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Furling Asymmetrical Spinnaker

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
C70D2B48-2859-4D1D-A417-A5E425A80DD6_1_201_a.jpeg

We were not very happy with our spinnaker options thus far: our symmetrical was HUGE and needed a 15 ft pole and 5 people on board to drive it efficiently. It terrified Susan (the Admiral). We also had an inexpensive Asymmetrical with a sock, which I got 'used' on Ebay. It was okay, but things never went very smoothly or easily. We needed a solution that worked well shorthanded - with 1 or 2 people on the boat.

It's taken almost a year, but we happily now have our furling Asym Spinnaker in operation. We got the sail from North Sails, added a Selden GX 15 furler, and Selden Bow Sprit. I designed and added a spinnaker crane (aluminum plate) at the top of the mast to hold the spinnaker halyard about 8" in front of the forestay. This was important because it starts the furling from the top, and without clearance from the forestay it is "no bueno".

I've never used a furling spinnaker before so we are still learning. The first try, though, I got it up and sailing by myself.

The Boat Bucks went flying out of my pocket to do all this, but I wanted to do it while I still had a job, which I'm leaving at the end of May. So the easy-access Boat Bucks are now dried up.

Here is the Bow Sprit and Furler.

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Here is the Spinnaker Crane holding the spinnaker halyard (rightmost) forward of the forestay/furling genoa.

47AD23A0-C6A3-4C60-AB97-C0AD0BE09F17_1_105_c.jpeg

Note: in the top photo above, the wind is almost on a beam reach. We normally wouldn't use it on that point of sail, and we were just rigging it all up. Normally TWA would need to be 120-130 degrees or more downwind for it to work well.

Does anyone else have a furling Spinnaker?

So far it doesn't seem like a stupid (or cheap) idea, but time will tell!
Cheers,
-Mark
 
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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

We fly the asymmetrical spinnaker with a sock. I didn't know the sail could be put on a furler. Ours is easy to use and I singlehanded it quiet often. Gybing is fairly easy because it goes forward of the headstay. Bringing it down took a bit of a learning curve. There is a Tylaster (sp?) snap shackle at the tack, it can be released under pressure. The boat is brought up to a beam reach and the shackle is released. The sail is now on the beam and blowing away from the boat. The sock halyard is then brought down snuffing the sail. I can then leave the sail up and tend to the boats situation before going back to lower the sail to the deck. It took a while to perfect our system but it now works pretty good. Would your spinnaker furler be considered to be a "code zero"?

Jim
 

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mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Jim - yes, our asymmetrical sounds like yours, with the sock, snap shackle that releases under load, etc. It was all fairly worn when I bought it on Ebay and it was quite finicky. Sometimes it would work okay, often times it would be quite combative. I tried replacing & lubricating things, to no avail. I was in favor of getting a new such rig that I'm sure would work better. But the Admiral loves the super ease of our furling genoa, and wanted similar in a spinnaker.

I also wanted something I could use while singlehanding. I could do the asymmetric with the sock if Susan had the helm, or in most cases it would work on autopilot. But with this new contraption, I can do it all from the helm, singlehanded. (at least until something bad happens!)

The names of these downwind sails can get confusing. North Sails calls it an asymmetrical spinnaker. I've been told that I can also call it a gennaker, which is more of a marketing term blending genoa and spinnaker. From what I can tell, it could also be classified as a Code Zero, but I'm not positive. An 'expert' was recently telling me that all Code Zeros are furling, by definition. In my reading, that part is not true, and they aren't necessarily furling.

Are you & Bonnie doing any sailing trips this summer?

Cheers,
-Mark
 
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We have a ProFurl by Spinex. Doesn't see daylight much because we seem to always get too much wind, have to dodge ferries or run out of open water here in SF Bay just after we set.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

The little I know about "Code Zero" sails is that they are on a furler with an endless line. Does that allow the sail to be rolled up both ways? With the asymmetrical sail the sheets are very long to gybe the sail in front of the boat. I find that it is much easier to use the sail without the main raised. Of course we are not racing or generally in any kind of a hurry. With the main up, I have to pay close attention to insure that the spinnaker is not blanketed. And who wants to work that hard? With the shape of Long Island Sound, we can run all day in anything but an East wind when going out East.

For June and July we will be doing a number of Club cruises of short duration. Late August and September our plan is to jump down to the Chesapeake. September is the perfect time for the Bay. How about you guys?

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

The little I know about "Code Zero" sails is that they are on a furler with an endless line. Does that allow the sail to be rolled up both ways? With the asymmetrical sail the sheets are very long to gybe the sail in front of the boat. I find that it is much easier to use the sail without the main raised. Of course we are not racing or generally in any kind of a hurry. With the main up, I have to pay close attention to insure that the spinnaker is not blanketed. And who wants to work that hard? With the shape of Long Island Sound, we can run all day in anything but an East wind when going out East.

For June and July we will be doing a number of Club cruises of short duration. Late August and September our plan is to jump down to the Chesapeake. September is the perfect time for the Bay. How about you guys?

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Jim - yes, we have an endless line, too. I hadn't really thought about it, but it probably does mean it can be rolled up both ways. I'll have to play around with it in light wind. Yeah, I agree with that timing on Chesapeake - early fall can be very nice, and not as sweltering (without air conditioning) as the summer.

We are doing a summer cruise up to Puget Sound. We plan to be based out of Bremerton, Washington - been on the wait list for a slip there for 5 months and now we are on the top of the list. So hopefully we'll be heading up Memorial Day weekend. It's a very nice marina & great place to keep Zia, we've done it previous years. Close access to the San Juan Islands, BC, Seattle, Salish Sea, etc. I've quit my job in a few weeks, so we are going to try to have a real "carefree" summer!

Terry - that photo is fully extended, and it seems about perfect distance, from what I can tell so far. Time will tell. It's super easy to unclip it from the padeye on the deck (aft of the anchor locker), and mount it on the stanchions when not in use. It blocks access to the anchor locker, so we need to move it when anchoring. Or in marinas that charge you for LOA ;). I can't remember - are you taking Adavida somewhere this summer?
 
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