How to Rig and Fly a Spinnaker

Moderator: GreenLake

How to rig a spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Tue May 05, 2015 12:28 pm

Several years ago we covered this topic, but in the context of another discussion entitled "Yet another new DS2 owner", in the DS2 only section. For those interested in rigging and flying a spinnaker for the first time, it might be of interest to collect the relevant parts here, clean them up a bit, and possibly add some other items to round it out. Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A symmetric spinnaker, like on the DS, needs five lines to control it.

The first is the halyard. The block for that should be on the mast right above the forestay. It needs a cleat somewhere. If not on the mast, it needs a cheek block on the mast, near the base.

The next two are the sheets. Those need to be twice the length of the boat (I'm using 35'). They each need a block at the stern quarter, from where they lead back to the front of the cockpit for the crew to operate them. You may want to cleat one of them, the upwind one, or guy, esp if you are on a broad reach. So you'll need one spare cleat there.

Then you need two lines to control the spinnaker pole (up and down). For the uphaul (sometimes called "foreguy"), I use a short length of line with a doubled bungee at the end. There's an eyestrap on the mast, a bit below the forestay. The other end is tied to a shackle that clips on the middle of the pole. For the downhaul, I use a line from the same shackle down to a fairlead (or block) at the base of the mast and from there to a cleat. The downhaul then defines the pole height, the bungee on the uphaul keeps it tight.

You'll need a spinnaker pole, with fittings at each end, one goes on the mast ring, the other on the spinnaker sheet. In the middle there should be some kind of eye or ring to attach the shackle for up and downhaul to.

That's a lot of lines and parts and can be bewildering at first, but if you take your time and systematically rig everything, and then practice flying the spinnaker in light winds, you should be able to sort it out and get comfortable with it. In light to moderate conditions I fly the spinnaker single handed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
PS: this thread is not intended to be the "last word" on this subject; it merely collects what I think I've learned/figured out over the years. By all means add to, confirm or contradict what you read here.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Yet another new DSII owner.

Postby itguy1010 » Thu May 07, 2015 6:16 am

GreenLake wrote:From the photos it looks like you have the fittings for running a spinnaker (and the clamps to stow a pole on the foredeck).


Yes, the PO had it all set up to fly the chute. I found no less than 3 adjustable aluminum whisker poles in the cuddy when I took all the items out to inventory what we had.
...

2 questions here for you GreenLake...

Your earlier description of rigging the spinnaker is excellent but I'm more of a visual person. Do you know of a diagram that shows how to properly rig the chute for raising? I would at times like to have it all ready to go up but stowed in its bag and lashed or bungeed to the bow so that it would just be a simple matter of hoisting the halyard and trimming.

Second, ....
Eric White
The "Jackie Beck"
73 DSII #6428
itguy1010
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:52 pm
Location: Brighton, Michigan USA

Re: How to rig a spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Thu May 07, 2015 2:46 pm

There are tons of digrams (google "spinnaker rigging diagram"). Some of them are very nice and in perspective.

However, most of them are for keel boats, they show two sets of sheets (lazy and working). For the DS, we only use one set of sheets and they are lead to the back of the boat (you appear to have blocks there) and then forward (you appear to have cleats on your side decks -- looked that way from the picture). But I'm sure you can make the mental adjustment.

For example, in this diagram:
Image

simply ignore the "blue" lines rigged to some point forward on the boat. On the DS we use only the lines rigged to the back (but note that on the windward side, the red line would need to go through the pole, and be under tension, as it would become the "guy").

(Note on terminology: the line the positions the spinnaker pole (or the "tack" of the spinnaker) is called a "guy" and the line that pulls on the free end (clew) is the "sheet". When you gybe, you attach the pole on the other side, and the roles of "guy" and "sheet" swap around accordingly.)

The second difference from the diagram is that the up and downhaul (black and yellow) on a DS should be fixed to the middle of the pole, not near the end as in the diagram (and also, there's no need for a bridle, as you'll find on some bigger boats). By attaching in the middle, you don't need to shift them when gybing.

I fly my spinnaker from a plastic tub in the forward end of cockpit, with all the lines rigged ahead of time. As you want to launch the spinnaker on the leeward side, that's where your bag or bucket needs to be. In other words, you need to anticipate where the wind will be from at the point you'll launch the chute. If you are not in a race, you can always adjust your course to match the setup, raise the sail and then jibe as necessary.

Finally, all sheets and the halyard need to be led so that they are underneath the jib sheet, otherwise you'll have difficulties getting the spinnaker to set forward of the jib :)
Try it out at the dock, or on land (when there's just enough wind to fill the sail). Also a good time to get the tension right in the bungee portion of the up-haul.

I assume you remember how to fly the spinnaker? Pole at right angles to the wind direction and the tip raised or lowered so that both tack and clew of the sail are at the same height. Enough tension on the sheet so that the luff (windward edge) of the sail just begins to curl.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Yet another new DSII owner.

Postby itguy1010 » Fri May 08, 2015 5:48 am

GreenLake...

Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation and diagram. That will do it for sure. I'm really glad this DS came with all the spinnaker rigging. It could be a significant expense to add it down the road. I'm going to find all my rigging bits for this procedure and store them in a separate bag or tote and do a mock up on the vessel in the driveway just to reveal what may be missing (besides my competence :wink: ) and to locate attachment points etc. I'd rather do it on terra firma the first time than on the water.

Does the plastic tub you use or any of the spinnaker rigging that you have in a "state of readiness" get in the way of the jib when tacking?

Eric
Eric White
The "Jackie Beck"
73 DSII #6428
itguy1010
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:52 pm
Location: Brighton, Michigan USA

Re: How to rig a spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Fri May 08, 2015 1:29 pm

The spinnaker pole is not rigged. Up and downhaul are stored on the mast and are out of the way. I keep the shackle to which both are tied clipped to the mast ring, where it's convenient to reach for attaching to the pole. Pole end goes on sheet (claw opening down, so sheet can fall out), next shackle goes onto middle of pole, finally the other end gets clipped into the mast ring. Just have to remember leaving slack in the down haul, so I can push the pole out.

Spinnaker halyard is lead from its block above the forestay to outside of jib sheet, then underneath the sheet back to the cockpit. Important to have enough slack in the halyard so that the jib is not restricted. I use very lightweight (but strong) rope for the halyard and it doesn't interfere.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

How to Rig and Fly a Spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 18, 2019 5:05 pm

Now that we've covered rigging, let's add some more details on how to fly a spinnaker, and cover additional details of the rigging, like how to make your own spinnaker pole.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Flying a spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 18, 2019 5:42 pm

More on flying the spinnaker:

The basic principle is that the pole is on the windward side (the side the mainsheet is not) and that it is positioned at about right angles to the wind.

If sailing downwind, the pole comes back, when sailing a broad reach (90°) the pole comes forward to where it almost touches the forestay. You can't really fly the spinnaker if the apparent wind is more forward than 90°.

You use the guy (windward line) to set the pole's position and then use the sheet (leeward line) to put some tension on the foot of the sail until it fills. You would play with the sheet to keep the windward edge of the spinnaker from collapsing (well, maybe slightly curled is the optimum, so you let out sheet until that happens).

When the wind shifts, or you need to steer a different course, you adjust the guy to reset the pole.

You adjust up/downhaul so tack and clew of your spinnaker are at the same height. In my setup, the uphaul is a bungee, so I control the pole angle with the downhaul only.

When you need to gybe: sail downwind, detach the pole from the mast ring, attach that end to the other sheet. Free the original sheet and attach that end to the mast ring. Gybe.

Spinnakers are great in lighter wind where otherwise your boat would barely move when sailing downwind or in a broad reach. Light and moderate winds are great for practicing and you should be able to control a spinnaker in singlehanded in those conditions.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Pitcures of spinnaker and rigging

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 18, 2019 5:45 pm

Some pictures:

Here's the spinnaker pole with up and downhaul. Yes, I made mine from bamboo.
2131
My spinnaker is a hand-me-down from another class of boats (while it matches the DS class-specs, it does show its age).

A discussion of the up/downhaul can be found here.

When I first rigged the spinnaker I wasn't sure about it, so I didn't want to drill holes for the spinnaker sheet blocks at the rear of the boat:
2142
These lashed blocks proved functional and actually don't interfere with the use of the cleats while docking.

Spinnaker pole end fitting, also showing trip line and a closeup of the bamboo pole (with its light glass sheath - the craftsmanship on the latter isn't perfect, I trapped some air; otherwise you wouldn't be able to see the weave but only the bamboo).
2675
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: How to Set and Douse a Spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

OK. I mentioned a few things about how I do it above, but let's pull it all together:

~~~~~
Prep:

I fly my spinnaker from a plastic tub in the forward end of cockpit, with all the lines rigged ahead of time. The middle of the sail is stuffed into the tub, and the three corners sit on top with the lines tied to them. The halyard and both sheets are lead from spinnaker to the deck going underneath the jib sheet.

After first making the mistake of using the same color rope for both sheets, I quickly learned that in the small cockpit of a DS that just gets too confusing. So, now I have red for port and green for starboard, but any other set of contrasting colors will work.

As you want to launch the spinnaker on the leeward side, that's where your bag or bucket needs to be. In other words, you need to anticipate where the wind will be from at the point you'll launch the chute. If you are not in a race, you can always adjust your course to match the setup, raise the sail and then jibe as necessary.

The sheet that's on the side where the spinnaker is, goes outside the shroud, back to the spinnaker block in the back of the boat and forward again, and secured out of the way until needed. The other one goes forward, outside and around the forestay and other shroud, back to the spinnaker block on its side, and is likewise secured.

The halyard goes up to the spinnaker block above the forestay, of course it is also led underneath the jib sheet, and it's kept a bit loose, so it doesn't try to pull the jib sheet towards the mast. The other side comes down to a fairlead (or block) near (or on) the mast base and then to a cleat on (or near) the cuddy edge.

The downhaul also leads to to a fairlead (or block) near (or on) the mast base and then to a cleat on (or near) the cuddy edge. It's other end is connected to the uphaul (a bungee cord) that leads to an eye on the mast 2/3 up the way to the forestay. Where the two connect, I tie a shackle.

That's all set up at the launch. (And I leave halyard and up/downhaul on the mast between uses).

~~~~~
Raising:

When it comes to raising the spinnaker, I pull up the halyard quickly, then pull the windward sheet to get the clew around the forestay. I then attach the pole. (I tie the sheet to the clew with an oversize bowline so that I can put the jaw of the pole on part of the bowline - if I don't the pole tends to slide backwards away from the sail. That's just something that works for me, but not really part of standard technique). The jaw points up, so when you release, the sail can pull the guy (windward sheet) upwards out of it.

The shackle from up/downhaul gets clipped to a D ring in the middle of the pole, and the other end of the pole gets clipped to the mast ring. Done.

Now I can use guy, sheet and downhaul to position the spinnaker to the wind and let it fill.

~~~~~
Dousing:

To douse, I reach under the jib sheet the leeward side and get hold of the spinnaker sheet. Then I release the guy from the pole by using the trip line, and also take it out of the mast ring. I gather the foot of the sail, then uncleat the halyard and pull everything down into the tub between deck and jib sheet. This is usually done while we are racing and rounding a mark, so I first trim the jib, then collect the pole which is still dangling from the uphaul and stow it.

~~~~
With two people, one can operate the halyard from the back, even if the crew still needs to cleat it.

Now, this is the way I do it; there are probably some variations in technique out there, so if you know one, just comment.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Cheap Bamboo Spinnaker Pole

Postby GreenLake » Sat May 18, 2019 6:37 pm

Rather than link that other thread (which so far has only this post in it, I've copied it here). I wrote this two years ago, so now I've sailed 8 seasons with this pole. I did have to touch up the ends a bit by re-gluing the fittings at one point, otherwise, no maintenance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Prompted by a request, here's a recap of my bamboo spinnaker pole project:

The cheapest spinnaker pole kit offered online runs about $120 + shipping currently. (There's a slightly cheaper one, but unless the diameter given is the ID, that one seems too thin)

Cheapest is to make one on your own, if you can source the end fittings.

(Nobody seems to offer a pair of brackets online, currently, perhaps eBay. However, even purchased one at a time they are less than half of the price for the whole kit).

For the pole, use bamboo. I spent less than $10.00 on a 80" length of bamboo. I selected 74" from that, so that the openings at each end had an ID of 1" to match the fittings I got.

To assemble: tape up the fitting so no glue can get into the works, and then use MarineTex or similar epoxy paste to seat them. (If you buy a kit, you have to cut the pole to length and glue in one of the fittings yourself, so at this point the bamboo pole isn't really any more work).

Attach a thin trip cord between the rings on the fittings. To attach up/down haul I didn't want to drill the pole, so I used a velcro strap with a single D ring to attach both. (Secured with an additional layer of electrical tape for UV protection and security against accidental release).

Here comes the one step different from a kit: to preserve the bamboo, seal it with epoxy and wrap it with strips of very light woven fiberglass cloth (like with a bandage, in a spiral). Then cover with paint or varnish for UV protection. Even with the glass the pole is no heavier than metal ones, lighter than some I've used, and the glass will prevent the bamboo from splitting, making the pole very durable.

I've sailed with this for 6 seasons now, and it's worked fine.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: How to Rig and Fly a Spinnaker

Postby tomodda » Mon May 20, 2019 10:22 pm

GL:

Thank you for this great guide!

Questions: Where do you stow your spin pole when not using it? Any difference in what you do with it for stowage when racing vs cruising around?

Tom
tomodda
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:04 am

Re: How to Rig and Fly a Spinnaker

Postby GreenLake » Mon May 20, 2019 10:52 pm

I have an older DS1. Those have an area on the back of the seat underneath the side decks. Great for keeping paddles, tiller extensions and spinnaker poles.

I've sailed on boats where the pole was stowed along the boom (and one where the pole could be launched from that position by a pull on a rope, but that was a fancy boat).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: What about the Jib?

Postby GreenLake » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:36 am

I forgot to mention the jib in relation to rigging and flying the spinnaker.

First, when rigging, you need to make sure that all three lines come on the same side of the jib sheet (and they are lead so they go outside/underneath the sheet). That means, the spinnaker halyard will need to have some slack while not in use, so that the jib sheet can move all the way to leeward if the jib is on the same side the spinnaker is stowed on. (And the downhaul need to be inside, between the jib sheet and the mast).

Second, when setting, the foot of the jib can get in the way. A sharp tug on the jib sheet will clear that.

Third, when flying, the jib is left to do it's thing, unless we sail a broad reach (apparent wind close to 90° and at the end of the range the spinnaker can be used). In that situation, you can trim the jib and actually get it to fill, because it has come out of the shadow of the main. I think you'll find that gives you a net contribution. (Unlike what you see on bigger boats, we don't lower the jib. Perhaps, if we had it on a furler, we might roll it away?, but we don't have it rigged that way).

When you can sail "wing-on-wing" (main and jib opposite, going dead downwind) the benefit of the spinnaker is not as great as on headings where the jib is shadowed by the main. If we'll go only a short distance downwind, I may not bother with the spinnaker in that case. Any time spent, and any distraction caused by setting and retrieving the spinnaker will make you sail more slowly - so to get the best benefit, it needs to be flown with good effectiveness for a large portion of that leg, otherwise using the jib is faster as there's no delay setting and retrieving.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 4980
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: How to Rig a Spinnaker

Postby RobH912 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:12 am

GL After several searches decided to add my post to this thread. Feel free to move it if not right spot.

DS1 #2444 has never been set up for a spinnaker and I am trying to get a better understanding of the rigging diagram & associated hardware that may be needed. I am meeting with a Rigger at a boat yard next week to talk about the work, store the boat there for the winter, and have them do the work if I decide to move forward.

Found a couple of sources of DS Forum and a "newer" source on the Harken site for DS deck layout:

http://forum.daysailer.org/pdf/qtr_spin ... er2001.pdf

https://www.daysailer.org/Rigging-Guide

https://www.harken.com/DeckLayout.aspx?id=50141

Looking at the list & location of equipment from the 2001 article and comparing it to Harken diagram and list have a couple of initial questions.

- The older rigging shows a two small blocks on top the transom H082 vs. newer diagram has Harken 110 blocks which are through deck blocks so that the spinnaker line runs forward underneath. Is that a preferred way to run the lines?

- Spinnaker lines run forward then pass through another block directing line back aft for crew or skipper to control spinnaker. Hard to see but in the 2001 diagram it looks like a H113 cheek block mounted on the deck aft of spreaders. Harken diagram calls for using 110 through deck block then forward to a 57 mm Cheek Ratchet Block. Also hard to see from Harken diagram but looks like their block is mounted on the inside of cockpit/on side of wood trim) rather than on the deck. I'd prefer deck mounted rather than side of cockpit from primarily a seating POV but don't know if functionally it would be better to have this block inside the cockpit of not?

Seems like if I go the newer harken 110 through deck blocks I end up needing to have the next set of blocks internal, if I go with the older H082 rigging set up I can keep the cockpit cleaner.

I will be doing a lot of sailing without the spinnaker and don't want to have a block in someone's back when we are just out for a sail.

Any thoughts or comments always appreciated.
Attachments
Harken.JPG
Harken.JPG (40.3 KiB) Viewed 94 times
Block location.JPG
Block location.JPG (112.1 KiB) Viewed 94 times
parts list.JPG
parts list.JPG (111.88 KiB) Viewed 94 times
Thanks!

Rob

DS1 #14061
DS1 #2444
Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
RobH912
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 pm

Re: How to Rig a Spinnaker

Postby RobH912 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:48 pm

The other thought I've had is that maybe I can put the rear spinnaker blocks where the two rear cleats are now. The cleats are both coming off.

It is forward of where I think the spinnaker blocks would normally be placed, but the block would help cover up the cleat holes / also be mounted on the raised part of the deck.

WDYT?
Attachments
traveller 3.jpg
traveller 3.jpg (116.73 KiB) Viewed 90 times
traveller w measurement.jpg
traveller w measurement.jpg (70.85 KiB) Viewed 90 times
Thanks!

Rob

DS1 #14061
DS1 #2444
Cape Cod
Eastham, MA
RobH912
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 pm

Next

Return to Rigging

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jalmeida51 and 3 guests