Novice question - Spinnakers

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24 Mar 2015
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Leicestershire
Before we start I will say that I had an idea what to do about spinnakers as soon as I found two of them in my boat, which was confirmed by the first bit of advice I had on the subject from an experienced sailor: "Put them in the locker and forget about them."

But as stated there are two of them which I had out yesterday and measured. Please mark my homework out of 10 and add comments.

First is a Butler Verner "Coaster" and the cringles (I looked that up) are marked tack, head and clew with coloured tape sewn along the edges between them:

Green - tack to clew 14'
Red - clew to head 22' 6"
White - head to tack 25'

Am I right that the markings and the difference in the longest two measurements make this an asymmetrical?

The other has coloured tapes sewn in but they don't seem to follow the same pattern:

Green 25'
Red 25"
White 16' 6"

So this'll be a symmetrical?

There is also a neat pole on the boat but the question is what to do with them? I guess one of them will stay and add value and saleability to the boat if I part with it, but do I need two?
Has my boat had one careful lady owner or are there signs of a racing past?
As always, thanks in anticipation for responses.
 

lpdsn

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3 Apr 2009
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Before we start I will say that I had an idea what to do about spinnakers as soon as I found two of them in my boat, which was confirmed by the first bit of advice I had on the subject from an experienced sailor: "Put them in the locker and forget about them."

But as stated there are two of them which I had out yesterday and measured. Please mark my homework out of 10 and add comments.

First is a Butler Verner "Coaster" and the cringles (I looked that up) are marked tack, head and clew with coloured tape sewn along the edges between them:

Green - tack to clew 14'
Red - clew to head 22' 6"
White - head to tack 25'

Am I right that the markings and the difference in the longest two measurements make this an asymmetrical?

The other has coloured tapes sewn in but they don't seem to follow the same pattern:

Green 25'
Red 25"
White 16' 6"

So this'll be a symmetrical?

There is also a neat pole on the boat but the question is what to do with them? I guess one of them will stay and add value and saleability to the boat if I part with it, but do I need two?
Has my boat had one careful lady owner or are there signs of a racing past?
As always, thanks in anticipation for responses.

It's up to you what you do with them, but if you don't want them, selling them as second hand sails will probably get you more money that keeping them for a few years to add value to the boat.

They're not exactly big spinnakers, so you could play with them on the boat. The assymetric is probably the easiest, especially if you plan to drop it rather than gybe it during your first few sessions.
 

Twister_Ken

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'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
One is a spinnaker, one is not. The asymmetric (more usually called a cruising chute) is flown from the stemhead (or a short sprit ahead of the stemhead) without a pole. Generally speaking the asymmetric is easier to fly (think of it as a big off-wind genoa) and is well worth experimenting with, when the wind is somewhere between 90º and 140º off the bow. The symmetric is a spinnaker, and needs to be flown with a pole - a whole lot more fuss - and will be good for winds something like 110º and 180º off the bow.

Check sailmakers websites or youtube to find out more info about setting and flying them.

As they are Butler Verner sails (not generally considered a racing sailmaker) it's unlikely the boat has been raced at a high level, but might have been used for local and club races.
 

Spyro

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Before we start I will say that I had an idea what to do about spinnakers as soon as I found two of them in my boat, which was confirmed by the first bit of advice I had on the subject from an experienced sailor: "Put them in the locker and forget about them."

.

He hasn't experienced enough.
Great feeling getting the spinnaker up and feel the boat really get powered up. Yes they can be a handful if conditions get lively but start of in good conditions with plenty of sea room. You'll never do it without another person on board to explain it all so don't even try.
As said previously one is a cruising chute, think of it as a big lightweight genoa that is not flown on the forestay.
 

adwuk

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Tarbert
Get the kites out and learn how to use them. Start in a light breeze with plenty of room, and make sure that you have sheets, guys, pole topping lift and downhaul rigged to your liking. Also make sure that you have a few people to help the first couple of times. Symmetric kites with less than 4 people can get tricky, especially on the drop. Once you have it all sorted, make the most of them for cruising or racing, and come back and let us know when you have done you first 100nm day downwind with the kite up. Nothing quite like it! Then you will know that the first bit of advice you got was complete tosh!
 
Joined
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Messages
351
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Leicestershire
Thanks for all replies, very interesting. I think the advice given in my OP was probably to emphasise my complete lack of experience.

Never say never; I'm sure once I get the thing in the water and get confident with two sails I'll be having a go with three. My potential crew have already expressed enthusiasm as such.

Next question: How about two Genoas? This boat came with six sails!
So I have the original main and hank-on jib, two Genoas (both equal in size & Rotostay fitted), a Spinnaker and Cruising Chute. It's going to be fun playing with them all, not at the same time though. :eek:
 

pmagowan

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What do you mean by two genoas? Do you have one fitted and a spare? Are neither of them fitted? Do you have a spare luff groove?
 

prv

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With the symmetric spinnaker, do bear in mind that you don't need to follow the racing practices that allow an instant change from a beat to a spinnaker reach as you round the windward mark. The racers put everything up at once in a few seconds, and occasionally screw it up spectacularly. But as a cruiser you can take it much more slowly. The pole, for instance, can be set up and securely guyed in place - you can have a cup of tea with it sitting there before ever going near hoisting the kite.

Pete
 

pmagowan

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I find the pole particularly useful for poling out the genoa when goosewinged. Tie on a gybe preventor and you are ready for a G&T!
 
Joined
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What do you mean by two genoas? Do you have one fitted and a spare? Are neither of them fitted? Do you have a spare luff groove?

None of the sails are fitted; they're in my lock up here, 141 miles from the boat. As far as I know they haven't been fitted for a long time, probably years. The mast has to come down at some stage so all the tracks etc will be given a clean. I doubt there's a spare luff groove but I'll have alook next time I'm down there.
 
Joined
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always a good day when you put the spinnaker up

makes me feel very happy

20 mins in

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAoQSpdCfLI

and this a ghoster/asymetric being used

https://vimeo.com/115893670

8.56 in

Ah, I remember driving through Stonehavern at 11.30pm on a Winter's night around 1985 in an old Transit. Parts for an oil rig to Aberdeen from Leicester.

Anyway, if the old bloke in those vids can do it, so can I! :encouragement:

I should have you first Dylan; you make it all look so easy!
 

dylanwinter

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Ah, I remember driving through Stonehavern at 11.30pm on a Winter's night around 1985 in an old Transit. Parts for an oil rig to Aberdeen from Leicester.

Anyway, if the old bloke in those vids can do it, so can I! :encouragement:

I should have you first Dylan; you make it all look so easy!

sailing is easy

sailing is simple

sailing is safe

D
 
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