Posts Tagged ‘spinnaker’

Tortoise and the Hare

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Generally, when racing, the rule is to round the windward mark and pop the kite. Can you think of a time when this rule may not apply? A time when the closest you come to raising the spinnaker is rigging the spinnaker pole?

Find out the answer in our recent Newsletter, Spinnaker or …

Don’t get me started!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Yesterday RANSA’s annual regatta was held on Sydney Harbour. Conditions were light. It was a spinnaker start which can, of course, be a real nightmare. It was a handicap start, i.e. each yacht starting on the fall of the minute sign for their handicap, which meant that not too many of the 86 yacht fleet were crossing the line at any one time.

The wise skippers had been out early and done timed runs to the start line, well before their allotted time and without inconveniencing the starting yachts.

Some yachts chose to carry their spinnakers across the line, others waited until the line was crossed before setting the kite.

Yacht with too many rubber bands on its spinnaker
Of these one, which shall remain nameless, took rather longer than the others to set its kite. The reason, at least 14 rubber bands were used to stop an early break out of the kite. On a day of light winds no bands could have been the call, or at very least only a few – of rotten elastic to break easily.

The yacht in the foreground is considerably shorter, not flying a spinnaker, is generations older than our subject and it is going faster!

Yacht with spinnaker almost set - note banding still holding head of the kite
At last! No, I’m wrong. There’s still at least one rubber band on the head of the spinnaker. The spinnaker is finally drawing but our subject is still sailing well above her proper course to the first mark. Meanwhile the classic oldster is on course and sailing well!

What is a Parasailor?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

A. A paralympic sailor.
B. A yacht with two identical masts and sails.
C. A spinnaker with a vent system that provides greater stability than a traditional spinnaker.

The video has given the answer away – it’s C.

The Parasailor, a German innovation, was written up in Yachting World in “The Best Way to Sail the ARC”:
“It is a spinnaker with a vent and is said to be better mannered than a traditional version and can be set with or without a pole.
“With the vent, it will tend to allow the wind to blow through, so gusts will have less of an effect and it will provide added stability.”

Time will tell whether the idea takes on. What do you think of it?

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In The Boating Bible Manual of Seamanship – Boat Handling 1 – we show how to use twin headsails to keep the boat stable when running.