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Spinnaker working loads?

Oct 26, 2008
4,961
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I have 2 new Lewmar 30ST winches that I bought for my Starwind last fall. I didn't install them and sold the boat and now I want to put them on my Catalina 320 for spinnaker sheets. Are they big enough? I don't have a spinnaker yet & planning to rig an asymmetrical. Looking for guidance ...
 
Jul 19, 2013
301
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Those winches should be fine, although I think most people who fly asym cruising chutes just use their primaries for the spinnaker sheets. Assuming you are flying your asym from the stemhead (ie aft of the forestay...) you wont ever have both it and your jib in operation at the same time...
 

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
748
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
Having to shift the sheets for the jib and spinnaker between one pair of winches can be hassle. Having a second set of winches allows you to load up the spinnaker winch with the sheet before you need to use it and lets you keep the jib filling, which helps blanket the spinnaker while you hoist it. Less rushing around and safer, too.
 
Jul 19, 2013
301
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Having to shift the sheets for the jib and spinnaker between one pair of winches can be hassle. Having a second set of winches allows you to load up the spinnaker winch with the sheet before you need to use it and lets you keep the jib filling, which helps blanket the spinnaker while you hoist it. Less rushing around and safer, too.
A completely true statement for spinnakers flown in front of the forestay (ie symmetricals and asyms flying from a sprit), but not so with cruising chutes flying off the stemhead using a headsail halyard. These jibe inside the forestay, and you are looking for trouble if you raise one of these before you furl the jib. They dont fly simultaneously.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,713
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Scott. The winches should be fine. Not sure you will use the ST feature as most of the time you are hand holding the sheets of the spinnaker steering the sail.

I currently use just the ratchet blocks I attach while sailing the boat with the asymmetrical. I have cleats and am thinking installing some cam cleats to temporally hold the sheets. It is dependent on the way you plan to use the sail. If it is going to be during heavy winds then the winches might be needed.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,961
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
A completely true statement for spinnakers flown in front of the forestay (ie symmetricals and asyms flying from a sprit), but not so with cruising chutes flying off the stemhead using a headsail halyard. These jibe inside the forestay, and you are looking for trouble if you raise one of these before you furl the jib. They dont fly simultaneously.
Planning for an asym spinnaker, I'm surely going to add the sprit. I don't like going halfway. I also would think about a symmetrical spin secondarily. The other thought is that a second set of winches at the back quarter would provide an option for genoa sheets when single handed. But the primaries are bigger winches for a reason, and I'm not sure I could get away with using the smaller ones for genoa sheets. Perhaps in light winds ....:huh:
 
Jul 19, 2013
301
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Planning for an asym spinnaker, I'm surely going to add the sprit. I don't like going halfway. I also would think about a symmetrical spin secondarily. The other thought is that a second set of winches at the back quarter would provide an option for genoa sheets when single handed. But the primaries are bigger winches for a reason, and I'm not sure I could get away with using the smaller ones for genoa sheets. Perhaps in light winds ....:huh:
Going with a sprit is a good move, just be sure you have or also install a true spinnaker halyard, namely a halyard positioned off a crane in front of the forestay. That way it wont hang up when you jibe your chute in front of the forestay.

If you add a sprit you now also have the option to consider a larger spinnaker as you in effect increase the size of your "J". Of course a larger spinnaker provides more power... but becomes harder to handle. Using a sprit means you might want to bring a sailmaker into your decision and dont buy something off the rack.

IMHO if I was starting from scratch for a spinnaker, since I find the spinnaker use most important for broad reaching and running, I would go with a symmetrical as they are both more effective and more manageable for deep sailing. Most every time I end up sailing deep with my cruising chute, and deep is where you really need the spinnaker, one second of inattention and it ends up wrapped on the forestay which is a bear to get undone. In some forty years, I never wrapped a symmetrical chute...

Asyms have become de rigueur for racing boats because they fly them off big spirits which allow the sail to be twice the size of a standard symmetric and more powerful, although many racers keep a symmetric for circumstances where they need to sail deep.

For a cruising sailboat, I find a symmetric more useful and effective, and far less trouble to fly, than a cruising chute. While a symmetric does take more setup to fly, my practice was to leave the spinnaker and pole lines permanently run, hanging the sheet ends in coils off the stern rail. So hoisting the sail only required clipping the sail on and raising the pole. I think the popularity of the cruising chute is largely due to an unreasoned fear of the apparent complexity of the symmetric.

Being experienced with all forms of these spinnaker alternatives, for a cruising boat, I would vote for a symmetric hands down.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
8,050
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
I have 2 new Lewmar 30ST winches that I bought for my Starwind last fall. I didn't install them and sold the boat and now I want to put them on my Catalina 320 for spinnaker sheets. Are they big enough? I don't have a spinnaker yet & planning to rig an asymmetrical. Looking for guidance ...
That's what I have on my B32 3 .
 
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Likes: Scott T-Bird
Jun 8, 2004
2,548
Catalina 320 Dana Point
I run my spin sheets thru a small block at the aft cleat then up to the cabin top winches (30's), my sheets are actually too small for the sheet winches (42's ?).
 
Jul 19, 2013
301
Pearson 31-2 Boston
I run my spin sheets thru a small block at the aft cleat then up to the cabin top winches (30's), my sheets are actually too small for the sheet winches (42's ?).
FWIW, to the best I know you can trim any size sheet on any winch you add enough wraps to fill the winch drum... on a 42 1/2" sheet might have five turns, where a 5/16" sheet might have ten...
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I have 2 new Lewmar 30ST winches that I bought for my Starwind last fall. I didn't install them and sold the boat and now I want to put them on my Catalina 320 for spinnaker sheets. Are they big enough? I don't have a spinnaker yet & planning to rig an asymmetrical. Looking for guidance ...
It’s my understanding that @Meriachee sails a Catalina 270 that he outfitted with a bowsprit, top down furler etc so he might be able to provide some guidance as I believe the 270 and 320 are “similar”.

I had a C&C 24 so also a masthead rig like your 320 that came with a symmetrical spinnaker, ATN snuffer, pole and all the associated halyards in place. I flew the sym with the pole twice, first with a buddy who knew what he was doing and the second by myself. First time was a blast, second time convinced me that it was a lot of work and not much fun for me.

I purchased an ATN tacker and after a little learning curve on how jibe the sail with it I found I used it all the time singlehanded. I didn’t have “optimal” performance but it turned a lot of light wind days into enjoyable sailing.

The part I didn’t like about the setup was I had to furl the headsail and then tie off the sheets for that sail somewhere so I could use the mid cockpit coaming mounted winches to handle the spin sheets that were routed through turning blocks at the stern.

If mounting the set of winches doesn’t create a congestion problem it seems logical to use them. (Congestion is the pile of spin sheet spaghetti you can develop) For me that ended up mid cockpit with tiller steering, for you that might be behind the wheel area.

I also never cleated the spin sheets as I found that I was making a lot of adjustments, granted I wasn’t cruising “downwind” for hours so that might have changed my thinking. If you do cleat make sure you can release quickly.
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
I just have a turning block at the stern, and im going to put in Harken jam cleats just behind the rear winches just because. Theres no need for the winch for the kite, the cutoff is 10kts.
Doesnt the 320 already have rear winches?
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,391
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
The Lewmar 30's will certainly suffice as secondaries for your 320. You'll find the load on the adjustable tackline will be significantly higher, so you can use the primaries or cabin top halyard winches for that. On my little 27 I have a pair of standard Lewmar 7's as secondaries. I've used them for the spin sheets... but rarely have to grind.. normally couple wraps on leeward winch then cross to other side, one wrap on the windward drum then cleat or hand hold. In light air you just need one turn and then cleat with an open cam cleat(no fairlead) That'll make it handy operate from the opposite side of the cockpit if you're not cross sheeting. You'll have fun experimenting. One thing I think you'll find a separate cleat will be way more convenient, rather than wrapping the sheet into the winch jaws everytime..... but... oh yeah you have a competent crew... so one of you can do the work while the other drives.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I have two sheet winches on each side of the cockpit. Primaries for headsail sheets, and then two smaller secondaries for the spinnaker. I doubt the load on the spinnaker sheet or guy ever gets near any kind of “failure point“ of the smaller winches. So, to me, the drum diameter is what is most relevant consideration. Adjustments to the guy (symmetrical chute) are usually not large, so a small drum is adequate. The sheet is usually handed. So, a smaller drum at the winch facilitates the finer adjustments there.The cranking power and speed of a winch is a function of drum diameter and the length of handle, etc. I don’t think one usually needs much speed or power trimming chutes etc
 
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Mar 20, 2011
587
Hunter 31_83-87 New Orleans
Out of curiosity, what do you have for your cabin top winches? I use my primary winches for asym trim on my H31 and am looking at ST winches such as the 30s for cabin top replacement To work halyards.
 
Jan 22, 2008
8,050
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
My B32-3 has 4, OEM, Lewmar 30ST winches, and they have served me well for 14 years. One of these years I really MUST take them apart to clean them. Maybe next season during the Plague?
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,961
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
Going with a sprit is a good move, just be sure you have or also install a true spinnaker halyard, namely a halyard positioned off a crane in front of the forestay. That way it wont hang up when you jibe your chute in front of the forestay.
Funny you mention that! When I was shopping for our Cat 320, I went up to Massachusetts, north of Boston, to look at one that I was very interested in. It was being sold by a dealer of Hanse & Dehler (very high end area). He had taken the Cat 320 in trade from a customer whom moved up, or so he said. (I didn't buy that boat, btw) I asked him about the lack of a spinnaker crane. I told him that's how I raise the spinnaker on my Starwind. He said (basically - not exact words) "that's the old way ... none of the newer boats put a spinnaker crane at the masthead any more." He's a dealer and what do I know? Indeed, I didn't see a spinnaker crane on any of the 320's that I shopped. Actually, my new boat has the 2nd head sail halyard labelled "spinnaker" on the clutch. The boat didn't come with a spinnaker. :what::what: Was I being fed some BS? I've been wondering about that for a while!
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,961
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
Out of curiosity, what do you have for your cabin top winches? I use my primary winches for asym trim on my H31 and am looking at ST winches such as the 30s for cabin top replacement To work halyards.
Pretty sure they are 40ST. They are definitely bigger than the 30ST but not quite as big as the primaries.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,961
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
If mounting the set of winches doesn’t create a congestion problem it seems logical to use them. (Congestion is the pile of spin sheet spaghetti you can develop) For me that ended up mid cockpit with tiller steering, for you that might be behind the wheel area.
Congestion from the lines doesn't bother me so much as placement of the winches where I need room to move around. I banged my shin on a primary winch one time and nearly passed out from the pain. I don't want to make that a regular occurrence!
 
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May 17, 2004
3,380
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Funny you mention that! When I was shopping for our Cat 320, I went up to Massachusetts, north of Boston, to look at one that I was very interested in. It was being sold by a dealer of Hanse & Dehler (very high end area). He had taken the Cat 320 in trade from a customer whom moved up, or so he said. (I didn't buy that boat, btw) I asked him about the lack of a spinnaker crane. I told him that's how I raise the spinnaker on my Starwind. He said (basically - not exact words) "that's the old way ... none of the newer boats put a spinnaker crane at the masthead any more." He's a dealer and what do I know? Indeed, I didn't see a spinnaker crane on any of the 320's that I shopped. Actually, my new boat has the 2nd head sail halyard labelled "spinnaker" on the clutch. The boat didn't come with a spinnaker. :what::what: Was I being fed some BS? I've been wondering about that for a while!
Catalina is about the only brand left making mast head rigs, so they might be the only ones with this challenge anymore. On the fractional rigs the halyard can come out a sheave above the forestay or at the masthead.