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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    8

    Default What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    Hi guys I've been the bowman on an 45ft raceboat for about a year now and I could do with some advice please on what to do with the spinnaker clews and head before and in between hoists during a race. I'm not sure on the size but the spinnaker is huge.

    Normally I know before the race starts which side the hoist will be on (usually port pole, starboard hoist) and so I get the sheets and guys attached to the clews in advance. The spi comes of out a hatch just in front of the mast. I'll have both clews and head just poking out of the hatch and trapped in place with the hatch's sliding "door/roof". I'll have one clew to one side of the hatch, one on the other side with the head in the middle - this helps to avoid twists.

    After a spi drop I'll run the tapes and then arrange the clews and head in the similar fashion for the next hoist.

    Everything works fine but I don't like trapping stuff in the hatch door as I'm sure it's damaging the sail. I'm new to sailing and I'm wondering what other sailors organize this. I'm nervous about shoving the whole lot down the hatch in case the head and clews get wrapped round each other.

    Best regards, Aidan.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5,140

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    I guess you drop down the hatch too. As long as the drop is OK and you don't let go of the corners then there should be no need to run the tapes. Someone down below can be helpful if it is an awkward drop. Don't shove the corners down the hatch as you will have a high chance of issues if you don't run the tapes and the whole point of a forehatch hoist/drop is to save unnecessary delays and time with weight in the wrong place sorting out the spinnaker for a re-hoist. We dropped once for a mark then realised we could carry it on the next leg so re hoisted again about 20s later. You couldn't do that if running the tapes (although sacking the tactician might avoid the unnecessary drop in the first place )

    It is quite common to use the hatch to trap the corners. If you don't like that a sail tie through them will help but you need somewhere to tie it off above deck that isn't going to cause any problems for anything else.

    Easy to swing the gear. Just clip the guys/sheets together and the guys in the cockpit can do most of the work. maybe with a little help from you walking them round. Bring the halyard to the hatch as late as possible to be ready in time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    What's the difference between a good and bad drop? I've never understood this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    9,129

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    Quote Originally Posted by fobos8 View Post
    What's the difference between a good and bad drop? I've never understood this.
    A good drop is one where the kite can go straight back up again, ie not twisted.
    A bad drop is where it comes down in a mess and will need sorting out before the bow team are confident that it will go up again without a twist in it.
    A really bad drop is where the kite has to go the sailmaker afterwards.
    A terrible drop is one where the owner has to buy a new kite afterwards.
    You never know, I might be right!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    Quote Originally Posted by flaming View Post
    A good drop is one where the kite can go straight back up again, ie not twisted.
    A bad drop is where it comes down in a mess and will need sorting out before the bow team are confident that it will go up again without a twist in it.
    A really bad drop is where the kite has to go the sailmaker afterwards.
    A terrible drop is one where the owner has to buy a new kite afterwards.
    I know all of those!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    on our boat, one clew will be at the end of the pole (3 metres away from hatch), the other clew will be near the hatch (I trap this one under my knew just before we shove the spi down the hatch so it doesn't get wrapped in the mess).

    I don't know if its because we never let the clews get close to each other but we've never had a twist in the sail.

    Flaming what do you recommend to do with clews and head during drops?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    9,129

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    Just trap them in the hatch. If you’re going to unplug the kite but don’t want to repack then some boats put Velcro loops next to the hatch to hang them from.
    You never know, I might be right!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    thanks flaming. That a great idea

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,034

    Default Re: What to do with spinnaker clews and head in between hoists?

    Quote Originally Posted by flaming View Post
    A good drop is one where the kite can go straight back up again, ie not twisted.
    A bad drop is where it comes down in a mess and will need sorting out before the bow team are confident that it will go up again without a twist in it.
    A really bad drop is where the kite has to go the sailmaker afterwards.
    A terrible drop is one where the owner has to buy a new kite afterwards.
    I used to sail on a big boat - 18-20 crew was standard around the cans - and the skipper's last words before every drop were "Keep it dry!"
    On a boat that size, with a kite that size, often using the biggest kite in 20 knots true, getting the kite wet would put it into your "really bad" or "terrible" category. With possibly some crew injuries thrown in for good measure.

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