Spinnaker Sheets

Please see the post RE new 7.9 masts

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GCushing
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Spinnaker Sheets

Post by GCushing » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:34 pm

Looking for recomendations for line type and size, as well as length for launching out of the companionway.
Best,
George
Dolcetto #286

dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:03 am

George, addressing this from your PM also: If you just want one set of good sheets, I like to use New England Flight Line, 5/16". I strip the cover off of the forward sections and taper that back into the spectra core for a very light, very low stretch spi sheets that can handle any wind you choose to sail in but still be light enough for great light air use (tie a bowline, NO snap shackles PLEASE!!!! :oops: ), and the 5/16" tails are still easy on the hands. The polypro covers won't last as long as polyester but if performance is what counts I won't use anything on the spi sheets that gets heavy when it touches the water unless it's so windy that it's a moot point.

If I was going with dedicated sheets that would greatly extend the life of the Flight Line, 1/4" would be my choice for light air and Samson Warpspeed in 5'16" would be my choice for the higher stuff. This line is basically bullet proof. Some people are of the mistaken opinion that larger sheets are easier on the hands but there are 4 reasons that I don't agree with that: smaller line ALWAYS goes through the systems easier than larger line which means less effort to trim a given load, gloves, auto ratchets and winches!!! Some might think this to be overkill too as far as stretch goes but I most heartily disagree. If your sheets, halyard, topping lift, foreguy and tweekers/twings are the best stuff that you can afford, the boat WILL get more out of every puff because that's goes directly into pulling the boat instead of stretching the line and THEN pulling the boat. This also means that when you set the pole somewhere it basically stays there until moved. All in all the whole bit adds up to less trimming required over the long haul, BUT, you must remember that the chute is now REALLY the weak link and will take the brunt of sudden collapsing/filling, so the trimmer needs to pay attention!!! :shock:

Twice the length of the boat is fairly standard for spi sheets, but someone else may say differently.

Mark Gutteridge
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by Mark Gutteridge » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:28 am

Hello;
If you are going to launch from the companionway you will need sheets that are longer than twice the length of the boat. I will measure mine and let you know a little later. We also use a higher tech rope that has the cover stripped and there has never been a problem with it not being light enough or strong enough.Spend the cash it always works out better than have to buy the right stuff later.
Chimo;
Guts #448

dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:24 am

I just drew it out on paper and twice the boat length still works with companionway launching, plus in real world experience in the boat twice the length is what I've always used......................................... launching from the companionway with no problems. If someone like longer tails with the ensuing rat's nets in the cockpit, more power to them. I prefer as little line as will get the job done on EVERYTHING just to help with the tangles/group gropes.

As to the "higher tech rope that has the cover stripped", I believe that I already said that, and anything higher tech than Warp Speed is just throwing money down a rat hole on a 26' boat, IMHO. You could blow that money on something with a PBO core but you would go no faster, spend LOTS more jack, and stripping the covers back would expose the PBO to UV, not a good thing for the life of the line!!! :shock: Plus, spectra is the lightest line available after polypropylene (both float), something that is VERY desirable in sheets that occasionally drag through the water.

Although this copy is from 2006, it still applies today:

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/RightLinejob.pdf

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Tim Bosma
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by Tim Bosma » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:40 am

although I have never seen Dave rig and launch a spinnaker on his 7.9, I am sure he could do it with 52' lines. As for Hot Tamale, we have 70' of 5/16" New England Rope Endura Braid (light weight, non-absorbing, strippable). When rigged for launch from the companionway, the starboard line has a stopper knot that is right at the forward spinny block - no extra line anywhere near the cockpit - and runs back to the turning block on the handle, forward outside everything, and around the headstay, back to the companionway opening on the port side - where we have about a cubit of extra line since we slide the spinny's laundry basket forward. The sheet is entirely out of the way until needed.
Tim Bosma, Bosun
Hot Tamale Racing
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S2 7.9's : #477

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Tim Bosma
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by Tim Bosma » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:51 am

I misread our records, we have 50' spinny sheets, the headsail halyards are 70'.
Tim Bosma, Bosun
Hot Tamale Racing
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S2 7.9's : #477

dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:54 am

8) :wink:

fleck
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by fleck » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:07 pm

Dave, I believe Gustsy said he ALSO uses high(er) tech lines for the spin.

We have 2 lines that we use. The primary is an old 1/4 inch Kevlar core line with a poly cover (T900?). Yes we could upgrade and strip it, but the weight saving would be the same as that last swig of beer that you can't get out of the can. What we do like about this line(and probably why it is still 'old tech') is that it runs well and doesn't kink. Nothing screws up spinnaker work like a line that gets a mind of its own.

We also have 1/4 inch light air sheets that we use which has a polypropylene cover and Dyneema core (I think its flightline). This is only used for light air on windward/leeward courses. The polypro will not stand up to heavy winch use. One good ease over a winch drum with any significant load on the line will melt the cover.

I agree that a little longer than twice is better ( I think we us 60ft). We have a final ratchet block located at the back of the cabin so twice the length of the boat doesn't leave a lot of tail. We do not knot the ends of the sheet. (That is not a double negative :P )
Bob Fleck
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dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:13 pm

You are correct, my mistake.............................................. I'm not a morning person and never have been! :oops:

dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:39 pm

"so twice the length of the boat doesn't leave a lot of tail"

That was my point: I don't want a lot of tail on anything!!! :wink: Not trying to step on any toes here but I rig boats that I drive so that I can get to some things when the crew isn't taking care of business. That means that I mount the final turning blocks for the spi sheets within reach of the helm (with the tiller extension out) so that I can get the guy around if/when the crew aren't doing it fast enough or not at all or so that I can get to the sheet or guy in a broach situation! You may think this to be crazy but I have been in a windward broach on the 7.9 where the crew was all hanging on the lifeline with the guy cleated............................... until I uncleated it!!!!! Of course the broach was my fault, I was driving the boat hard and deep, but the point is that the crew didn't take care of business, I had to, and we went on to win the race instead of blowing down the lake on our side until one of them decided to let go of the lifeline and uncleat the guy!

Stuff happens on boats and people make all kind of excuses for why this or that isn't being done. The bottom line is: very often, if you want something done, let alone done right, you must do it yourself!!!! :roll: Everything can't and shouldn't be run back to where the driver can get to it if needed, but the spi sheets are one that I like.

fleck
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by fleck » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:17 am

What does uncleating the guy have to do with short tails on sheets? The guy would be on the primary winch and within reach of the helm with a long or short tail. The only reason we run a slightly longer sheet is so when the spin is doused, the tail doesn't run through the blocks. Thus needing to be rerun before the next hoist. If we ran the boat with knots in the end of the sheets, they would be shorter. I mount the blocks where they are most effective for the trimmers (forward). With the bit of tail, the helm can still be the one getting the guy back during the launch.

Its all 6 of one, half dozen of another. There always more than one way to set up a boat.
Bob Fleck
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dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:01 pm

I think you answered your own question: you don't use knots so you have to have longer sheets.......................................... neither one makes sense to me but that's what makes the world go round! :wink:

dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:15 pm

Oh yeah: uncleating the guy and the shorts tails.... The simple fact that the last turning block AND cleats were withing my reach was all I was talking about, alluding simply to the turning block location. :wink: Because of their location the 2X boat length sheets are plenty long and still have plenty of tail. The fact that the guy is the short end is a nonstarter for me, both sides have to be the same length and the same location for a symmetrical chute to work right! You choose to NOT tie knots so your sheets have to be too long for the job at hand, I don't know what else I can say to shed any light on the subject.

fleck
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by fleck » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:25 pm

Dave,

I don't have any questions. I'm not in the dark. I understand why you do what you do and why I do what I do. I'm not looking for validation.

I'm simply explaining that having a few extra feet does have its place in the discussion. If you run short tails, you run the risk of the tail running through the blocks if you do not knot the tail. I never knot the tails on spin sheets as a matter of safety. My boat my decision. I've seen boats do it differently with unfavorable results. But, plan for the best, prepare for the worst.
Bob Fleck
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dave
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Re: Spinnaker Sheets

Post by dave » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:47 pm

I understand, just a different philosophy. I have sailed keel boats and everything else in more wind than 99% of the sailors out there and still wouldn't go without knots in the spi sheets. Your judgement, your call................. I'm not being critical of the way that you or anyone else chooses to sail. I'm only putting it out there for others to see both sides and make their own choice.

I can Guarantee you this: A boat having a bad broach with the knots tied in the spi sheets will get to the finish line before a boat doing the same thing in the same conditions WITHOUT the knots. Both boats will recover from the broach and the boat without the knots MAY come up faster (or not) , but the boat WITH the knots will be flying down the lake again with the chute up and drawing instead of sailing down the lake bare headed while the crew tries to rerun the sheets and re-set the chute! 8) The other big thing is that if both the sheet and the guy run free there is NO WAY to get the chute back in the boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can let the halyard all the way out to the knot (surely there's one there ?) and it will just be a perfect flag flying straight out from the rig 30' away from the masthead with no way to get it back down.............................................

No offense or disrespect is ever intended in ANYTHING that I post. My goal is to help others as much as possible by hopefully getting them past many of the pitfalls that I've been through. There are many things in sailing that sound great or seem like they would be fast (wax on the bottom.............) until one looks deeper.

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