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First Time Asymmetrical Spinnaker User!

Oct 13, 2014
Beneteau First 22 and Oceanis 38 Shangri-La San Francisco Bay
What you are calling the "downhaul" is really terminology for a symmetrical spinnaker flown on a pole. On an asymmetrical (A-sail) it would be called a "tack line" and I would strongly recommend you have it led back to the cockpit so you can trim the sail from the safe area. The most important lesson I can suggest is that the mainsail is your friend in flying an A-sail. If the wind picks up and you start to sweat, just bear away until the A-sail is blanketed by the main. It's also a good idea to raise and lower the sail when it's blanketed by the main. Then you can head up and fill the sail when everything looks good. (Since you aren't racing, the lost time will be insignificant). Because of this blanketing effect, the effective range of an A-sail is from about 80 to 150 degrees from the wind. If you get beyond 150 the sail will collapse as it gets blanketed. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the increased speed you will see.

Mar 11, 2015
Catalina 27 Monroe MI
Hi, I fly my Assym. single handed quite often with a sock. I have to go forward to the mast to raise and lower the sock. As I go forward I take the tail of the sheet with a turn on the winch with me. That way I can take up the sheet as I raise, but more important I can release it as I lower the sock to allow the sail to go inside. It makes the whole process quite well controlled and I can set and douse without having to bear off. I have also fitted a snap shackle with an eye to my sock operating line which clips to the mask pole eye, and makes it much easier to handle. For dropping the sail, I go forward with the halyard, ( is run to the cockpit) so I can drop and collect the socked sail at the same time.
Aug 1, 2011
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
What you are calling the "downhaul" is really terminology for a symmetrical spinnaker flown on a pole.
Not necessarily. For the “tacker” devices, you need a line to hold it down, which could be called a downhaul.
Oct 21, 2018
Catalina Capri 22 Rebel 2 Lake George
If you have a bowsprit you can use a top down furler which allows me to set the sail safely at the dock and leave it up while out sailing. I then just unfurl the sail when I want to use it, then furl it again when I am done. All from the safety of the cockpit.
Aug 1, 2011
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
I have a bowsprit and a top down furler and I would not put my faith in setting it at the dock and sailing away. Ever. There is always a chance of the sail getting loose, and large, exceptionally lightly constructed nylon fabrics do not take well to being flogged.In my particular case the sail is fully 25% larger than the design spec for the boat, is built for a very narrow operational window, and will never be pushed.

That said, the ability to single hand a huge kite without breaking a sweat is pretty awesome.
Jun 8, 2004
Catalina 320 Dana Point
What are the SOP's for a top down furler ? I don't get the spin out unless the distance is great enough to justify the effort to raise, lower and stuff. Do you leave it rigged so it's as convenient as a furled jib or do you rig "on the fly" and it's just easier than a sock ?
Aug 1, 2011
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
It’s 100 times easier than a sock. Owned both. Think of how easy the headsail is, its exactly the same thing. Deploy and put away from the cockpit. The toys required, extending the tack, and a bigger crane, are the downsides.
The whole sail, torsion rope (forestay) and lines go into essentially a hockey bag.
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