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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Clyde
    Posts
    958

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Thanks all - some great info.

    I have had 3 boats with spinnakers and poles, so get the benefits of this arrangement. But need to go simpler this bigger boat. Objective is say 140 deg to perhaps dead downwind, in lighter winds (F3). Seems the assymetric/cruising chute is the way to investigate. Dont have a pole, and would like to avoid having one if possible, maybe see how I get on with the sail and go from there.

    Interested in the comments of furlers vs snuffers.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,562

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Quote Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
    Interested in the comments of furlers vs snuffers.
    Furlers brilliant for ease of use - and for taming the sail if it all gets a bit too fruity. Though often continuous furler loop not brought fully back to stern, so in squall our approach is harness on before going to shrouds where furler rope can be reached. Typically then leave up till back in harbour, or reset.

    Well set up snuffer also can be effective. But perhaps more risk of things getting tangled in a “distress furl”. Also worth noting in a bigger boat it may be important to have snatch block on deck and pull furling rope upwards from that. When a sudden Caribbean squall hit on a 45 footer, when trying to snuff the asymetric it refilled suddenly and pulled me 6 feet clean off the decks before I let go. By the time we got the asymetric down it was badly ripped and a write off for the rest of the voyage.
    (Typical Caribbean squall as described by Chris Tibbs - “wind hits hard for 10 minutes, just enough to blow out the spinnaker and soak everybody before suddenly going calm again”. I had suggested a drop before it hit but not my kite

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    boat Trindad
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    The OP asked for "best" downwind sail and a contender must be a Parasailor. Sails in the dead third of wind angles from 120 either side. A key advantage of the Parasailor is its massive expense, which guarantees you'll use it as often as possible.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    France
    Posts
    25,262

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Anybody tried a Twistle rig?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    37,703

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    People enthuse about all sorts of rig for downwind, tradewind sailing.
    Coastal light airs sailing, using an asymetric, the apparent wind is often a long way forwards.
    Get your head around the vectors before parting with cash.
    Better still, have a go with an asy, maybe in a dinghy.

    Parasails and twistle rigs, people will talk of setting it up and it looking after itself for days on end.
    A big asy in light airs can be almost the opposite of that, you can sail the boat really actively to get the best out of it.
    I find it absorbing and rewarding, as well as a quick way of getting there while others are motoring dead downwind in thier own diesel fumes.
    If you just want to be blown along in F4, sort out a decent poling out system which is really quick to set up and pack away.
    Sailing is a broad church. Not everyone wants the same thing!

    You can of course just set an asy in F3, cleat it and engage autopilot, just being ready to respond if overpowered. But that may leave you wishing you'd bought a conventional kite?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,562

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    There was a lot of chat about Parasails and Twistle rig from some advocates pre ARC in the Canaries.

    They were less chatty in St Lucia - not least as much bigger boats with these came in many days after smaller boats simply sailing wing and wing with mainsail and (robustly set up) poled out genoa
    Not saying they don’t have some value - but probably over complex for the OP and not even proven by the actual results to be materially better for long downwind sails such as ARC (don flack jacket and tin helmet)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    10,432

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Quote Originally Posted by dunedin View Post
    There was a lot of chat about Parasails and Twistle rig from some advocates pre ARC in the Canaries.

    They were less chatty in St Lucia - not least as much bigger boats with these came in many days after smaller boats simply sailing wing and wing with mainsail and (robustly set up) poled out genoa
    Not saying they don’t have some value - but probably over complex for the OP and not even proven by the actual results to be materially better for long downwind sails such as ARC (don flack jacket and tin helmet)
    What works best for a long downwind tradewind sail, and what the best solution might be for a downwind sail for use in coastal waters in light wind are very different. They're completely different scenarios.

    With tradewind sailing in fairly traditional (i.e not planing hulled) heavily laden cruising boats, a kite isn't going to make a massive difference to polling out the genoa, as the hull is unlikley to be able to actually make use of the extra power.
    But trying to make the same boat go downwind in 10 knots or less when less heavily laden... That's when a kite will really come into its own.
    You never know, I might be right!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caribbean
    Posts
    2,341

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Not my experience. We are that heavy cruiser. Goosewinged our poled out genoa is 700sqft whereas the poled out asymmetric is 1700sqft. The current asymmetric is actually larger than the original spinnaker we had. It makes a huge difference to boat speed ddw or beam reaching in 9 kts of wind. We really enjoy flying it. the thing we notice with the poled out asymmetric is how stable it is ddw compares to our old spinny.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    6,625

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Quote Originally Posted by geem View Post
    Not my experience. We are that heavy cruiser. Goosewinged our poled out genoa is 700sqft whereas the poled out asymmetric is 1700sqft. The current asymmetric is actually larger than the original spinnaker we had. It makes a huge difference to boat speed ddw or beam reaching in 9 kts of wind. We really enjoy flying it. the thing we notice with the poled out asymmetric is how stable it is ddw compares to our old spinny.
    Are you poling out the tack or the clew?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caribbean
    Posts
    2,341

    Default Re: Best downwind sail?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJE View Post
    Are you poling out the tack or the clew?
    We pole out the tack as a conventional spinnaker

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