code 0 is pulling hard.

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6 hours ago, ZeeZee said:

Are you able to get enough tension on the bobstay to make it effectively work?   When the bobstay runs to the end of the sprit the pulling angle is not very effective and as you can't use a turnbuckle to pre-tension the bobstay I wonder if it effectively prevents the sprit from moving upwards in case the code 0 is pulling hard.

I dont't think it would be possible with a "traditional" code. With our old code we had the tack fixed 1 meter out on the sprit, the buggest guy on board pulled as hard as he could win a 2:1 halyard + we used the full length of the hydraulics to get tension. And even then we could have used more.

A "modern" code (cable-less from North/Doyle) require 50% less tension, so now we have 2 big guys pulling the sprit out, pre-tensioning the bobstay as much as possible. Hoisting in 1:1 halyard and then grinding down hard on a 2:1 tackline. Seems to work ok, with a stable sprit in puffs or waves. 

Tension is key! Be sure to beef up all hardware and expect things to break :lol:

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13 hours ago, Quickstep192 said:

Blur - Unless it's already been modded, my sprit cap is not the same. Mine is just a plug with a hole through the center. 
 

Monkey - I'm seriously envious. I think I could actually draw the design, but I'd need to find someone to fab it. 
 

If it's just a plug with a hole in the center, how do you run a tackline out through the end? If you can design a part, you can prototype it in plastic on any 3D printer and when you reach the final design, you can send the design out to be printed in carbon. But, 3D carbon has a lot of nylon so I wonder if it would be strong enough. 

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1 minute ago, George Dewey said:

If it's just a plug with a hole in the center, how do you run a tackline out through the end? If you can design a part, you can prototype it in plastic on any 3D printer and when you reach the final design, you can send the design out to be printed in carbon. But, 3D carbon has a lot of nylon so I wonder if it would be strong enough. 

There’s a short length of dyneema that passes through that center hole and is knotted on the inside of the sprit. On the outside, there’s a loop in the dyneema with a low friction ring. The tack line passes through that ring. 

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1 minute ago, Quickstep192 said:

There’s a short length of dyneema that passes through that center hole and is knotted on the inside of the sprit. On the outside, there’s a loop in the dyneema with a low friction ring. The tack line passes through that ring. 

Oh I see. Well in a pinch, perhaps you could just add an attachment point to that sprit end to attach a bobstay? 

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1 hour ago, George Dewey said:

Oh I see. Well in a pinch, perhaps you could just add an attachment point to that sprit end to attach a bobstay? 

I was actually just thinking about the possibility of adding a U-Bolt in the “beefy” part of the cap, using a 65% Code sail and committing to only  projecting the sprit part-way with the code sail. 
 

Does this sound reasonable? I’m still at the phase where I’m trying to learn, while recognizing how much I don’t know. 

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5 hours ago, George Dewey said:

If it's just a plug with a hole in the center, how do you run a tackline out through the end? If you can design a part, you can prototype it in plastic on any 3D printer and when you reach the final design, you can send the design out to be printed in carbon. But, 3D carbon has a lot of nylon so I wonder if it would be strong enough. 

My current cap is just a plug with a hole in the middle. Works just fine. The tack line runs internally. It also has a goofy mushroom tip on it, so when the sprit is fully retracted, it overlaps the tube coming from the hull. It works surprisingly well at keeping water out when bashing through waves upwind. 

D603281C-9553-4090-B462-E91F69698143.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Amati said:

How about a Yankee?  Do it right, and you could fly it and the jib at the same time.  UK calls it a flying jib- back to the future

 

 

1404E017-6D63-4622-88EA-D330B5C8C23E.jpeg

We see UK pushing this config as a "rulebeater", but I haven't really seen the results to prove that it's superior to a code. 

I've raced on a J/111 with this config, and it works extremely well for the conditions in the photo. But it can't do the work of a code in TWA 75 in 2 knots or TWA 125 in 25 knots. So the sweet spot is much smaller.

I guess their marketing will change when they figure out how to produce a modern code :ph34r:

We took the experiences from Blur to a local J/121. They run a Jib 0 (instead of a code) from the end of the sprit, and in combination with a J4 on a inner forestay they get a brilliant config for tight reaches. But that config is impossible to run under IRC.

No easy answers :lol:

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4 hours ago, Blur said:

We see UK pushing this config as a "rulebeater", but I haven't really seen the results to prove that it's superior to a code. 

I've raced on a J/111 with this config, and it works extremely well for the conditions in the photo. But it can't do the work of a code in TWA 75 in 2 knots or TWA 125 in 25 knots. So the sweet spot is much smaller.

I guess their marketing will change when they figure out how to produce a modern code :ph34r:

We took the experiences from Blur to a local J/121. They run a Jib 0 (instead of a code) from the end of the sprit, and in combination with a J4 on a inner forestay they get a brilliant config for tight reaches. But that config is impossible to run under IRC.

No easy answers :lol:

I know any modern J with outboard shrouds can’t carry an overlapping genoa but hypothetically if you measured a J121 with a 145% overlapping genoa and took that rating I wonder how it would compare with a masthead J0 on handicap. A better example might be the handicap of a J109 with the full light airs overlapper compared to the handicap of a masthead J0 tacked to the sprit. Sail areas must be similar…

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42 minutes ago, JL92S said:

I know any modern J with outboard shrouds can’t carry an overlapping genoa but hypothetically if you measured a J121 with a 145% overlapping genoa and took that rating I wonder how it would compare with a masthead J0 on handicap. A better example might be the handicap of a J109 with the full light airs overlapper compared to the handicap of a masthead J0 tacked to the sprit. Sail areas must be similar…

I would guess pretty similar rating hit in IRC - i e not worth it.

In ORC, and several other rules, the hits is very similar for a genoa vs a J0 with the same size. Also not as "punished" as in IRC. The research I did on the ORR Large Roach Headsail or “Tweener” indicate similar results. 

Great discussion re the original post "I'm talking about daysailing, not racing." :lol:

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"I'm talking about daysailing, not racing."

For maximum bang for the buck I would get a 50% "code" (or flat gennaker/jibtop/tweener/...) in nylon. No bobstay needed, cheap, fun downwind in heavy air when you don't want the A2. Sure, you can only do TWA 85 in light air (instead of 70 with a code) but it's just daysailing. You don't want VMG :lol:

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3 hours ago, Blur said:

"I'm talking about daysailing, not racing."

For maximum bang for the buck I would get a 50% "code" (or flat gennaker/jibtop/tweener/...) in nylon. No bobstay needed, cheap, fun downwind in heavy air when you don't want the A2. Sure, you can only do TWA 85 in light air (instead of 70 with a code) but it's just daysailing. You don't want VMG :lol:

I was just coming here to say this.  A heavy nylon sail (I have used AirX 900 or similar for this application on a J88), made a bit larger and deeper so it is more of an A1 or A0.  If you're not racing you can cut the mid girth down somewhere between 50-60% depending on the application.  I have done these sails both on a furler or with a 6mm dyneema luff cord (and bag launched).  We set the luff length a bit longer than a standard zero so it won't load up on the pole.

We have used similar sails in racing conditions (with proper mid girths) sailing around 60-70 degrees TWA without a bow sprit with no issues.

For cruising applications this is going to cost 1/3 to 1/2 of doing a racing zero with a higher end fabric, furler and torsion cable, and a bobstay; and it will do 95% of what the racing one will do in conditions most of us cruise in.

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16 hours ago, Blur said:

We see UK pushing this config as a "rulebeater", but I haven't really seen the results to prove that it's superior to a code. 

I've raced on a J/111 with this config, and it works extremely well for the conditions in the photo. But it can't do the work of a code in TWA 75 in 2 knots or TWA 125 in 25 knots. So the sweet spot is much smaller.

I guess their marketing will change when they figure out how to produce a modern code :ph34r:

We took the experiences from Blur to a local J/121. They run a Jib 0 (instead of a code) from the end of the sprit, and in combination with a J4 on a inner forestay they get a brilliant config for tight reaches. But that config is impossible to run under IRC.

No easy answers :lol:

The pic was just an example- I couldn’t find my pic of a Britton Chance 40er flying a more traditional Yankee (which is said to be more versatile). & The OP said something about day sailing, not racing, IIRR.  Personally, I’m looking at more light air upwind, and medium downwind (reaching most of the time). Our stern wave has left the boat at ~ 12K TW anyway under full main alone deep reaching , but we’re just a fast cruising boat, not a racer. (What’s a code zero jib?:D)  So a ‘proper’ Yankee cut for our boat would be less everything to wrestle with, and we play apparent wind, so it’s rare that we are going DDW.  Somehow I thought the more modern J’s didn’t need big sails to move into apparent wind sailing, so my apologies.

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11 hours ago, Bad Andy said:

Couldn't find the original but here is a shot of one we did back when I worked for Quantum, power reaching in 15 wind around 80 TWA.  Bag launched and no bobstay, 75% mid girth.

2md_Wl-ScVhonueMHfD7WeTNrgejiNMydlekQafMFRj17tIjW1kywrZrTxFB0A0__BioOcnGsLDis575jvgMVJkC_5E_I8lDNyMbv6uW5mRF8elXe8N4FiZlulQLGy2HHl5xXUmXjuS9zHk8PfevX1BzmznvKyQZi2byjlDtOH5xT_PXeYiAbvH3Ra8y1v3RuuAaPkVdFZSzWyg0CmL6keHYZH-O1ka1WjKMDS2Efmjx2c2KYBpNc0R7Ykf7B8oG_SoGMlDJJ8uRY5NvRsFwIig25ARKaahfHQNOCkv64oz9lKsvli3DV0GauALJlNXUZ9uouuvHr0xcvhKt04e91MlYkyHE1_SbZAeWw0N1Wwg19rZWtcYAm2ydEH539wVxBmnirkbJ6kKJUJvyLgYp9ahjRFHcwv1CuSMBjFArDvPPwcmRqWXh4aZ1OU5DZfw9ZFs2VC2eRqb5Mo3ivE562P8iqjs4ix8QhpMd98eDbhcrFwEypnXlNM3MXvf2JNsY67hf0N6tmqKcaGtYARmy3Bnzs5riB_0WeIw8AuK7u7F8f8ypLYfhCK8XkgmrZgOA5pk3AmEMVgRzsBmDiWIlvehrFZz64NRuFrkH3yeSFPyJtNa_-AE_Zj_N0QjQ6vrAntH7Y-bQ4Wzf4AxQJa3Pj3ri_xKBVMatBl3ynoUiXK4EWDyNBlZXoCg9Wg_rCr8ikNsdJ43embjxWxYjpns0He7e7A=w1752-h1314-no?authuser=0

Nice URL

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9 hours ago, Amati said:

Somehow I thought the more modern J’s didn’t need big sails to move into apparent wind sailing, so my apologies.

Strange, but in 3 knots of wind sail area really helps no matter what arkimedian monohull you are in :lol: Some of the mordent J's are sporty, but they're not AC72's.

yysw306499.jpg

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7 hours ago, Blur said:

Strange, but in 3 knots of wind sail area really helps no matter what arkimedian monohull you are in :lol: Some of the mordent J's are sporty, but they're not AC72's.

yysw306499.jpg

Daysailing with a few friends!  Dying wind? (Wind waves look more like 5-6k?)  We have a drifter along those lines (165%) and it’s overpowered in 4 knots on a close reach- the apparent wind changes so much we wind up on a broad reach, like your pic, and even there, we’re at 15 degrees heel.  Doing hull speed, but it makes for a lot of tiller and sheet  action.  The Garda racers had this experience with huge overlapping light air sails- large increases in hull acceleration made for wild AW. Our idea with the Yankee smaller sail in light air is to catch more air up high with better choice as far as course, and easier sail handling, which looks to have been a strategy on Lk Windermere in the late 19c because of the gusty conditions there- hardly any wind to pretty big gusts with very little time to react. Anyway, it’s only money, right?

3-5 knots TW with our small assym, deep reach, doing hull speed, but not much help going upwind

BB0A08F8-CB88-460C-9A41-8B4875A32380.jpeg

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On 12/7/2021 at 8:08 PM, Blur said:

Yup, there's a cable in there, and we're experimenting with the proper load distribution between sail/cable. Right now we're probably at 60/40 or 70/30. Top-down furling works perfectly. 

Our setup below: Profurl NEX 2.5 + Facnor FX+ 2500 swivel.

FURLING-10.thumb.jpg.fc449b23857ad4e9efabfa7ce1e916af.jpg

Hi Blur, what fitting is that under your furler. that must help heaps with keeping the drum aligned when furling and unfurling!

 

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46 minutes ago, Blur said:

Correct. Looked at several alternatives to make it as easy as possible for the bowman, but ended up with this.

I suppose the nice thing about a retracting sprit is that you can bring the whole mess to you (instead of climbing out to it) if there is unfucking to be done.

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45 minutes ago, JMOD said:

thanks!! do you leave the fitting on the tackline? or is there an easy way to take it off without the hazard of dropping it in the water?

We leave it on + connect it to a loop at the pulpit. 

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  • 2 months later...

I’m reviving this thread to validate something the sailmaker told me. 
 

He says that a 65% cable free Code sail with a load distributing luff shouldn’t put excessive tension on the sprit in wind below 15kts. 
 

Does this sound accurate/reasonable?

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1 hour ago, Quickstep192 said:

He says that a 65% cable free Code sail with a load distributing luff shouldn’t put excessive tension on the sprit in wind below 15kts. 

Keyword is "excessive" :P 

We measured 600 kg static load on a 55% code with cable, so maybe twice that in dynamic load? If the guess is that the "cableless" or Helix load is 50%, it's still >500 kg load that need to be managed when you run into a wave at 15 kts of wind.

We'll try to do some actual measurments with a SmartLink this summer.

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One other thing to think about - the bobstay and the luff essentially look like a bow string with the prod as an arrow. There is a lot of force on the prod extension hardware attached to the bulkheads below. I don't know what's down there in a J111, but I had the padeye pull through the bulkhead on my J105 after a roundup in high breeze with the regular sized kite.

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3 hours ago, Wet Spreaders said:

One other thing to think about - the bobstay and the luff essentially look like a bow string with the prod as an arrow. There is a lot of force on the prod extension hardware attached to the bulkheads below. I don't know what's down there in a J111, but I had the padeye pull through the bulkhead on my J105 after a roundup in high breeze with the regular sized kite.

+1 We beefed up the backing plate in the anchor locker, replaced the block with a low-friction ring and upgraded the cam cleat to the huge "offshore version" with a carbon backing plate. 

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