Jump to content


Photo

Single Handed Spinnaker Handling


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Fish

Fish

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,473 posts

Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:36 PM

What does everyone do to handle spinnakers / down wind sails single handed?

I'm thinking about getting into this Sail IQ solo series but want to do it properly, and reasonably safely...

Does anyone still uses socks / snuffers, or are they too much trouble when things get lively?

Do single handers fly spinnakers, or do you go with asymtrics on furlers?
How do free luff gennaker furlers actually work, can you put any old gennaker on them?
What is a torsional halyard, and can you take any old furler (old headsail furler) fit a torsional rope and head car swivel thingee and just go off furling gennakers?

Or are there more subtle set ups and tricks guys are using?
Alternatively, do single handers just grow a big hairy pair of testicules, put up the biggest bag they've got and see how long they can hang on for?

The context is that I've developed some good sailing handling systems for two handed sailing, but they don't quiet work for single handed.
My boat is 37 feet, 6 tonnes and 30 odd years old. The kites are just a bit bigger than what can be easily handled one up. I see the smaller boats, around 28 to 33 feet having an advantage here in ease of handling. But bigger boats again do single handed.

I have a heavy running kite, a smaller and lighter VMG runner and a good reaching gennaker. I can handle the smaller VMG runner in benign conditions, and the gennaker is ok but can get powered up in moderate wind, and I just can't see how I could handle the heavy runner one up.

When two up, we run letter box drops. I have special Witchard 'pingable' kite sheet clips to blow the tack. This is completely full proof in de powering the kite and getting it blanketed behind the main. Only problem is all my halyards are at the mast, and to letter box I need to be in the cockpit, pulling the kit in and stuffing it down the hatch.

Two up this is fine, but one up, I need to first go to the bow and reach the tack to blow it, get back to the mast for the halyard, then back to the cockpit to gather the sail in.

I do have a good strong hydraulic autopilot, so can leave the cockpit, but it is obviously not good practice. The more time I spend running to the bow, tack, mast and back, the greater chance I have of going swimming.

How do bigger boats do it?
Does everyone just use these new furlers?
Note I don't have a prod and just run the gennaker off a tack line on the stem, so don't actually have space for a furler, if I could get one (unless I install a prod, which is more $$$)

Note also, I assume everyone that can get one already has a furling code zero, which I don't have. I just have a massive number one that can double as a jib top also, so aren't too badly off in that area.

So is it just a case of confidence and risk assessment on the day, an arms race of cool gadgets, or some smart thinking and set ups?
  • 0

#2 raz88

raz88

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 630 posts
  • LocationAuckland

Posted 23 March 2016 - 04:47 AM

From what I've seen its a combination of the options from your last sentence.

There are certainly a few guys running A/code sails on furlers and probably a slight bias towards these compared to normal crewed racing, however there have also been plenty of plain old spinnakers.

The furlers used are generally fancy specialised ones, you can't just use an old headsail one. There have been other similar sized (e1050 etc) boats flying spinnakers without furlers/snuffers and I think the standard approach to getting them down is to letterbox, and rather than pinging the brace just letting it run cleanly through to save you having to go up on the foredeck. But that will be tougher without the halyard coming back to the cockpit.

Or there's a no extras division...
  • 0

#3 Marshy

Marshy

    DayStar

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,528 posts
  • LocationAuckland, New Zealand

Posted 23 March 2016 - 12:30 PM

The races i did on Cosa Nostra was more just a grin and bear it - race with a wing and a prayer.

Its easy to get up, and i just hoped i could get it down in one piece! - Having long sheets so it can reach back to the main hatch was a winner dropping in the cockpit rather than front hatch - means you can reach everything without letting the kite go!


  • 0
<p>Marshy - I may have gone to the Darkside, but I'm loving the VMG to windward....

#4 Willow

Willow

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,695 posts
  • LocationTauranga

Posted 23 March 2016 - 12:59 PM

Have you thought about running the Halyard back to the cockpit? Not normally a lot of work but depends on your setup.

In lighter conditions I drop the kite down the front hatch just by leaving 1 wrap of the halyard on the winch and walking forward with it after putting the boat dead downwind and easing the brace. In stronger breeze or when pressed up Blowing the brace and pulling it down the main hatch on the lazy brace works a lot better. Running a brace and a sheet on bigger boats gives you more options as well.


  • 0

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

 


#5 Black Panther

Black Panther

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 5,674 posts

Posted 23 March 2016 - 02:16 PM

On AA we used to throw the halyard tail out the back of the boat. It would provide enough drag to slow the drop, making it easy to gather the sail in, drag decreasing as the sail is lowered.


  • 0
  Two figures sat side by side, staring at the Sea. One said to the other, “You know that one day we will die.” And the other friend replied, “But all of the other days WE WILL LIVE!”

 


#6 Fish

Fish

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,473 posts

Posted 23 March 2016 - 07:09 PM

I do like the simplicity of a conventional letter box by just running the brace and staying in the cockpit. Should be able to rig the halyard back, even if just on a temp basis for solo races.

Can't believe I overlooked just running the brace. When two handed, we went for the pingable clips because it was lower risk than running the brace, and someone had to be forward for the halyards anyway.

What is the deal with safely running the brace? I've heard stories of wrapping the pole around the forestay, or breaking the forestay... Assume you gentle ease the pole onto the forestay, then let it rip?
  • 0

#7 Mr Hell

Mr Hell

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 22 posts

Posted 23 March 2016 - 10:21 PM

What is the deal with safely running the brace? I've heard stories of wrapping the pole around the forestay, or breaking the forestay... Assume you gentle ease the pole onto the forestay, then let it rip?

 

Never had a problem. The kite normally collapses as soon as you hoist the jib if you are beam reaching. If you have room try and run down wind and smother it behind the main. In either case I usually just smoke the brace (it's ok if it runs all the way through), gather the foot in then drop the halyard. Do everything from the cockpit and drop into the aft hatch. Never ever tie knots in your kite sheets!


  • 0

#8 Willow

Willow

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,695 posts
  • LocationTauranga

Posted 24 March 2016 - 06:45 AM

What Mr H said. Definitely want just smoke the brace rather than a slow ease which could press on the fore stay a bit.Do it all the time even fully crewed and never had an issue.


  • 0

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

 


#9 funlovincriminal

funlovincriminal

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,052 posts
  • LocationStanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa

Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:05 AM

Throwing the halyard into the drink not only slows the drop to a manageable speed, but it also seems to eliminate knots and tangles too which is nice!

Nothing like having a rock star drop turn to a clusterfart when the halyard decides knot to let the kite down past 2 thirds ha ha


  • 0
"We are not at home to Mr Cock-up"

#10 Knot Me... maybe

Knot Me... maybe

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,115 posts

Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:16 AM

How ever you figure it out the key to solo stuff like that is to be sitting in the cockpit thinking 'Glad I did that 5 mins ago' and knot 'sh*t, I should have done that 5 mins ago'.

 

If you have the later you made your job so much harder and dangerous than it needed to be.


  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users