- Oct 13, 2014
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.