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Spinnaker Sheet Control Decision

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Clark

.
Jun 30, 2004
880
Hunter 280 Lake Guntersville, AL
A little background info first. I have a Hunter 280 that I enjoy flying an A-kite on occasion. There are no coaming winches but there is a place reserved for them. In the past, I've run the sheets for the kite through blocks at the stern then forward to the existing winches on the cabin top. That works OK with one exception. The sheets take a very irritating route from the stern quarters to the winches and require more sheet than would otherwise be needed. My thinking is to install something in the space reserved for coaming winches.
Obviously, I could install winches but at over $1K for a ST pair, not too keen on that. Other alternatives are:
  • Standard winches - cheaper but requires additional hardware for tailing/fixing
  • Horn cleats - Don't think they are viable
  • Cam cleats - A possibility but lose the mechanical advantage of winches
  • Turning blocks/fairleads to route sheets around the cockpit to the existing winches - Doable I suppose :neutral:
  • Other?
Any and all suggestions welcome!
 
Sep 5, 2007
689
MacGregor 26X Rochester
Are you sure you want to cleat or otherwise secure the sheets of a kite? Ratchet blocks will take most of the tailing load, but let you pay out or cut loose completely if a gust tries to bury you.
 

Eric M

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Sep 30, 2008
159
Island Packet 35 Jacksonville
I have flown A-sails on both J-80's and Melges 24's with just ratchet blocks at the back corner of the boat. It is amazing how much help the ratchet provides. In race mode sheets never get cleated, but I could see the advantage of a pair of cleats to use if you were in cruising mode, but as mentioned above things could get interesting if a puff hits and you can't ease as fast as you would like. If the wind is such that the sheets are loaded to the point where you need a winch you could probably do nearly as well with your jib up. Hope this helps.
 

Clark

.
Jun 30, 2004
880
Hunter 280 Lake Guntersville, AL
I appreciate the cautions . .

I have flown A-sails on both J-80's and Melges 24's with just ratchet blocks at the back corner of the boat. It is amazing how much help the ratchet provides. In race mode sheets never get cleated, but I could see the advantage of a pair of cleats to use if you were in cruising mode, but as mentioned above things could get interesting if a puff hits and you can't ease as fast as you would like. If the wind is such that the sheets are loaded to the point where you need a winch you could probably do nearly as well with your jib up. Hope this helps.
Don't race this boat and don't fly the spinnaker in anything above 8 or so TWS. Good point about wind loading . . . if I need a winch for the sheets I can use the standard jib instead to good effect.
 
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