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First Time Asymmetrical Spinnaker User!

SkipR

.
Oct 13, 2014
12
Beneteau First 22 and Oceanis 38 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.

IMG_0675.jpeg
 

Kopite

.
Mar 11, 2015
107
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.
Andrew
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
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.
 

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 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
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
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
2,554
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
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
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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Likes: AaronD
Nov 12, 2014
3
Bristol 35.5 Guilford
JVISS:
I have the same set up as you. ATN sock with tacker. You can fly it single handed, but recommend in 10-12 knots of wind max. I used 3 blocks, two stern - 1 port side, 1 starboard side, and one just below my Furler on the bow. The tack line from sail routes through bow block and tied off on bow cleat allowing enough line for tacker to be above bowsprit. Run 2 sheets from the sail’s clew and insure they they are outside of jib sheets, lifelines to stern blocks so you can trim from cockpit. Attach foresail halyard. Recommend fully rigging prior to leaving slip...Red continuous line for raising/lowering sock I tie off to foredeck block. I motor out a few miles into the wind, then come about so the wind is off my starboard quarter. Houst the sock/spinnaker (looking for any twists in sail) then houst up the sock...move back to cockpit and trim in port sheet based upon wind direction off stern...I used my autopilot the 2nd time to keep my stern to wind...very forgiving procedure in 5-10 knots of wind from my experience. Good fun when all goes well...dousing, I did as I turned the boat into the wind, de-powering the sail. Good luck
 
Apr 1, 2017
4
Irwin 37 Aft Cockpit Sparrows Point
> dousing, I did as I turned the boat into the wind, de-powering the sail.

For those of you who fly an asym single handed, do you also fly the main? I get that it helps to blanket the chute when dousing while still going down wind. But if you just turn upwind, the chute is easy to douse, right? Also, do you have a
 
May 17, 2004
3,428
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
But if you just turn upwind, the chute is easy to douse, right
Turning into the wind would scare me a bit. Doing that you’re increasing the apparent wind by 5 or 10 knots, which isn’t going to make things too easy. Also lots of pointy bits up there between spreaders, light fixtures, etc, that seem like they would happily snag thin spinnaker nylon.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
> dousing, I did as I turned the boat into the wind, de-powering the sail.

For those of you who fly an asym single handed, do you also fly the main? I get that it helps to blanket the chute when dousing while still going down wind. But if you just turn upwind, the chute is easy to douse, right? Also, do you have a
I think the logic of not having the main up while flying the spin is the fact that the captain “thinks” he or she is making a safe choice by not having too much sail deployed.

IMHO not having the main up while flying a spin is in fact dangerous. The common practice to douse the spin is to hide it BEHIND the main so it loses its power and you can get it stowed. Without the main up you are absolutely at the mercy of Mother Nature and if things do go bad all sorts of things can happen, broach, relatively small sheets burn hands, crew overboard wrapped in the spin that’s been dropped via the halyard into the water etc.
Spin socks and furlers help manage the sail but if the wind is up and you can’t depower the kite they lose most of the effectiveness.
 
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Likes: DrJudyB
Feb 8, 2009
118
Sabre 34 MK-1 Annapolis, MD
JV,

This post is getting a bit old, but you may still be looking for thoughts. I have sailed for several years with an asym on my Sabre 34, and now for this summer on our new-to-us Saga 43 -- boats that braket your size. Some thoughts we've learned.

* Asym spinnaker sheets need to be measured, but they are roughly 180% of the boat length, give or take a little bit. On your boat, you'll need at least 70' per side.
* Line size is 100% driven by handling and winches -- anything big enough to work in the winches is overkill for strength. So far this summer, using lines I have around, I've been using a piece of 1/4" dacron on the Saga 43 and it has been fine in true winds to the teens. But it WILL be replaced!
* On the Sabre, I made sheets, and will for the Saga. I used 6mm dyneema, breaking strength around 7000 pounds and it floats. I "fattened" it (opposite of stripping) for about 15' of the 65' sheet. The rest of the sheet is either going to the spinnaker (about 10-15') or the huge tail that you just pull on to pull the sail around. The working part is really very short. (So, the line is 10' of bare, 15' of thickened, and 40' of bare, going by memory). Use a scrap sheet and test and mark the part that actually goes on the winch. I fattened it by working a piece of 1/8" line inside the dyneema, and then put a polyester cover outside it, getting it large enough to work in my self tailers. The cover used to available from APS before they stoppeed selling sailing equipment -- I have no idea where to get it now. A pair of coiled sheets is smaller and lighter than a single bow line!
* I attached my sheets with a soft shackle -- fun to make and easy to use.
* After fighting outside gybes for several years (conventional wisdom!), I tried inside and have never gone back.
* Lots of people talk of taking the tack line aft so you can "adjust it." I cleat it to the bow cleats and never adjust it. Watch racing asyms - J90's, etc -- they NEVER adjust it!
* I run my snuffer line through a block. The block has a short loop on it (1 foot). The loop goes though the bow cleat and over a horn. That way, I raise and lower the snuffer by sitting on the foredeck with the snuffer line between my knees, and pull UP -- the sail will never pull me overboard.
* As others have said, the main is a huge safety factor. G/F and I got a huge wind increase (from 12 or so apparent to low 20's apparent) and while surfing along at crazy speeds, she drove down to 170 degrees and I snuffed it easy peasy. Even in light air, pushing the wind to 170 makes the snuffer easy to pull down.
* As others have said the sail won't work below 170 or so. Your Tartan may be "slippery" like our Saga -- push the true wind around to 150, and the apparent will pull forward to 90 or so -- with that combination, we make boat speeds of 6+ in 7-8 true wind speeds gybing through 60 degrees.

The asym is an easy 2-person sail in winds to 15+ true, and we rarely have a day we don't use it. It's a must have on our boat!

Harry
 
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Likes: DrJudyB
Jan 7, 2011
2,829
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
> dousing, I did as I turned the boat into the wind, de-powering the sail.

For those of you who fly an asym single handed, do you also fly the main? I get that it helps to blanket the chute when dousing while still going down wind. But if you just turn upwind, the chute is easy to douse, right? Also, do you have a
I fly my Asym single handed often. I do have a sock for:dousing.

I usually only use the sail in 10 knots or less wind.

I can fairly easily pull the sock down, keeping my point of sail.

I do fly the main sail normally, in addition to the aspin.

EC578F3B-037C-42F8-8728-2371190FC8FA.jpeg

Greg
 
May 17, 2004
45
Morgan 30/2 037 Indian Harbour Beach
I had a Doyle asym on my Hunter Legend 37. Wonderful sail. With 90 deg apparent wind it was .75 knots faster than my symmetrical spinnaker. We often used the spinnaker pole to pole out the tack so that the sail was more effective with greater than 90 deg apparent wind. Worked good, probably not as effective as the symmetrical would have been, but quicker than changing spinnakers. When poling out the tack I took the pole downhaul line to a snatch block on the slotted toe rail because it gave better leverage that going to the base of the mast because of the low angle. Have fun!!
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
We have an adjustable tack line for our asymm on the F24 and we use it. We haul the tack out to the end of a fixed sprit before hoisting the spin halyard.

when it’s time to douse we turn down wind put the asymm in the shadow of the main, ease the sheet, and start dropping the sniffer.. We also ease the tack line to totally depower the asymm which makes it easier to pull the sniffer down quickly and get the asymm in the wind shadow of the mainsail.

There have been a few times that we we sailing the asymm when we came past a shore feature that exposed us to a blast of strong wind well over 20 kts on the beam. In a situation like that, the quickest way to depower the asymm is to release the tack line. I was taught a by a racing coach about 20 years ago on a J/80 to “blow the tackline“ to immediately depower the asymm whilst keeping it near the boat for easy retrieval. If you release the sheet, the sail flys out in front of the bow, and is hard to retrieve or to snuff. That’s how we did it on my J/70 too.
 
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