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Author Topic: Genaker  (Read 414 times)

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De Hoentjes

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Genaker
« on: March 25, 2021, 06:49:06 AM »

Dear C34 sailors,

I sail a C34 (1988) for over 20 years with great satisfaction. This year I would like to upgrade my sailplan with an assymetric genaker.
Question: Could anyone of you recommend or derecommend sailing a genaker on a C34 (Wingkeeler)?
The thing that worries me the most is the fact that she has a relatively small rudder blade. In combination with forewind pressure that could restrict her steering capacity .
I am not sure if she has a smaller rudderblade than a finkeeled yacht. But  that would be logical because of her draft (125cm)

Thank you so much for your reply.

Michael Hoencamp
The Netherlands
hoencamp@live.nl
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Best Regards,

Michel Hoencamp

glennd3

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 09:42:19 AM »

I have a asymmetrical and a sock. I also have the wing keel but a new rudder which is larger than original. I use this sail occasionally, usually if I am going in a long direction with the following wind. I have had no problem with controlling the boat. I am a cautious captain and try not to get myself into "situations" . If I had a more experienced crew I would use it more but usually when I am on the foredeck messing with the sheets and the sock for this sail and I glance back at my helmsman, my wife..... . Although she has always done well I have not put her or myself in a thunderstorm with the asymmetrical raised. I do enjoy sailing with it as it adds excitement and I learn to use it better. I would think you may be able to find a used sail as they are not boat specific. I am racing this year but in a non spinnaker class. Hope this helps. 
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Glenn Davis
Knot Yet
1990 Catalina 34 Mk 1.5
Hull 1053
TR/WK
M25XP
Patapsco River
Chesapeake Bay Maryland

PaulJacobs

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 09:49:26 AM »

Hello Michael,
I have flown an asymmetric spinnaker - or "Gennaker" - from Pleiades many times.  In light to moderate winds (4-15 knots) on a broad reach (120 - 160 degrees from the apparent wind) it is terrific!  Your boat speed will be noticeably improved relative to just a mainsail and Genoa.  Note that Pleiades is a tall rig, full keel C34, so I cannot speak from personal experience as to how a wing keel would behave.  Here are a few useful tips.

1. If sailing with just my wife we go through the following sequence: (a) furl the jib, (b) bring the spinnaker up to the bow, already in "stops" (i.e. about 15 rubber bands around the AS at roughly  3 ft. or 1 meter intervals.  This keeps the sail from "filling" until you are ready), (c) attach the tack to a downhaul line which runs along the port side deck through small permanent leads at each stanchion, and then up through the port bow roller, (d) run the port spinnaker sheet aft to a block very near the aft end of the outboard track atop the gunwale, and then to the port genoa winch, (e) once the downhaul and spinnaker sheets are secured, THEN use the spinnaker halyard on the port coach roof to raise the AS to within a foot (1/3 meter) of the masthead, and then secure the halyard with either a sheet-stopper or a cleat. Everything is now ready to raise the spinnaker on the port side - so you are on starboard tack.  After you have done this a few times, items (a) through (e) only take a few minutes to complete.

2. With my wife on the helm, and clear water all around (you do NOT want to raise an AS where you will soon have to gybe), and with the apparent wind aft of the starboard beam, I then pull in on the spinnaker sheet, which will quickly pop all the rubber bands ... and BINGO ... you will be sailing under spinnaker.  I would suggest you do this the first time in relatively light air - 4 - 7 knots - and you will be absolutely AMAZED at how you C34 will be sailing at about 5 -6  knots.  Practice heading up a bit by hauling in the spinnaker sheet, and falling off a bit by easing the sheet.  Also practice adjusting the downhaul to raise and or lower the foot as the wind speed changes.

3.Gybing can get tricky.  If you are not careful it is easy to wrap the AS around the headstay which can sometimes be very nasty to unwrap.  My advice is to very gradually ease the spinnaker sheet at the same time as the helmsperson also very gradually heads deeper down wind.  When you are at about 150 degrees to the apparent wind, pause, and center the mainsail.  This will accomplish two things: (a) it will avoid having the mainsail block the wind getting to the AS during the critical moment when you are dead-down-wind or "DDW", and the spinnaker might otherwise collapse and then - like a magnet - find itself drawn towards the headstay leading to the dreaded wrap - and (b) will keep the boom from slamming over during the gybe.  Now, with the mainsail centered, ease the spinnaker sheet until the AS is flying well forward of the headstay.  With the boat sailing DDW start pulling in on the starboard spinnaker sheet with one hand, as you gradually ease the port sheet with the other hand.  Once the AS clew has fully passed the headstay, I typically yell "NOW" and release the port sheet and pull in on the starboard sheet as my wife steers the rest of the way through the gybe and settles in around 120 - 140 degrees apparent on the port side.  All of this is "easier said than done", takes some practice, and probably will result in a few wraps until you get the timing correct.

4.  Dropping the AS.  After you have mastered items 1-3, and are thoroughly in love with sailing your C34 under an AS, the sun will finally get low in the western sky and you will need to drop your spinnaker.  We have found that by far the best method is while sailing at about 140 - 150 degrees to the apparent wind, for you to (a) ease the downhaul so the tack is roughly 1-1.5 meters above deck level, (b) go to the bow, and pull the pin on the downhaul snap-shackle, which will very quickly cause the AS to resemble an enormous flag fluttering inn the breeze, and having moved almost totally aft of the mast, (c) if you have an autopilot, engage it now so the boat continues sailing under just the mainsail, have your wife grab the sheet, and start pulling the AS down the companionway and into the galley area as you gradually ease the spinnaker halyard.  One the AS is FULLY below and well out of the wind, have your wife return to the helm while you disconnect the halyard, and downhaul. 

5. Later, when you are back at your dock or mooring, or well out at sea and not near any other vessels or obstructions, you can put your AS back in stops so it is ready for your next sail.  We use a plastic waste-basket with the bottom intentionally cut out forming a smooth, wide-mouthed tube.  (a) Take a bunch of elastic "rubber bands" and pre-stretch them so about 15 are already around the waste basket. (b) starting at the AS head, run the port and starboard taper together with all the bulk of the nylon AS "inside" the P&S edges, (c) pass the head and the first meter or so of the sail and its P&S edges through the waste basket, and slide 1 rubber band off and onto and around the AS, (d) repeat this process roughly every meter until you have finally arrived  near the foot of the AS.  Since the AS is indeed ASYMMETRIC the luff and the leach are NOT equal length, so at some point one of the edges will stop.  Nonetheless, keep applying the last few rubber bands until you finally arrive at the foot.  Now, (e) gather the clew, tack and head together and fold the AS more or lAt this point start stuffing the AS - in its stops - into its sail bag or "turtle" from the half point so that the last stuff to go in - and the first to come out are the clew, tack and head.  Also, we normally coil the sheets but leave them attached to the clew, which saves hunting for them and securing them to the clew the next time.

Finally, I can almost hear someone saying "why not use a spinnaker sock"?  Indeed we tried a sock for two full seasons.  I VERY CAREFULLY read the sock instructions, did exactly what they said, and at least five times grew incredibly frustrated, when we could not get the sock back down!  It would get jammed, and no amount of pulling and tugging would free it.  The wind had increased, we were sailing at hull speed - around 7.5 knots - directly towards land.  It was then that I learned the trick of detaching the snap shackle from the downhaul to the tack, letting the entire AS flutter like a flag, and then gather it in as noted above.  The advantage of pre-setting the AS in stops, is that YOU control when the AS opens - not a gust of wind.  Yes it takes a few minutes to set up properly, but the good news is that YOU get the downhaul set, get the spinnaker sheet set, get the spinnaker halyard ready - and all the while you have a "nylon bean pole" heading up to the mast head.  NOW, when you and your partner are truly ready - and not a moment before - you simply pull in on the spinnaker sheet and presto the chute fills, the boat accelerates, you trim the downhaul and sheet for the apparent wind, and all is WONDERFUL!

Dr. Paul F. Jacobs
Pleiades
Wickford, RI
1990 C34 MK 1.5
#1068, TR, FK
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KWKloeber

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 10:44:55 AM »

@Dr Paul

What sock do (did?) you have?  I had some issues with mine but discovered a slight design flaw and the fixed it and on subsequent models.

@Michael

Until you get very comfy or when short handed you might chicken-gybe it.  A lot easier (but looks screwy with spectators nearby)  :shock:

I actually fly my symmetrical from a self-designed contraption and can get down to about 150 or more depending on conditions.
 
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
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Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Ron Hill

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 02:22:15 PM »

Michael : I've sailed a "cruising" spinnaker since 1989 and I have a wing keel.  I have done this with the original and later with an elliptical rudder on my C34.
I've never had a problem except when the winds go up to 25+ kts. The boat handled superbly, but it was a bear getting it in to the sock and finally down (crew of 2).

I'd recommend that you start off with just the spinnaker alone and then later add the mainsail.

A few thoughts 

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PaulJacobs

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2021, 08:54:58 AM »

Hi Ken,
I notice that you made your own "device" to attach the asymmetric spinnaker (AS) to the furled jib / Genoa.  I neglected to mention in my earlier, somewhat lengthy response that we use an ATN "Tacker" to secure the AS tack.  It is very helpful in keeping the leading edge of the AS as far forward as possible :D.  Obviously, you made your own version of the "Tacker" but the idea is the same. :thumb:  For Michaels benefit, and any others who may be screwing up their courage to attempt to fly an AS from their C34, here are a few additional points:

1.  THE main advantage of an AS - relative to a "conventional" or symmetric spinnaker (SS) -  is that you do NOT need a spinnaker pole, a fore guy, an after guy, or someone on the bow to control the pole and switch guys when you gybe.

2.  The main disadvantage of an AS - relative to a SS - is that you cannot sail as deep.  In stronger winds (15 - 20 knots true) you can sail "a bit" deeper with an AS, but in moderate air (10-15 knots true) from my experience you will be limited to sailing no deeper than 150 degrees apparent wind angle.  If you try to sail any deeper the AS will be blanketed behind the mainsail.  Here the "Tacker", or something like Ken's device, can help by keeping the leading edge of the AS closer to the boat's centerline and not letting it sag off to leeward.  In light airs (3-7 knots true), from my experience, the Tacker helps significantly in this regard! :clap

3.  Finally, another advantage of the "Tacker" or similar, occurs when it is time to drop the AS.  When rigged, the ATN, "Tacker" which is made from very slippery nylon plastic, fits around the furled jib / Genoa, and has one attachment point in the form of a snap shackle for the AS tack, and another snap shackle for the downhaul.  Thus, by easing the downhaul you can raise the AS tack to provide more draft when sailing deeper, or conversely by hauling in on the downhaul you can reduce draft by flattening the leading edge when sailing "higher".  Since the nylon "Tacker" is very slippery there is little friction and it is not difficult to raise or lower the AS tack position.  Thus, when you want to drop the AS all that is needed is to go to the bow, and pull the pin on the snap shackle attached to the AS tack!  As soon as you do this the AS becomes a giant nylon flag fluttering in the breeze, all the drive force from the AS is gone, and due to wind resistance the entire "flag" moves aft of the mast, where one person can pull it through the companionway and down below, as another person eases the spinnaker halyard.  If you do not have an auto pilot, then the helmsperson should steer a deep course and the other person will need to ease the halyard with one hand while pulling in on the spinnaker sheet with the other.  In light airs this is not too hard.  In a still breeze this can become an "adventure" where the "hauler" will need to use their legs and butt to keep the chute from catching the wind.  At my age (82) I am no longer quite so nimble, and we use an auto pilot so Nancy can haul in the sheet and AS, while I ease the halyard.

I hope this helps others who have never previously flown an AS from their C34 - but would like to try!

Dr. Paul F. Jacobs
Pleiades
1990 C34 MK 1.5
#1068, TR,FK.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2021, 12:01:17 PM »

Paul & Guys : I have a "beaded neckless" that is attached to the Tack of the AS sail and a line back to the cockpit.  That way I can adjust the height of the Tack.  The beads allow the neckless(and tack) to roll over (up or down) the furled 150%.   The beads are 1" in diameter.    Think I got it from some sail maker in Twain?

A thought
 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 08:54:16 AM by Ron Hill »
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KWKloeber

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2021, 11:32:17 PM »

@Ron -- "Parrel Beads" work great  :thumb:

@Dr. Paul -- I had a tacker -- one of my first purchases (after the boat of course!)   I didn't like it because:

     - The attachment for the tacker and chute was merely a non-captive pin, D shackle.  Oh really?  Plunk. :shock:
     - The "sharp" webbing wrap destroyed the hard plastic slots where it runs thru them.
     - Didn't like how to attach the downhaul.
     - Qdd shape to stow.

So I designed the "spinnaker guy" with:
     - Ronstan snap-biner and D ring to attach it around the headsail.
     - Ronstan quick-release, swivel snap shackle to attach the chute.
     - Tubular nylon loop on the bottom to attach the downhaul.
     - Flexible polyethylene -- can't crush or damage it like hard plastic can be.
     - The inside cover was "ballistic nylon" fabric -- indestructible and very slippery surface.
     - The outside cover could be custom to match anyone's canvas or UV strip, and/or embroidered with the boat name.
     - Flat and could be stowed anywhere -- under a cushion, anchor locker, etc.
     - Velcro pockets to hold the straps when stored.

I was selling 2-3 a month @Good Old Boat back in the 80s-90s. 

https://tinyurl.com/yfvxg2kw

Ahhh those good old days. :D

After mine got circulated around, ATN added the snap shackles and changed the webbing loop so that it doesn't attack the plastic slots.


-ken
 
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Steve_in_lex

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2021, 07:48:15 AM »

A few of safety suggestions re: flying, imho:

- Set and douse the sail while going close to downwind, so the main blocks the wind.
- Be careful if the true wind is over 10k, especially if it's building.  Things can get dicey pretty fast.
- A sock helps setting and dousing immeasurably.
- Avoid wing-and-wing unless its very light air.  The force from the sail is way up the mast, and the boat can dramatically yaw to windward without warning.

That said, the sails are beautiful and make a noticeable difference in speed on a broad reach.  In the right conditions, they're a joy.
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Steve Saudek
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wingman

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 01:31:32 PM »

Great info! Keep it coming.

I've flown our's numerous times but I am still an asym novice and am always worried about getting the sock stuck at the masthead. It feels like if I hoist it high enough to let the asym all the way out, I'm tempting fate.

Any suggestions?

Also, any suggestions on length/type of line for the asym tack?
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Ron Hill

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2021, 01:31:46 PM »

Wing :"the sock stuck at the masthead" ??? 

You should have the sock AS halyard going thru a block that's on the bail in front of the mast head.

A thought
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Ron, Apache #788

wingman

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2021, 02:43:58 PM »

Ron, yes, our halyard is rigged thru the spin halyard block that rides on the bail on what I guess could be called the spinnaker crane, but itís all masthead to me. :-)
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2000 tall rig, wing keel, #1471

De Hoentjes

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2021, 06:13:05 AM »

Dear Catalina friends,

Thank you very much for your extensive reply. It feels great to be part of this dedicated digital community.
I have decided to start with a secondhand genaker with snuffer. In my case, the luff (length between top mast and end bowsprit) is 13.60 meters. That means that the luff of genaker must be not more than 13.20 meters to leave enough space for the snuffer when rolled in.
In practice I need to experience if the rudderblad of the C34 wingkeel is big enough.
Also I start with an improvised bowsprit/spinaker boom of which I will be sending pictures later on.
Thank you and have a great (sailing) weekend.

Best regards,

Michael
C34 (1988) The Netherlands
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Best Regards,

Michel Hoencamp

waughoo

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2021, 07:36:55 AM »

Curious to see your bow sprit when you get to that project.  Do keep us posted.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
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Ron Hill

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Re: Genaker
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2021, 04:47:07 PM »

Michael : To answer you question - I never had a problem with rudder control with the cruising Spinnaker flying, even with the old style wing keel rudder.

You need to look in the Mainsheet tech notes for my modification (w/pictures) of the old style OEM wing keel rudder of my 1988 C34 into the new elliptical rudder.
That extra surface was just what the old style rudder needed - especially No more incontrollable rounding up when beating.    :thumb:



A few thoughts
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