setup and controls
Tie the halyard very carefully
to the sail. If it comes undone, the halyard may have to be re-threaded
through the mast.
Run the halyard back under the
thwart where it can be easily used by the helm. The halyard should
be 4 mm line & 45 ft long.
Generally hoist the sail right
up to the halyard block on the mast. Some people ease it about 6 on close
reaches in medium air but this is of questionable value.
Use the guy hook on the side deck
to keep the halyard tight when the spinnaker is not in use.
Some racers use one continuous
spinnaker sheet. This should be 58 ft of 5 mm soft braid line.
The sheet passes through a block
in the side deck located as far aft as possible. It is then lead
forward through blocks so that it is easily controlled by the crew in the
It is handy to have a cleat to
keep the sheets tight when not in use. The cleats can also be used to pre-set
the sheet in the appropriate position for a reach just before hoisting.
Sew coloured thread into the sheet at the spot where it would be cleated
for a reach. A similar arrangement for the guy will also work. The
objective is for the spinnaker to fly immediately as it is hoisted. It
may be risky to "pre-set" the sheet in strong winds. If the sail fills
before crew and helm are hiked, the boat may capsize immediately!
Install open hooks combined with
a cleat on the side deck just behind the shrouds to control the guy. The
crew must adjust the guy to keep the pole approx. 90º to the apparent
wind. As the guy is eased, the sheet must be trimmed to keep the sail in
the right position to the wind. The masthead fly is a useful guide to the
Controlling the spinnaker sheet
is the same as any other sheet. Ease until the luff of the sail begins
to collapse, then trim slightly. This sheet adjustment is done continuously
to maximize power from the sail.
Install a mini-bowsprit made of
plastic coated copper electrical wire. Have this loop stick out 3 or 4
in front of the bow to help keep the sheets from falling underneath the
boat (a very messy event).
The pole is to be (no more than)
6 6 from the ends of the fittings.
It controls the height of the
foot of the sail and the angle of tack of the sail to the wind.
For racing it is handy to carry
the pole along the side of the boom by installing some short loops wire
or plastic pipe to each side of the boom. The front of the pole is then
held in place by the uphaul/downhaul arrangement The crew can quickly
grab the pole to fasten it to the guy and the mast.
4. pole uphaul/downhaul
The downhaul is run through the
deck just in front of the mast through a block at the bottom of the mast
step leaving about a meter of control line free. Fasten 10 16 of shock
cord to this line to keep it tight and to provide some downward tension
on the pole. One arrangement is to run this cord up the inside of the mast.
Another is to run it across the floor of the boat beside the centreboard
to the back of the cockpit. A longer run works better. Take it to the back
of the cockpit, through a block, then back to the mast step. Keep it beside
the CB housing where it will be out of the way or possibly under the floorboards
in a Mark 1 boat.
The uphaul line runs up the front
of the mast to a minimum of spreaders height, or can be taken as high as
just below the jib halyard block on the mast where it passes through either
an external block or better, an internal block into the mast. It then runs
down to near the mast step (the external line will need a second hole through
the deck just in front of the mast) through a block, then back under the
thwart where it passes through an eye and a cleat. This must be convenient
for the helm to adjust while sailing. Mark the uphaul with the usual positions
for light and heavy wind.
The uphaul/downhaul is fastened
to the center of the pole by a ring or rope loop. The best arrangement
is to have a plastic "ramp on the side of the pole which has a slot in
the middle for a loop of line which is part of the uphaul/downhaul. When
setting the pole, rotate it 45º till the ramp is on top. Then fit
the loop into the slot in the ramp. Rotate the pole back by 45º trapping
the loop in the slot. This is simple and keeps the uphaul/downhaul securely
in place. Connect a trip line between the pole end fittings to release
the guy when gybing. Be sure to trap the uphaul/downhaul line inside this
trip line so that the pole can not be lost overboard.
The pole height adjustment is
small. Typically, the end of the pole should be 9 above horizontal in
light air and 12 to 15 above horizontal in heavy air.
The luff of the spinnaker should
curl evenly as the boat heads up when the pole is at the correct height.
If the lower luff curls first, lower the pole. If the upper luff
curls first. raise, the pole. Another indication of correct pole height
is that the tack of the sail is at the same height as the clew.