stowing the spinnaker

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stowing the spinnaker

Postby Peter McMinn » Fri Jul 18, 2003 6:04 pm

I'm interested in revising the way in which I set and douse my spinnaker. Currently, it comes down the slot just fore of the spreader, and is stowed in a bag hanging in the cuddy. I wince each time it comes down in a race because it tends to catch the new air while rounding the lee mark and fowl slightly around the end of the spreader. Murphey says I'll tear the chute if this situation doesn't change.
I noticed in the photos of the Houston races that a couple boats had a "sock" or "tube" containing the spinnaker and laying along the forward gunnle .
Any DS racers out there use this set up? I'm aware of the general concept, but would appreciate any conventional wisdom as to how to rig and put it to use.
Thanks ahead.
Peter McMinn
 
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Postby Bob Hunkins » Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:17 am

Peter,
Those folks were visiting us in Houston from Louisiana and Arlington,TX. Some of them use the socks, but we don't use them. I considered it back when I was starting to use the chute, but decided I liked the "basket method" better. (I use a laundry basket instead of a bag but it's essentially the same as what you do now).

Nevertheless, here's what I know about socks, based on discussions I've had and my observations.

The front of the sock is somehow tied to the foredeck, on one side or other of the forestay - usually the port side. The back is likewise secured on the cuddy or the deck just outboard of the cuddy. The "mouth" of the sock has to have some sort of rigid opening at the front of the sock to hold its open so that the spinnaker will move in and out of the sock fairly.

Most socks I've seen involve some sort of a metal or plastic ring sewn inside the mouth of the sock. The shape of the ring is either round or "D" shaped. The best one I saw was a fiberglass device shaped like a trumpet horn. It was homemade as I recall.

The spinnaker itself must have a trip line attached to it at the middle of the sail. That point in the sail must be reenforced and have a grommet to attach the trip line. So you'll need to have the sail altered by a sailmaker, unless you're handy with the right tools for the job. The trip line runs from the spinnaker through the mouth of the sock and out the back end of the sock. To launch the spinnaker, the halyard and guy are hauled, and the spinnaker comes out the tube and up. When the spinnaker is doused, the trip line is hauled and the halyard and guy are eased, pulling the sail back into the sock. While many people have had success with it, and it can be a very fast way to launch and douse that sail, I prefer to use the basket method, because it's simpler and it's easier on the sail. The spinnakers I've seen that have been launched and retrieved using the sock seem to wear more quickly than those launched from baskets.

You might consider your technique. It's hard to visualize the problem you're having and I've never encountered the situation you describe. We've found that on a douse, if my crew pulls the clews of the spinnaker together just before I slowly ease the halyard and lower it into the basket while my crew stuffs it into the basket that it doesn't get caught on anything. We make sure we give ourselves have enough time to get the sail down well before we round the mark, and with practice we've gotten faster, so that we have come to a level of expertise where the spinnaker will be in the basket and the pole stowed just as we go closehauled.

I've also made sure I've got proper rigging tape on the spreaders, the forestay turnbuckle, and any place between the basket and the halyard sheave on the mast where it looks like the spinnaker could get snagged on anything.

I've had the spinnaker snag going up. The worst case was getting the sail dragged between the shroud and the boom, if I were ease the boom too fast after rounding the windward mark. I made a small tear in the sail and had to take it in for repair.

Good luck, I hope you find a method that works for you.
Bob Hunkins
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Postby Peter McMinn » Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:50 am

Thanks for the details, Bob. It sounds like a sock is impractical for the DS. We'll work on technique with our current method.
Your description brings up a related question. Sailed last weekend on my brother's smaller/lighter Kestrel w/ oversized spinnaker, and no room for bothching jibes! The rigged, boom-launched pole seemed to work without a hitch. Question: do you stow your pole on the boom, and if so, how do you keep the downhaul/topping lift lines from conflicting with operations? We stow ours in the cuddy now, but setting it up at the last moment seems to be distracting and slow us down.
Peter
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Postby Bob Hunkins » Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:10 pm

Currently, I just stow the pole under the cuddy, but I think that's an area for improvement. One thought is if I could turn the pole vertical and stow it on the front of the mast somehow. That would let me keep the the topping lift/downhaul connected. Another would be if there would be away to secure it on the deck somehow. I don't have the answer to that one yet.
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Postby Guest » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:57 pm

I have not tried to store the pole verticle on the mast but what if you just tightened the topping lift. I store mine on deck like a J-22. I have an adjustable topping lift leading to an exit block on the mast (all halyards are internal), I have no downhaul as the use of a tweeker near the back of the cudy keeps the pole down. When not in use the pole sits on the starboard deck. Leave the topping lift attached and slacked, leave the guy in the pole so it is ready to go. Be sure the pole is stored on the out side of the jib sheet so it does not get tangled on tacks. I know you are probably thinking it will fall off, but in the number of years I raced J-22 and the one year I have sailed the DSII, I have not seen it go over yet. Even if it does, it is not catostrophic, it is still attached to the topping lift and the guy.

CC

Collin Casey (gybe-it-at-houston.rr.com)
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Postby Peter McMinn » Sat Jan 17, 2004 4:32 pm

Thanks, Collin. I'm going to try the method you're describing. Sounds fairly quick and simple. I'll let you know how it works when the season starts in my neck of the woods.
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Postby Peter McMinn » Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:48 pm

Ok, Collin. I gave it a try a few days ago. Left the pole on the deck with the toping lift and guy clipped in. The lanch was easy as pie, and take down was, well let's just say we need some work. Anyway, while going to weather we had a problem with the jib conflicting with topping lift during tacks. The TL needs to be slack enough to allow for the jib to cross, but the clew keeps snagging and pulling the line. Do you somehow restrain the TL at some point during takedown? I'm thinking of a fast clip on the mast or some such gizmo.
Peter McMinn
 
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Postby Guest » Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:49 pm

Great. Glad you tried it. Sound like the pole was on the wrong side of the jib. There should be a little slack in the topping lift as the luff of the jib will be touching it up top. But if the pole is on the out side of the jib and both jib sheets it should not intefere. Please keep in mind, this system works going upwind because you are close hauled, but going downwind I suspect the jib would sweep the pole off the deck. When racing, we never go downwind without the chute, so I am not sure of the effect if the pole was stored.

Collin

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Postby Bob Hunkins » Mon Apr 12, 2004 7:46 pm

I saw some interesting systems for stowing the spinnaker pole at Midwinters last month. Take a look at the article I've written up about it. I hope it helps.
-Bob Hunkins
http://www.bobhunkins.com/mt-archives/000528.html
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Postby Peter McMinn » Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:32 pm

Thanks, Bob, for the very complete description. Used to be foredeck crew on Santana 20s, and these systems are used on those boats, too. I probably will adopt the former, as the end-for-end jibing method is a favorite of mine, and I *try* to make simplicity my rule.
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Postby amazingsailordudes » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:46 am

We used the laundry basket method for a while, but we just seemed to always have something go wrong everytime we used the chute. Now, i imagine if we just spent more time practicing, the basket method would work fine. But....we're lazy...so we decided to try the spinnaker launcher, or the sock...or..whatever. MY dad had one made way back in the day for his old DS so we dug that out of the basement and are currently using that. We have had great success with it! The chute goes up and comes down fast everytime...occasionally it gets caught on the front of the bag just because the front is all torn up because the bag is so old. The only problems with the spinnaker launcher is that you have the string tied to the middle of your spinnaker and that reinforced part...this isn't a problem most of the time, but in light air that extra weight can really hurt and sometimes cause the chute to collapse. The Spinnakers also take more abuse going through the launcher. But....the chute always takes abuse...i dunno...i really can't see any major reason for not using the launching bag, it's worked so well for us. It's improved our downwind sail handling ten fold.
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J22 Launch bag

Postby karen » Fri May 23, 2008 12:28 pm

On the topic of launching spinnakers...I have recently purchased a J22 that came without a launch bag and I am in the process of acquiring one. I will launch from the campanionway and am wondering if the J24 launch bag will work or do I need to have a specific J22 one made?
I suspect I will have many more questions as I become familiar with this boat.
cheers, karen
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Postby shawn » Fri May 23, 2008 3:43 pm

Hi Karen,

The J22 is a great boat but this site is dedicated to the daysailer, a 1950's design by Uffa Fox. Try www.j22.com, they have a forum specific to the J22.

Have fun,
Shawn
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