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Spinnaker Sock

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:55 pm
by delevi
I have an asymmetric spinnaker, which I had a chance to use just a handful of times. It is really a fun sail, but I struggle with rigging, raising, & lowering, particularly when single-handing or having people on board who don't really know what they're doing. Most of the time, the sail takes a bath in the salty bay when being lowered. Yesterday, I actually had to abort the mission of raising the spinn, when I discovered it was badly twisted after being hoisted. I know; poor job stuffing it in the bag. My friend was at the helm as I was frantically trying to twist it free, making several attempts, dropping the halyard, detaching the tack line, repeating the process several times, getting the same frustrating result of a tangled mess. On the final try, my halyard got all tangled up. During all this, my friend took us through several accidental gybes, nearly knocking me off the deck and coming close to steered us into a 40 yacht, who kept trying to get out of the way, only to find us in hot pursuit of trying to ram him head on. Quite embarrassing. We must have looked quite pathetic out there, not to mention dangerous. At that point, I decided that it was time to give up on the spinn, as I dropped everything to make my way back to the helm and get things under control. The spinnkaer, meanwhile was being dragged in the water alongside the boat. Put a bit of damper on what was otherwise a great day of sailing. I heard that a sock can make the spinnaker experience much easier but I never used one and don't really understand how it works. Any advice would be much appreciated.


Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:28 am
by norbert
8) amazing story... think we all can tell stories like that...

i used my spi for years only when crew on board, but sind the last 2 seasons i began to hoist it also singlehanding. an autopilot is mandatory for this. my spi is not folded but simply stuffed in its bag in a way that all 3 corners are visible on the top. i attach the spi bag on the foredeck and hoist it out of the bag.

when lowering the spi i open the fordeck hatch, bring the boat out of the wind to make the sail collapse and stuff it downstairs on the v-berth. this happens in about 4 of 5 times without dumping the spi in the drink. the 5th time i have it wet and the art is to fold it in a way on the v-berth that keeps my bed dry :? .

sure that i do not open the forehatch in heavy weather. but under those conditions i do not use the spi.

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:16 am
by Catigale
Leon - what were the winds like in SFO yesterday? Ive always considered my Spin a light air only sail and I know it blows up pretty well on the Bay - could it be you were overpowered (NDI?)

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:16 am
by macsailor
I have a dowser coming for my spinnaker. Since launch day is still a couple of months away, it will be a bit before I can try it. I have never used one, but I asume I need to run a bit of rigging to use it. We too had a bit of trouble the first time we hoisted ours. Got it all twisted around the furler, so also a bit embaressing.If anyone has ever used a dowser, and advice or perhaps how they work would be appreciated.........

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:45 am
by Bobby T.-26X #4767

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:34 am
by delevi

The winds were mild that afternoon. Normally, on SF Bay, the winds in the afternoon pick up much stronger than in the morning, but that day was opposite. Had a nice 15 knt breeze until about 3pm, and then it died down to under 10 knts. This was when I tried the spinn. I don't dare try to hoist it in heavy winds. The mistake I made was to put a guy at the helm who can't drive a car. Close friend of mine, but he just never learned to drive. True story. Since I don't have autopilot, my options were limited, since he was the only other person on board. I figure dthe conditions were mild enough for him not to get us into any trouble. WRONG! :x I should have known better than to attempt the spinnaker without someone at the helm who could at least drive the boat straight. :P

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:03 pm
by Scott

This is the one we got this year. Havent had an opportunity to use it yet as we are expecting 1 ft of snow tonight.


Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:00 pm
by Night Sailor
I find the chutescoop to be ideal for raising, reefing or dowsing the spinnaker with or without crew. A good set of instructions and a video on the website show how it's done.

Although it comes rigged for operating from the mast or foredeck, it can be rigged to handle from the cockpit and/or forward hatch.

Whatever the brand of sock, I highly recommend them for ease of use and safety of crew. And, it can eliminate the chance of dunking the sail, simply by releasing the clew, then socking the sail, before releasing halyard while gathering it below or on deck.

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:37 pm
by Hubert
I sail single handed most of the time and found handling the take down much easiler with the ATN sock and Tacker, this video clip will show you how to use it. Bought both at sailnet

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:35 pm
by delevi
Awesome! Looked at the ATN video. Looks like you can hoist the spinn with the sock on and then drop the sock and puff! Same to drop dowse the sail, except you have to remove the tack line. Not sure how difficult that would be with the sail under load. Also looks like the sail can be stored inside the sockm and ready to rig. Does anyone know how many halyards you need to operate the whole deal and what the cost is?

Is the chutescoop the same thing?

on edit:
Checked out the chutescoop site as well. What size did you order Scott? I assume you have the Mac-Doyle A-Spinn. Also, do you need to mess with the tack line to dowse the sail? What happens to the sheets during this whole deal? Hard to tell from the videos, both ATN & Chutescoop.


Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:13 am
by Scott
The chutescoop and the ATN sleeve are essentially the same thing. The ATN has a fiberglass ring outside the fabric at the bottom The Chutescoop has a stainless ring inside the fabric at the bottom. Chutescoop costs less. We ordered the 925 and it is a little long. I wanted it that way.

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:07 pm
by Hubert
I bought mine 2 years ago, If I remember correctly the sleeve was is sold by the foot, mine I believe is 22 ft and cost approx $200 US, the tacker was around $65 US., it has a snap hook that you reach from the foreward hatch and pull the pin on to blow the tack under load. The sleeve is very good quality and comes equiped with the self storing ropes. the sleeve stays aloft when sailing. I raise it with the Jig Halyard, I have the Jib on a furler so Iwasn't using this halyard

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:39 pm
by DLT

I understand the Chutescoop has internal control lines that feed through a block at the top. So, you actually use a downhaul to pull down on those control lines and gather the Chutescoop at the top, when you 'deploy' the Spinnaker.

How do you douse the Spinnaker? Do you have to go forward? How do you get the ring back down over the sail?


Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:51 pm
by Timm Miller
There are two lines which make a side raises it, one side brings it down. A must have device in my opinion, tried one season without it....never again

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:05 pm
by DLT
Ok, but can you raise and lower from the cockpit?

I have a jib halyard and downhaul both led aft. I understand that my downhaul ought to be useful for raising the sock from the cockpit, deploying the Spinnaker. I understand it works this way because their is a bock at the top sock

But, to be able to use my halyard to lower the sock, I'd need another block at the bottom, near the tack...

Otherwise, I'd have to venture forward and pull the sock down directly...

I'd rather not have to go forward at all if I can avoid it...