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Using a Drifter

Discussion in 'Sail Trim with Don Guillette' started by John Tubb, Dec 3, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,761 posts, 2,092 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Use your drifter in 2-7 knots of true breeze. Never try and go hard to windward, always crack off the helm (and trim!) a bit so you sail no higher than 50 degrees true. While you can pole it out and go downwind, if you have nowhere in particular to go the most fun is to close reach around, which will keep the apparent wind higher than true and that helps keep the sail full. And yes its fine to try it with your regular headsail sheets.
     


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  2. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,520 posts, 669 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    That's pretty good this time @Kermit . Since our Ops Center is working on some new processes, I took the liberty of submitting it for inclusion someplace.
     


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  3. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,573 posts, 1,732 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Yep. No matter how busy you get there’s always time for a beer run.
     


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  4. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,566 posts, 1,050 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Is that like, you always have time for heart surgery or you always have time to reload when under fire or you always have time to come about when there are rock ahead?
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


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  5. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,573 posts, 1,732 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    I guess it is. Just like that!
     


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  6. nightowle

    nightowle

    Joined Aug 28, 2006
    218 posts, 30 likes
    Bavaria 35E
    US seattle
    I had a hank on drifter for my O'Day 27. It's a great sail in light wind in any direction; close hauled, beam reach, or downwind. We used it with the same sheets as our jib and genoa with no problem. A whisker pole was used most of the time on a beam reach or downwind particularly when conditions were really light.
     


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  7. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,322 posts, 822 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
    Why not??
     


  8. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    646 posts, 136 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    drifter 3.jpg

    Flew our drifter sail this weekend, worked great in the less then ideal wind conditions. Only issue is we got a rip in it, what is the repair for that short of sending it in? I saw sail tape, not sure this is ok for this light weight spinnaker material.
     


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  9. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,514 posts, 1,821 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA


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  10. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,761 posts, 2,092 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    This stuff is VERY light and will work for any spinnaker. It does not have to have heavy because it just holding the material back together, not replacing it. Get a color to match, but it will be very obvious were the tape was done.
     


  11. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,514 posts, 1,821 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Only reason I suggested the tape. If John is looking for a better solution then there are sail lofts in Port Townsend, Ballard, Everett, and Seattle that can (for a price and a wait) properly repair the sail.

    One can also add stitches to the tape to enhance the repair. But will need to be careful as to the thread used.
     


  12. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    646 posts, 136 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Would it be better to sew it? My wife has a machine she thinks she can do it, material is very light and given the probable age of the sail (30+ years) and unknown condition or quality. It was fun to have it up and drift along this weekend. We got a lot of other boaters attention so I think we will get more use out of it till it fails or falls apart.
     


  13. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,761 posts, 2,092 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Oh, that tape will hold forever, and the sail will rip somewhere else before it rips on the tape again. Its that strong.

    Professional repair is the great option, but on an older sail that will be even more obvious as the UV fades the colors of the nylon and it will never match.
     


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  14. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,761 posts, 2,092 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Depends on the nature of the tear, but probably not. You need to have good, overlapping cloth to effect a solid repair, and you don't have that unless you cut off all the torn fabric and pinch in the panel, which looks terrible and creates stress elsewhere. There is a good reason people either use tape, or send them in to have a panel or partial panel replaced.
     


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  15. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    646 posts, 136 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Ok, thanks, I'll order the red tape and go that route. Old sail so just having fun and learning with it. It did work well in the 1-5 knots we had this weekend, we sailed both Saturday and Sunday with it.
     


  16. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,761 posts, 2,092 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Well as NightOwl notes you can, when the wind is very light. But they are not cut for that, and I'm factoring in that the vast majority of drifters here are 20+ years old, and getting tired. The strength of the apparent wind goes way up when close hauled, as well as the rig tension. You might blow it out.
     


  17. Hayden Watson

    Hayden Watson

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    525 posts, 105 likes
    Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs
    US Oak Harbor, WA
    If you are concerned about having the drifter up and the wind increasing more than its range I would suggest rigging a downhaul line so you can drop it quickly. On my C25 I had the jib halyard lead to the cockpit and ran a 1/4" line from the cockpit up to a block at the tack and was attached to the sails head. It was clicked into every couple hanks. To drop the sail and secure it when the wind piped up I would uncleat the halyard and haul in the down haul. once the head was tight to the deck I would take all of the slack out of the sheet and the sail would stay happily on the rail out of trouble.
     



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