XYacht X4-3 Spinnaker Advice

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
Looking for fresher spinnaker handling tips. Have handled spinnakers on boats over 40' ranging from traditional hatch recovery, to top-down roller furlers, to take down lines, to old snuffers. But since I've been playing on dinghies and sportboats for a while I figured I would ask for new tips. Things change.

Boat is an XYacht X4-3, it has never been raced before.

Currently set up with a traditional top-down snuffer. This will be fine when cruising but the boat will be doing around the cans racing, sausage courses occassionally, and some short to mid distance racing though nothing offshore with only a single race per year that is overnight.

There is no simple way to add a takedown line to a winch, it’s a full-on cruiser downstairs. I can see a takedown line manually pulled down by two below with a mast person pulling in the foot to keep it out of the water and the foredeck pulling over the tack and keeping lines clean. Seems problematic in breeze? Thoughts on that?

My experience with roller furling spinnakers is mixed. A good one that is kept clean works well for hoists and take downs are straight forward, even used them on gybes when its gnarly out. But the emphasis was always on performing cleaning and maintenance on the furler(s) every week. This still true? Newer ways to solve this problem and specific furlers preferred would be? Also, downwind top downs more problematic than reachers? This due to large shoulders wrapping up?

Someone has also mentioned hatch take downs, letter box when windy. Thoughts?

Crew will practice but the boat is not full of bruisers so any system that is all brute force is a no-go. Thanks for all replies, helpful and otherwise.
 
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FlyingCircus2

Member
84
62
Mexicans down the forward hatch are basically the only takedowns I do now.

Big boat, small boat, symmetrical or asym. Left gate, right gate, lighthouse... Doesn't matter.

Jib rolls out to starboard, tuck the port jib sheet, blow the tack line and drag the chute down the hatch.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
7,003
1,285
San Diego
If you use a takedown line - crew on foredeck pull line, those under the hatch just pull cloth

Never seen a top down work well with full spinnakers - and the fuk ups were epic
 

vtsail

Anarchist
543
21
Philly
On a 4^3 you won't be able to sent the kite down the forward hatch. It only opens 90 so you would rip the kite and constantly close the hatch during the process. Only way we found to douse kites on that boat was letterbox. Worked quite well.
 

danstanford

Anarchist
680
180
Lake Ontario
On a 4^3 you won't be able to sent the kite down the forward hatch. It only opens 90 so you would rip the kite and constantly close the hatch during the process. Only way we found to douse kites on that boat was letterbox. Worked quite well.
So you have to re-pack and launch from a bag again or do you hoist from the companionway? I could really support that method for ocean racing but on a sausage course where you have to hoist and dowse several times in a race it seems to be pretty slow.
 

dacapo

Super Anarchist
13,834
1,682
NY
So the X4 has a short teeny sprit and a small foredeck IiRC. Seeing one race this past season.

For any mid length or distance race there’s usually plenty of time to repack the kite so you can get it down which ever way is easiest at that time ( letterbox or stretch and blow …leeward takedown) but for short course racing it would be exclusively a Mexican or windward douse ( in lighter winds) down the hatch. As stated above if the hatches on that boat do not go all the way back to flush with the deck, I would consider the hatch and purchase a new hatch that would allow that. lewmar Makes them. If that is not going to happen, I would devise a way to protect the forward hatch so that it does not break, nor does it tear rip or catch the spinnaker as it is doused into that hatch.
 

Remodel

Super Anarchist
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That foredeck hatch looks bespoke, but there aren't many good images of it on the website. I'm not sure you can fit an off the shelf hatch without some serious modification.

They are using a furler though in this video, which is fine for distance racing and long courses, but I prefer conventional takedowns and launches through the foredeck for short courses.

 

jackolantern

Super Anarchist
1,696
516
On a 4^3 you won't be able to sent the kite down the forward hatch. It only opens 90 so you would rip the kite and constantly close the hatch during the process. Only way we found to douse kites on that boat was letterbox. Worked quite well.
Looks like the same hatch as on the Xp44

The arm that limits the hatch to opening 90deg is easily removable. Then it opens just fine flipping forward.

Have done all kinds of drops through the fwd hatch on a 44 and had no troubles. You CAN hatch launch, but it goes faster out of the bag.

Offshore it’s Letterboxes only. Don’t worry about that.
 

vtsail

Anarchist
543
21
Philly
Looks like the same hatch as on the Xp44

The arm that limits the hatch to opening 90deg is easily removable. Then it opens just fine flipping forward.

Have done all kinds of drops through the fwd hatch on a 44 and had no troubles. You CAN hatch launch, but it goes faster out of the bag.

Offshore it’s Letterboxes only. Don’t worry about that.
Sadly this isn't true - the hatch is recessed so the hinge point sits in a well that is below the main deck level so even with the arm removed you can't flip the hatch down. We used letterbox drops exclusively even buoy racing. That leaves you with two options: have 2 running kites and launch one on the first leg and one on the second or have a really fast bowman who can pack the kite on the weather leg. Shouldn't take that long and only impacts your speed in having one person off the rail. We opted for the fast bow woman approach.
 

jackolantern

Super Anarchist
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516
Sadly this isn't true - the hatch is recessed so the hinge point sits in a well that is below the main deck level so even with the arm removed you can't flip the hatch down. We used letterbox drops exclusively even buoy racing. That leaves you with two options: have 2 running kites and launch one on the first leg and one on the second or have a really fast bowman who can pack the kite on the weather leg. Shouldn't take that long and only impacts your speed in having one person off the rail. We opted for the fast bow woman approach.
Then I take it back. Those crazy Danes really can miss the mark sometimes. the 44 was the last good boat that XYachts made.
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
Thanks for responses so far.

So no one has a furling system they feel is bullet proof and can be fast? I worked on getting one set up properly to run the line through a winch to speed up the process and keep the spinnaker under pressure, but it was never perfect enough to do in W/L's.

Sounds like there will be some timed chute packing contests at the dock between crew while others heckle and drink. I'm not sure the idea of pulling a chute through the hatch will make certain people very happy.

Dousing and running a Farr40 chute was never a big deal but the forepeak was always empty and the hatch was appropriate. I've done it on much bigger boats with syms, but I have yet to step onto the boat as it was just delivered. Never thought I'd read that a foredeck hatch would not open flat on the deck, that's sub-optimal if true. Have a meeting tonight but will take a walk on the deck tomorrow morning.
 

221J

Member
200
75
CT
I may be about to learn something, but I don't think furlers are for racing chutes. Code sails, yes. Headsails, yes. But not chutes. In order to get the upper part of my codes into the furl, as opposed to flapping in the breeze, I have to use top down furling and that requires either a torsion rope or built-in structure that spinnakers don't have. Bottom up is faster but leaves an incomplete furl.

Also, I'm not sure winching a furler line is a good idea. The right furler has enough leverage for a single person to manually wind it in and add a second to pull it in faster in a race. Winches have too much leverage.
 

FlyingCircus2

Member
84
62
I've done a few douses on a dheler 42 that I guess also has one of those weird half-opening hatches. You can still hoist and douse just fine - but on the douses you must have a squirrel.
 

jackolantern

Super Anarchist
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516
You been on the 55?
Yeah. Nice cruising boat. 55 is chunkier for its size though, makes lots of concessions to cruising, and is far less ergonomic:

Tough cockpit for racing with the 4 winch layout. Better with 6 winches but still tragic to have the halyard pit in the same area as the mainsheet.

Have you?
 

dacapo

Super Anarchist
13,834
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NY
Yeah. Nice cruising boat. 55 is chunkier for its size though, makes lots of concessions to cruising, and is far less ergonomic:

Tough cockpit for racing with the 4 winch layout. Better with 6 winches but still tragic to have the halyard pit in the same area as the mainsheet.

Have you?
I will be
 

Remodel

Super Anarchist
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None
Thanks for responses so far.

So no one has a furling system they feel is bullet proof and can be fast? I worked on getting one set up properly to run the line through a winch to speed up the process and keep the spinnaker under pressure, but it was never perfect enough to do in W/L's.

Sounds like there will be some timed chute packing contests at the dock between crew while others heckle and drink. I'm not sure the idea of pulling a chute through the hatch will make certain people very happy.

Dousing and running a Farr40 chute was never a big deal but the forepeak was always empty and the hatch was appropriate. I've done it on much bigger boats with syms, but I have yet to step onto the boat as it was just delivered. Never thought I'd read that a foredeck hatch would not open flat on the deck, that's sub-optimal if true. Have a meeting tonight but will take a walk on the deck tomorrow morning.
Good luck!
 

jnye

Member
299
16
Western LIS
Sadly this isn't true - the hatch is recessed so the hinge point sits in a well that is below the main deck level so even with the arm removed you can't flip the hatch down. We used letterbox drops exclusively even buoy racing. That leaves you with two options: have 2 running kites and launch one on the first leg and one on the second or have a really fast bowman who can pack the kite on the weather leg. Shouldn't take that long and only impacts your speed in having one person off the rail. We opted for the fast bow woman approach.
Can you put a riser under the lip of the hatch to allow the hinge to clear the deck?
 




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