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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default parasailor/wingaker

    There's been a few threads on these over the years the last being 5 years ago. All parasailor owners seem to love them and confirm the marketing hype. The downsides seem to be suboptimal efficiency compared with a combination of symmetric and asymmetrics (so not for racing) and cost and potentially having a slightly niche market of cruising folks who want to be able to stick downwind sail up in a variety of conditions on a long downhill voyage and easily manage it shorthanded. A niche I possibly fall into.

    - Any parasailor owners have any other downsides they want to add?
    - Anyone have experience of the wingaker which seems to be the lower cost alternative?
    - Anyone know why almost all the "how to" videos seem to be hoisting the thing while motoring, the one exception I found being a cat where they hoist with main up (genoa furled) but then never take the main down as seems to be recommended?

    Looking at my post count it seems that I've made exactly 5000 whilst planning my getaway. Perhaps I need one of these sooner than I think...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Solent, UK

    Default Re: parasailor/wingaker

    I have a simpler "Parasail" on my boat. My only concern with it has been on one of my cross channel trips. I put it up in Cherbourg as the wind was forecast F3, Southerly. Mid channel, there was quite a swell running and the wind had picked up to around a 5/6 and gone more SW so we were making 7-8 knots, surfing down the waves. Normally I'd take it down with that strength of wind, but the swell made working on the foredeck a bit fraught. By the time we had St Cats in view, the wind was easily F7 and Snark was barrelling along at over 10 knots. The rig held up and when we got near Nab, we were in the shelter of the IoW so getting the sail down was less hazardous. The crossing Cherbourg to Gosport, pontoon to pontoon, took just over 10 hours, pontoon to pontoon. I keep a better eye on the apparent wind after that experience. It's a fantastic sail, one of the best investments I've ever made on the boat, but you HAVE to behave in a seamanlike manner and keep an eye on the weather. My boat will do 6 knots under the genoa alone in a F6.

    I raise the parasail under engine with the autopilot engaged. This is because I prefer not to have the main up at the same time (it's not needed) and the genoa is rolled up. With a larger crew, I suspect it is easier to set the parasail and drop the main under sail, but there's not enough room on the deck of my boat. It's also vital to get the lines sorted out correctly, you'd be surprised how easily it is to cock it up. On a good day, it takes about 15 minutes to set the sail, including getting it from the forepeak. A simple error can stretch this out to half and hour or even forty minutes. It takes a bit longer to pack it away.
    Grow old disgracefully, it's more fun

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport

    Default Re: parasailor/wingaker

    A friend has one with a snuffer, which makes getting it down in exciting conditions a little less adrenaline-inducing.
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.


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