Spinnaker Retrival and Capsise

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srm
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Spinnaker Retrival and Capsise

Post by srm » Mon May 15, 2006 4:20 pm

I'm looking for any advise on spinnaker handling.

I'm new to 14s and recently picked up a Bieker II. We had the boat out yesterday in a good mid-teens breeze. We were able to launch the kite pretty well. It seemed we had to be on starboard tack to launch because the kite sock exits on the port side of the boat. Jibing, although not pretty, went ok. But we were having a hell of a time dousing the kite. It usually ended up in the water leaving us to manually pull it on board so we could slog in to the beach and re-organize it. We did have one half-way decent douse.

The procedure we had the most success with was:
-Turn the boat downwind
-Crew releases sheet and tensions retrival line tight.
-Crew blows spin halyard and pulls in retrival line
-Pull retrival line until resistance is felt and then blow pole line.

The two problems seem to be the kite does not have the easiest time getting into the tube (it's sort of a ball) and if the kite ends up in the water, forget it- it won't go in the boat.
I've considered getting a few cans of McLube and spraying down the whole kite.

It seemed that the kite would drop faster than the crew could keep up with hauling it in. One thought would be to add a rachet block to add drag on the halyard when dropping (but not when hoisting).

Last question- we flipped once with the kite up. That was a royal pain. We couldn't get the kite to go in the tube or stay in the boat. We finally got the boat righted and manually stood on the bow and pulled the sail in. Are there any techniques for dealing with the kite when flipped?

By the way, yesterday was the first time we really got this boat powered up with the spin up. What a rush!

Thanks for any advise.

Steve

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Jack Salerno
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Post by Jack Salerno » Mon May 15, 2006 5:00 pm

Steve, the first thing you should do is set the pole up for automatic launch and retrevial, it will be one less thing to think about. Look in the tech fourm for a diagram of how to set it up. One other thing that helps is to put a stopper knot and halyard ball on the retrevier line about twelve inches (300MM) from the top retriver patch. The spin will not bunch up as much if you do this. Your idea of using McLube will also help. Some people over sheet the kite and have the helmsman hold it for the start of the douse, the tell me it helps keep things under control until the sail starts down the hole. The only time we have had problems pulling the kite down after a capsize (unfortunately a regular occurance) is when something is binding the halyard. Check, recheck your halyard system for binding and then do it again. Our B2 eats blocks on a regular basis, McLube all of them.

jack

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Post by Simon Nelson » Mon May 15, 2006 10:53 pm

Firstly, I agree that you need to make it so that hoisting also pulls out the pole and therefore uncleating also lets go of the pole. The next thing is that when the crew goes in to drop, he/she should pass the sheet to the helm who plays the kite to keep the boat at max speed with him on the wire. The crew starts the drop as usual and the helm waits until the kite stops pulling and then PULLS the sheet tight. This does 2 things. It keeps the foot out of the water and also begins to pull the pole in. The helm then needs to judge when to let go of the sheet so as not to cause a drag on the drop. Do it too soon and the foot can drop into the water, too late and the crew is trying to pull the clew off the kite. This doesn't tend to make the helm popular!

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Post by Marcus » Mon May 15, 2006 11:04 pm

Simon, when the skipper is playing the spin sheet where is the mainsheet? I am thinking this would be tough on a boat with no main cleat. no?

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Grant
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Post by Grant » Mon May 15, 2006 11:21 pm

Simon,
I never hold the kite sheet when the crew is dropping it, sometimes I grab the weather sheet, if I have time, to stop the sheets going down the chute. I think if you need to do this method then your chute has a lot of friction and your system doesn't work well. We very rarley have problems.

SRM, it sounds like your chute might be "sticky" make sure its slippery.
As others have said make the whole system with one rope, tie the knot in the retreiver 300 apart too. Make sure you have good blocks on your system, I use holt 25mm ball bearing and Harken 30 series ball bearing. You dont need a ratchet block, just pull it in fast.

To me it sounds like you are using an old kite. They stick to everything and make life hard. Use the McLube or get a better kite. You will be surprised how easy a newer kite will slide in the chute.

srm
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Post by srm » Mon May 15, 2006 11:46 pm

I suspect the chute is old. I'm guessing the boat is from around 1996. I would guess the chute is original. Anyway, I will Sailkote the crap out of it and keep my fingers crossed. I really don't want to have to buy a new spinnaker.

Thanks everyone for all the advice.

Steve

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Post by Simon Nelson » Tue May 16, 2006 6:53 am

Grant wrote:Simon,
I never hold the kite sheet when the crew is dropping it, sometimes I grab the weather sheet, if I have time, to stop the sheets going down the chute. I think if you need to do this method then your chute has a lot of friction and your system doesn't work well. We very rarley have problems.
Grant

It is primarily a technique done to keep speed on as the crew goes in for the drop and the helm keeps the boat as fast as he can but lower than 2 stringing. This is done in 49ers and Tornados as a matter of course. Maybe you don't need to keep the kite sheet tight, like I describe, in a 14, but old habits die hard. Anyway, even if it isn't needed for helping the kite down, it is certainly worth a boat length or more over the alternative, namely the crew continuing to play the kite as he moves in and begins the drop.
Simon, when the skipper is playing the spin sheet where is the mainsheet? I am thinking this would be tough on a boat with no main cleat. no?
No! Just place the mainsheet in the same hand as the tiller. Remember, at those speeds there si little pressure in the main and as soon as the kite is dumped, start playing the mainsheet again.

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Post by Chris Johnson » Tue May 16, 2006 7:00 pm

Steve,

Mc Lube on the kite works vrey well, but can get pretty expensive. I've used just basic silicone spray very sucessfully. I've had older kites that I've sprayed the entire thing pretty well before every race day. After doing that a few times, they were pretty slippery and went into the bag pretty easily (very easy for me, all I had to do was say "take it down"...) Anyway, do it a bunch of times and things will get much easier.

Good luck!

-Chris

srm wrote:I suspect the chute is old. I'm guessing the boat is from around 1996. I would guess the chute is original. Anyway, I will Sailkote the crap out of it and keep my fingers crossed. I really don't want to have to buy a new spinnaker.

Thanks everyone for all the advice.

Steve

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John Vincze
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Post by John Vincze » Tue May 16, 2006 9:18 pm

It has been mostly said by others ...

No friction is the key. Ball bearing & wire blocks are the answer. You would be surprised how quickly you can burn up a plastci sheave. Triple check the halyrad an dmake sure it isn't wrapped in the mast or anywhere else.

Pole and halyard are all one system.

In our boat the helm takes the sheet in the same hand as he has the mainsheet. It isn't for long, just until i start the douse and then he drops it. It does the same as Grant said and keeps the sheets from hgetting sucked in the hole with the sail.

The the crew has to go "fast" and can't stop. I wear the blue gardening gloves and then the halyard/retriever line (1/4") doesn't slip through my hands.

Our rule is once the cloth is in the hole the helm can turn up towards the mark if he needs to and I just move up to weather a little and finish the douse from the side.

JV
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Post by DJ » Mon May 22, 2006 11:25 am

One way to make an old kite absorb less water and be more slippery is to get some tent proofing compound from your local friendly camping store.

Pour this into a big plastic bag or a sail bag that will take the sail and leave plenty of room for shaking around. Shove in the kite and shake very well until the sail is completely coated.

Hang on washing line to dry and there you have one slippery and non-absorbent kite. We do this a lot with the very aged sails we use on the Classics.

If you want to save money on spray like MacLube etc, get food grade silicon from restaurant suppy wholesalers or from the web - I bought a big pump spray bottle for about £2 which has lasted me three seasons so far.

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