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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    13

    Default Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer

    I am having trouble with the spinnaker on a Hunter 216 getting tangled etc. I was considering using Top-Down Spinnaker Furler, perhaps using a wire trace threaded through 'ski-rope'. I am having trouble sourcing 'Torsion-rope', which is very expensive and may be an over-kill for a small yacht. I have been advised that Top-Down furling is not the magic solution. Anyone using it on a small trailer-sailer? Any suggestions? Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,203

    Default Re: Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer

    I've just looked at some photos of a spinnaker on a Hunter 216. It looks pretty small so shouldn't be a problem to manage if you are doing things in the right order.

    What exactly is the problem you are having? Is it with the hoist or the drop? Or gybing?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer

    The spinnaker gets tangled when hoisting and also on the gybe. I also have a range of crew, some of which are inexperienced, and so I am hoping to simplify things.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,203

    Default Re: Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Laser3 View Post
    The spinnaker gets tangled when hoisting and also on the gybe. I also have a range of crew, some of which are inexperienced, and so I am hoping to simplify things.
    I'm not sure that adding another step to the procedure will help simplify things ...

    What do you mean by "getting tangled"? If you mean a twist, there are ways to minimise that.

    The first thing to do is make sure it is packed nicely. Run the tapes to make sure the sail is not twisted in the turtle. When I pack the kite, I also make sure the foot of the sail is on top, which might be a bit counter-intuitive, but see below.

    During the hoist, separate the corners by pulling the tack out first. Depending on where you put the turtle, you might be able to get the tack all the way out to the end of the sprit before you start hoisting the halyard. Then have a bit of tension on the sheet to make sure it can't go forward and foul the sail during the hoist.

    Then - hoist the halyard as fast as you can, trim the tack a bit more if you need to and get the sheet on quickly.

    For gybing - to prevent twists around the forestay you can unroll the jib, even if it is just for the gybe.

    If you are more specific about what you mean by "tangles", I might be able to give more specific pointers. But personally I don't think a top-down fuller is the way to go for that size boat.

    You can see a hoist (0:25) the end of a gybe (1:46) and drop (2:09) here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX2Ogd1C060
    The blue kite is 72 m2 and the last two clips are in 20-25 knots true wind speed - but it doesn't really look it.

    As I say, the key thing is being prepared and doing things in the right order.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,079

    Default Re: Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer

    The only furlers I've seen on asy's that small or smaller are on boats like the Weta trimaran, where they seem to work well, but that's a very flat 'screacher' kite and I'm not sure the furling is top down.
    Have a look at videos of RS400, B14, Laser2000 etc or any asy dinghy for how to gybe it cleanly.
    The key points are IMHO:
    Have sheets that don't catch on the forestay
    Pull the clew through to the new side early
    Gybe positively through a bigger angle then bear off as the kite fills.

    As a helm, I can tell you that if it's going wrong, it mostly isn't the crew's fault!

    On your boat, is the sprit fixed, or does it pull out and take the tack with it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,810

    Default Re: Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Top-Down Spinnaker Furler for Small Trailer Sailer

    Thanks for the replies - Very helpful. Cheers

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