Lowering the spinnaker while reaching

I have watched other sail downwing with their chute up, round a mark and then proceed to sail the next leg with the chute up on a beam reach. We would usually drop the spinnaker and use our jib, but they definitely had the advantage in certain conditions. Toward the end of last season, we decided to give the technique a try. Reaching with the spinnaker worked fine, but we ran into problems when it can time to lower it. Our spinnaker pole was almost all the way forward and lowering it on the leeward side seemed impossible because we were heeling too much for the crew to move to the leeward seat to pull the chute in. We were forced to bring the chute down on the windward side, but that was a minor disaster, as the wind wrapped the spinnaker around the forstay as we brought it in. I would appreciate any input on how to handle the spinnaker in this situation. Thanks John

Comments

The trick is to work your way above the mark a bit so that as yo

The trick is to work your way above the mark a bit so that as you approach it you can bear off and lessen the load on the chute. That will reduce the heel and allow your crew to get to leeward. [8] FS4830

It is possible to take the pole in first, after you ease the guy

It is possible to take the pole in first, after you ease the guy and trim the sheet to get the chute behind the jib and main. If you release the halyard, the chute should fly out flat over the water like a flag and then can be brought in... Tricky but possible. Bob New FS 5143 Merritt Island Florida Fleet Captain Fleet 179

Good point Bob.

Good point Bob. Once the pole is off, sheet in hard to tighten the foot and blow the halyard. If you don't sheet in, the the foot of the sail might go swimming or at the very least be hard to grab since it won't be close into the boat. The boat may still be heeled over a bit due to the angle of the reach, but shouldn't be as bad. [8] FS4830

To douse the spinnaker when on a beam reach, leave the pole up.

To douse the spinnaker when on a beam reach, leave the pole up. When ready to douse, over trim the chute AND release the spin halyard while the crew is pulling in the spinnaker by its foot or a sheet. Don't worry about getting the pole down. You can do that anytime down wind or upwind. There is nothing wrong with dousing the chute and leaving the pole up. Your spin sheets should be plenty long if they are factory lengths. If you are on a screaming reach planning (breeze 20-30 knots), leave the pole up and have your crew douse the chute by pulling it in mid cockpit. Don't risk a capsize or pitch pole by sending crew forwards and dont' worry about being too correct in the douse if it is blowing way hard, just keep the boat stable and get the chute down. An upright boat will always beat a capsized boat. [;)] -Michael Flying Scot South Michael Mittman FS# 5804, Fleet 23 Corinthian Sailing Club White Rock Lake Dallas, TX

Michael Mittman

FS 5804, Fleet 23

Corinthian Sailing Club

White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX, USA