are spinnaker snatch blocks still a thing?

floater

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I just flew my "asymmetric" spinnaker (probably a museum piece) for the first time yesterday but discovered that leading the sheets through the genoa tracks isn't the best. My first thought is that a pair of snatch blocks, fastened aft with sheets led up to the primaries, might work better. 

However, I know that technology has moved on with all sorts of cool things like soft shackles and low friction rings. So perhaps the solution could be very simple with a bit of modern technology applied? I wouldn't mind some advice on sheets as well..

Here is a picture of my early-days assymetric - the bag says "halfwinder". Note that the boat is 30', fractional, and the hoist is probably 34' or so. Its just a cruiser, but this boat has no pole so I guess this is as close to a spinnaker as it will ever get. thx.

halfwinder.jpg

 

Raz'r

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I just flew my "asymmetric" spinnaker (probably a museum piece) for the first time yesterday but discovered that leading the sheets through the genoa tracks isn't the best. My first thought is that a pair of snatch blocks, fastened aft with sheets led up to the primaries, might work better. 

However, I know that technology has moved on with all sorts of cool things like soft shackles and low friction rings. So perhaps the solution could be very simple with a bit of modern technology applied? I wouldn't mind some advice on sheets as well..

Here is a picture of my early-days assymetric - the bag says "halfwinder". Note that the boat is 30', fractional, and the hoist is probably 34' or so. Its just a cruiser, but this boat has no pole so I guess this is as close to a spinnaker as it will ever get. thx.

View attachment 470997
I removed my tracks, but I installed a couple pad eyes, and snatchblocks on those padeyes work well.

 

European Bloke

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Snatch blocks on the toe rail worked for many decades and will still work today.

 
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Ajax

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Yep. I have snatch blocks on my toe rail. You could put low friction rings on the toe trail if you're feeling racy. 

 

Raz'r

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If you really want to spend some $s, there're some damn fancy and expensive snatch blocks out there today that don't look like clunky-rubber-clad blunt-force weapons. And a low friction ring would not be my choice. 

 

IStream

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This Is The Way...that I do it too.

Sheets outside the lifelines to snatchblocks secured to the holey rail near the corners of the transom and led forward to the primaries. I modified the crowns of my (circa 1991) Lewmar 66 primaries, shaving about 1/8" off the upper crown standoff, to accept the thinner, more modern lines.

 

floater

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Nah, they aren't low friction enough to be used for running rigging. 
darn. that's really what I wanted to do. I would like to open up the leach - hence bail on the genoa track. And I have distinct memories of clunky snatch blocks bashing around - plus, a heavy snatch block isn't really the thing in truly light air anyway (sheet doesn't run fair). 

I'm quite happy to mess around with some dyneema myself - but yes. I'm also looking for something practical as this sail isn't going to be in high rotation anyway. I'm pretty sure its original to the boat - and its still crinkly!

 
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floater

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Floater said "asymmetric", not asymmetric.
lol. yes. its definitely asymmetric. But it's of a very early variety (circa mid 80's) and of western European origin apparently. 

For anybody into the history of sail making.. this is it: 




 
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floater

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It looks symmetric to me…
yes. in fact, the tack had a sheet attached when I pulled it out the bag on Sunday (for the very first time) so yes apparently the PO (or likely PPO) had the same idea. I was tempted to fly it symmetrically as it isn't really very happy at the low angles I would like to use it for. The photo doesn't show it, and it is subtle, but the bottom yellow panel is definitely wider at the luff than the leach. For curiosity's sake, I guess I should try and match luff to leach along the length and see just what is different..

Note that the luff has a single hank near the hoist and at the tack to attach to the forestay. it is a strange beast.

 

European Bloke

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darn. that's really what I wanted to do. I would like to open up the leach - hence bail on the genoa track. And I have distinct memories of clunky snatch blocks bashing around - plus, a heavy snatch block isn't really the thing in truly light air anyway (sheet doesn't run fair). 

I'm quite happy to mess around with some dyneema myself - but yes. I'm also looking for something practical as this sail isn't going to be in high rotation anyway. I'm pretty sure its original to the boat - and its still crinkly!
Loop of elastic luggage tagged to the lower lifeline apps the black banging around. Also makes it harder for the bowman to drop the block over the side.

 

IStream

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Of course you can, but snatch blocks come with two conveniences:

1. Easy attachment to things

2. Easy opening of the side plate so you can run a line through it without access to the bitter end

#2 is especially nice.

 

European Bloke

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Of course you can, but snatch blocks come with two conveniences:

1. Easy attachment to things

2. Easy opening of the side plate so you can run a line through it without access to the bitter end

#2 is especially nice.
But as most kite sheets in that situation go under the lifeline is not really relevant.

I always think of snatch blocks because they were what we always had a couple of floating around to sort shit out with.

 

floater

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..I always think of snatch blocks because they were what we always had a couple of floating around to sort shit out with.
I keep groping in the storage bins for the snatch blocks I believe should be there - but I just aren't. lol. idk how the PO flew this thing but my assumption rn is by running the sheets through the genoa cars.

anyway, I appreciate all the good advice, and so it would seem that yes, spinnaker snatch blocks are still very much a thing. my dream was to dangle a couple of simple rings off either aft corner and call it a day - but apparently, although low friction rings are gaining traction, they still aren't there. At least for sheets anyway. That said, I'm stubborn, and I would certainly give it a try if they weren't so expensive. who knew, I thought these things would be next to free. the other argument against it is that the rings are supposed to work well with slippery dyneema - but this is kind of the opposite of what you want for a sheet, where what you want is a nice 'hand' - and I am also open to advice on modern lines for sheets - but somehow, I don't think dyneema is it.

I have sourced a pair of lightweight blocks. But now my concern is that perhaps they are too light. Please correct me if I am wrong, but given the spinny sheet is going through a big turn at the block, the load is nearly doubled. ouch. The blocks I ordered:

  • WORKING LOAD 800 LBS BREAKING LOAD 2000 LBS. 

Given my goal is to fly this thing "in light air only" I should be okay. But we all know about best intentions..

 
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