Topic: Rigging the spinnaker

One of my goals this summer is to get the spinnaker rigged and flown. I bought the boat a year ago and so far I haven't even pulled the spinnakers out of the bags to inspect them.

I have a spinnaker pole, which I've unseized and checked for defects.  It appears to be of sufficient length and strength so I'm not worried about that.  The spinnaker halyard is also my spare jib halyard.  It is relatively new and in good condition.

Q1)  How do you folks with symmetrical spinnakers have your lines rigged?
-  How long are your sheets?
-  Do you use lazy sheets/guys?
-  Do you have twings rigged?
-  How far aft do you have the turning blocks for both sheets (and guys if you have separate ones)

Q2)  What size line do you use for the downhaul?

Q3)  I'm not sure what is in the sail bag and want to make sure they are appropriate for the boat.
- What are the appropriate dimensions for a Contessa spinnaker?
- If you have multiple, what do you consider your code 0, 1, 2?

Q4) The uphaul is rigged.  Unfortunately this is not run back to the cockpit.
- Is it worth it to change this?

Anything else I'm neglecting to ask?

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

More info...

I just pulled my two spinnakers out and spread them across the living room.
The first, appears to be a proper symmetrical spinnaker with really nice spinnaker cloth.  There are a few small holes right near the head so I'll have to get that repaired before I try to fly it.

The second, I'm not sure what it is exactly.  It has a sail number of #121 on it so it definitely wasn't made for my boat.  It appears to be symmetrical in shape, and has red/green corners (one would assume port/starboard), but at the same time it doesn't have that "full belly" symmetrical spinnaker look.  It also has a tackline eye spliced to the (red/port) corner.  I wonder if the guy before me was trying to fly this as an asymmetrical chute.  It is cut with horizontal panels across the bottom and vertical panels at the top.

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

AH!  It's asymmetric!  I stretched it out over the pool in the backyard and it's definitely not symmetrical.  Looks like I'm going to have fun as soon as I get to go sailing again.  I hope it's the correct height.

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

Hey Jordan,
You'll find that your boat will truly enjoy flying in light air. Luff should be approx. 28 ft. but who's to look a gift horse in the mouth.

...)))) May the wind fill your sails and the sun shine in your face cool

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

I ordered the new sheets today.  They tell me 55' is enough per side and that it should cover me for both asymmetric and symmetric.  They tell me a few things...

The ISP (halyard height off deck) and JSP (spinnaker pole length) of the boat should be 31.5' and 10.3' respectively.  And the shop also recommended 180% of JSP for the foot of the sail.

My symmetrical is the right size.  yay!  Even has my sail number on it and in the right colours.  I can't wait to get it flying after I patch a couple tiny holes.

The asymmetric... well... I don't know the measurements for that one yet, but the luff is in the 28-30' range so I know I can get it hoisted.  Hopefully, it'll not only fly but fly well.  How do others find the asymmetric on the Contessa?

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

JordanH wrote:

How do others find the asymmetric on the Contessa?

I fly a Gennaker -- and love it.

"Lolly Jo" #230
C. Paul Carter
Montreal, QC

7 (edited by JordanH 2012-08-18 18:17:33)

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

yay!  Got the asymmetrical spinnaker flying today.  Here are a couple notes...

1.  We have a furler that is shackled through the foremost holes on the plate at the bow.  There is a second, aft, set of holes underneath.  I was able to put a shackle on underneath and use that as the tack for the asymm.
2.  The spinnaker halyard is actually a secondary genoa halyard on my boat.  I assume many of us have that standard mast.  That means we had to fly and gybe the spinnaker inside the fore triangle to prevent it from wrapping around the forestay.  In our case we id quite well but we were flying in light winds.
3.  The tack should really be run through a snatch block (and then back to the cockpit) for proper adjustment and quick release when dousing.
4.  I purchased some spinnaker sheets with dyneema cores.  They are 55' on each side and are tapered back 12' to reduce the weight.  For the asymmetrical spinnaker that is gybing through the fore triangle, that is too long.  The 12' taper is also too long when broad reaching at hot angles with the asymmetric spinnaker of that size and block location.  I'll probably move the blocks further aft if possible which should help with everything.
5.  Hoising would have been easier if I had used our clip-on bag or come out through the forehatch.  Dousing was easy through the forehatch, using the lazy sheet to get it started and blanketed by the main.
6.  Gybing was easier than I had expected.  It helped that we did this slowly and in light winds.  My only concern is chafe on the shrouds as the lazy sheet begins to take strain.

She flew really well and easily. I expected more fuss and trouble but it hoisted and doused easily in today's light wind. I am glad that I had two crew onboard to help as we figured out the right location for blocks, lines, tack and so-on.

I'm going to bring the symmetric spinnaker in for a quick tape repair and get it flying next week...  Can't wait.  Anyone around here would be welcome to join me for a day on the water as we figure out the symmetric spinnaker and layout.

Edit:  Here's the video!

Re: Rigging the spinnaker

cPaul wrote:

I fly a Gennaker -- and love it.

Hi cPaul,

We were talking about side load on the boat and someone on another forum gave me the warning about it as well.  Since the sheaves are fore/aft facing and the spin halyard is pulling a side load when you are flying the gennaker; How do you prevent wear&tear and more importantly jamming when dousing the chute?

Further, I need to know how everyone is flying the symmetric spinnaker as the other spinnaker halyard on our boat is actually a spare genoa halyard and as such appears to be below (or even) with the fore stay.  Does everyone use the genoa halyard or have you rigged a secondary spinnaker halyard block above the fore stay?