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question Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (rbingham)
Posted: 10:37:48 pm on 7/31/2012 Modified: Never
 
Hello C+C27 community,

I've owned my Mk III for about 3 yrs now & lately I've also been racing with a friend on a 24' Thunderbird, working as foredeck crew and manning the spin pole. Bit of a learning curve, but I've pretty much got it down now, & as a result have gotten interested in flying the kite on my own boat. It came with the spinnaker & pole in good shape (the sail looks like early '90s vintage, tri-radial, & clearly not a lot of wear on it; the previous owner never used it); it also came with some lines fixed with shackles that could well be sheets and/or a halyard.

I have 2 sets of questions, on rigging and on process. I put this to you all because while I have found lots of generic spinnaker info, and on this forum lots of individual details, but not the whole process put together, and specific to the CC27 (the OEM Manual was no help). Judging by the lovely photos of the fleet flying their kites proudly, clearly the real expertise is here. (I will admit that there is an aesthetic element to wanting to see my boat's spinnaker in action. Y'all know what I mean.) Apologies in advance for the length of this thing and any obvious stupidities.

A. Rigging:

1. What is your preferred arrangement for the uphaul, downhaul & spin halyard lines? Currently I have the main halyard & vang on the starboard side of the cabin roof, and on the port side a single jiffy reef. (The genoa is on a furler so its halyard is cleated at the mast.) I'm thinking about putting the spin halyard on the starboard side and the up/downhaul on the port.

2. There is a block about 3/4 way up the mast which I assume is for the uphaul. I'm guessing the line should come down to a block at the foot of the mast and then through the fairleads back to the cockpit (there are a couple of large round fairleads on the cabin roof that look like they are meant for this purpose). And for the downhaul, I am assuming another block at the base of the mast and then through fairleads to the cockpit.

3. The lines I have that may be spin sheets seem to me a bit heavy compared to the rather light lines we use on the Thunderbird kite (though it is a smaller sail); they are 3/8 braided without much stretch. Possibly they are another set of genoa lines, but my understanding has always been that shackles are not a great idea on a genoa just because you don't want that much metal potentially flapping around and cranking somebody in the head. Possibly they are the up/downhaul sheets? If I need to buy new sheets, how long should they be, and what's the preferred type of line?

3. There are 2 internal halyards with sheaves at the head of the mast; one I use for the furling genoa. I'm guessing the other is for another genoa (the boat came with a storm jib). There is also a harken block on a swivel up there which I'm guessing is for the spin halyard, which would run outside the mast. If I can use the internal it spares me going up the mast but I suspect the head of the spin needs to be able to swivel, hence the block.

4. The sheet/guy lines come back around outside all the rigging to snatch blocks clipped to the toe rail aft of the winches; how far back should those blocks be? Also: I only have one set of winches in the cockpit, though I have 2 smaller ones on the cabin roof -- I use the starboard one for the main halyard; I assume these are not meant for the spinnaker.

B. Process:

1. Mostly my issue here is with how to coordinate raising & dousing the spinnaker when the boat has a furling genoa rather than a hank-on that gets raised & lowered. My assumption is it works similarly: the turtle bag gets clipped on the port side up near the pulpit, and the spin gets raised up on a starboard tack in the lee of the genoa until it catches a bit of wind. Then the genoa gets rolled up.
To douse, the process is reversed: unfurl the genoa to take the wind out of the spinnaker. Should you douse on the same (starboard) tack?

2. Does the spinnaker get hauled down back around the genoa and into the companionway to be re-organized? or should it come back in front of it and into the hatch? or right into the bag? (or is that even possible?)

3. I assume this requires a crew minimum of 4: helm, foredeck for the pole, spinnaker trimmer, & middleman to hoist & help haul it back in.

4. Anyone ever used a chute scoop or similar dousing sock? Are they worth considering? Any other advice?

Finally, perhaps this could be the basis of a Black Arts entry that addresses all things spinnaker (like the props entry), so newbies like me don't have to bug everybody with ridiculously long-winded questions.

Thanks for any & all help on this!
Richard Bingham
Peregrine
553/Mk III 1976
Toronto
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (bosco)
Posted: 12:05:01 pm on 8/1/2012 Modified: Never
 
Hi Richard,
I've owned Aragorn about 25 years longer than you've owned your boat so I'll offer what advice I've learned by adding comments to your post----

A. Rigging:

1. What is your preferred arrangement for the uphaul, downhaul & spin halyard lines? Currently I have the main halyard & vang on the starboard side of the cabin roof, and on the port side a single jiffy reef. (The genoa is on a furler so its halyard is cleated at the mast.) I'm thinking about putting the spin halyard on the starboard side and the up/downhaul on the port.

 Basically, your choice

2. There is a block about 3/4 way up the mast which I assume is for the uphaul. I'm guessing the line should come down to a block at the foot of the mast and then through the fairleads back to the cockpit (there are a couple of large round fairleads on the cabin roof that look like they are meant for this purpose). And for the downhaul, I am assuming another block at the base of the mast and then through fairleads to the cockpit.

 Those will work for you OK .  But on Aragorn we use "tweakers" on the sheet/guy instead of a downhaul. The tweaker is idle on the sheet but pulls the guy downward to keep the pole at the right height== This avoids two lines attached to the pole and simplifies the "end -to-end" gybes we use. The tweakers are fastened to the toe rail at the widest point of the hull.

3. The lines I have that may be spin sheets seem to me a bit heavy compared to the rather light lines we use on the Thunderbird kite (though it is a smaller sail); they are 3/8 braided without much stretch. Possibly they are another set of genoa lines, but my understanding has always been that shackles are not a great idea on a genoa just because you don't want that much metal potentially flapping around and cranking somebody in the head. Possibly they are the up/downhaul sheets? If I need to buy new sheets, how long should they be, and what's the preferred type of line?

The 3/8 " lines with shackles sound like spinnaker sheet and guy to me. For very light air we substitute 3/16 " lines so they don't drag the spinnaker down with their weight .

3. There are 2 internal halyards with sheaves at the head of the mast; one I use for the furling genoa. I'm guessing the other is for another genoa (the boat came with a storm jib). There is also a harken block on a swivel up there which I'm guessing is for the spin halyard, which would run outside the mast. If I can use the internal it spares me going up the mast but I suspect the head of the spin needs to be able to swivel, hence the block.

Use the Harken masthead swivel block for the Spinnaker halyard.

4. The sheet/guy lines come back around outside all the rigging to snatch blocks clipped to the toe rail aft of the winches; how far back should those blocks be? Also: I only have one set of winches in the cockpit, though I have 2 smaller ones on the cabin roof -- I use the starboard one for the main halyard; I assume these are not meant for the spinnaker.

Our return bocks are set on the extreme aft end of the toerails . Like you, we have 2 large winches basically for the genoa but we use these downwind for the sheet and guy. This means that , on a spinnaker hoist, the leeward winch has to have the genoa sheet moved off that winch so that the spinnaker sheet can go there . Right after rounding, we move the genoa sheet to a cleat to free up the leeward winch. If you try to use one of the cabin-top winches, the spinnaker sheet has to go through the middle of the cockpit-- a pain !! On a very close reach, we sometimes use a cabin-top winch with the trimmer standing up by the mast to better see the curl in the chute.

B. Process:

1. Mostly my issue here is with how to coordinate raising & dousing the spinnaker when the boat has a furling genoa rather than a hank-on that gets raised & lowered. My assumption is it works similarly: the turtle bag gets clipped on the port side up near the pulpit, and the spin gets raised up on a starboard tack in the lee of the genoa until it catches a bit of wind. Then the genoa gets rolled up.
To douse, the process is reversed: unfurl the genoa to take the wind out of the spinnaker. Should you douse on the same (starboard) tack?

Starboard tack is preferred because you then have rights over port tackers but of course, it depends on whether the rounding is a "port' or "starboard" rounding.

2. Does the spinnaker get hauled down back around the genoa and into the companionway to be re-organized? or should it come back in front of it and into the hatch? or right into the bag? (or is that even possible?)

We have an 'oversized' bag into which we "bag-drop" the chute in normal wind strengths. We leave the halyard, sheet and guy all connected after the drop and simply velcro the top of the bag shut.
( instantly ready for the next hoist). In heavy air we do a "cabin drop" (leeward side)and re-pack the chute down below. Clip the sheet, guy and halyard together after the douse and use the guy to pull all forward to the bow.For a "cabin-drop" , the foredeck person goes below with the bag and uses the sheet to haul the chute into the cabin for repacking below. During the upwind leg, the bag gets taken back to the bow and has the 3 lines reconnected.

3. I assume this requires a crew minimum of 4: helm, foredeck for the pole, spinnaker trimmer, & middleman to hoist & help haul it back in.

Our crew is 4. Foredeck one person; 2 in the cockpit and yours truly.

4. Anyone ever used a chute scoop or similar dousing sock? Are they worth considering? Any other advice

No experience with them.

There are many ways "to skin a cat" but the ideas above  are ways we've found to work with my crew.
 Hope this helps with your downwind adventures !

Clare Jordan  Aragorn
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (davidww1)
Posted: 10:09:17 am on 8/1/2012 Modified: Never
 
Once you rig a spinnaker halyard, you will need to be careful that it doesn't foul itself in the furling genoa. Inattention to this detail once cost me about two hours at the masthead, shorting out a seriously intractable tangle.

No personal experience with a chute snuffer/scoop/whatever, but a friend had one for a while and said it might be nice for cruising with a small crew, but his was on the heavy side, and he didn't like it banging around at the masthead, plus the additional lines created their own problems and so required careful handling.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (rbingham)
Posted: 10:28:29 am on 8/1/2012 Modified: Never
 
Wow, Clare, that's great, thanks! Cleared up a lot of things.

Two further clarifications if you would:

The tweaker, as I understand it, consists of a block on the end of a line which runs through a second toe-rail mounted block amidships and then cleated. The sheet/guy runs through the first block and this then gives you downhaul control. (Like this Harken set-up: http://www.harken.com/rigtips/spinnaker.php) Does the sheet-side tweaker get uncleated for the end-to-end jibe? Or can both sides be set and cleated and kept that way unless adjustments are required?

And the location of your turtle bag: all the way forward on the pulpit? It seems to be there on your Fleet photo. (Man that looks great!)

And David thanks for the furler warning. Duly noted.

cheers

Richard Bingham
Peregrine
553/Mk III 1976
Toronto
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (bosco)
Posted: 11:53:23 am on 8/1/2012 Modified: Never
 
Hey Richard,
 Sounds like you pretty well know what to do already. Just need to practice it--- Suggestion ; take your crew out in 8 knots and do a dozen "bag-drops" with re-hoists and a dozen downwind gybes as a start -- It's just a matter of each crew member working in unison.

 To anwer your points;   1.Yes , the tweakers are set up like diagram shows. The tweaker on the guy is always pulled down but the tweaker on the sheet must be free or it will distort the shape of the chute. During a gybe, of course, one must be tightened and the other let free as the boat rotates under the spinnaker.
                         2. We put the spinnaker bag inside the pulpit, just ahead of the forestay. Having the bag in the middle of the boat (rather than having it on the port side) better allows a hoist on EITHER tack. ( we sometimes have starboard roundings)
     If you look again at the picture of Aragorn in the "Fleet" section , you can see the bag location and also pick out the tweaker acting on the guy.
 Cheers, Clare  
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (rbingham)
Posted: 12:40:21 pm on 8/1/2012 Modified: Never
 
Awesome, thanks. I think I have all the pieces in place now.
Time to get it up, and as you say, practice!
all the best.
Richard Bingham
Peregrine
553/Mk III 1976
Toronto
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (bosco)
Posted: 8:08:44 pm on 8/1/2012 Modified: Never
 
Hey Richard,
 When you've sailed as long as I have and reached my ripe old age, it is sometimes not easy to "get it up"; let alone practice !!!
Clare
 
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (wrapper)
Posted: 1:01:54 pm on 9/11/2012 Modified: Never
 
Thanks !

Allan
Cygnus
C&C 27 Hull 518

  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (Roger Gibb)
Posted: 7:43:04 pm on 9/18/2012 Modified: Never
 
We have quite a bit of light air sailing around here so instead of using tweekers, which tend to distort the spinnacker sheet when the tweeker is lazy and the wind is light, we use snatch blocks to good effect. We place them at the broadest part of the beam, and pop the guy into them immediately after gybing - helps simplify the line set up as well.

Roger Gibb


Passtime (27-4)

  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (rbingham)
Posted: 12:10:25 pm on 9/26/2012 Modified: Never
 
Thanks Roger. I appreciate the line simplicity part especially. Foredeck person or cockpit responsible for the switch at gybe?

cheers

Richard Bingham
Peregrine
553/Mk III 1976
Toronto
  Re: Spinnaker advice request: warning, long post (Roger Gibb)
Posted: 12:50:26 pm on 9/26/2012 Modified: Never
 
Cockpit person (before gybe takes guy out of block, after gybe puts new guy into block on other side); foredeck person is focused on getting the spinnacker pulling properly and adjusting to the change in guy position.
We try and race with 5 people: helm, foredeck, port cockpit, std. cockpit, and 5th person to make changes such as this, and goes below to haul the spinnaker down into the cabin and repack. When we have 4 people we definitely are not as smooth. and takes us longer to get up to speed after a rounding.

Roger Gibb


Passtime (27-4)