To drop the sail

• Ensure that the pole guy is fixed in place.

• The pole guy holds the spinnaker pole in place.

• The trip line opens the snap shackle.

• Gather the sail under the boom.

secures the afterguy to the clew of the sail. (You may have to modify your existing pole.) Beyond that you need to run a trip line through the fairlead at the end of the spinnaker pole and loop it through the trip mechanism on the Sparcraft shackle, i.e., the one on the afterguy. When the spinnaker is flying the trip line just dangles in place waiting to be used (Figure 12.4). In order to drop the sail you need only ease the afterguy a few inches so that the clew of the sail goes forward pulling the trip line tight against the shackle while the spinnaker pole remains held in place by the pole guy. This sudden pressure on the snap-shackle will open the shackle and release the sail, so it can be lowered in a conventional manner. Note that the trip line must be a strong, low-stretch line like quarter- inch Spectra. Of course, if you need to jibe you will have to lower the sail and rig the system up on the other side. You also need to be careful that the trip line is loose so as not to accidentally trip the sail when you are moving the pole fore and aft as part of routine sail trim.

Figure 12.4

The spinnaker trip mechanism used on Alaska Eagle made getting the spinnaker down in a hurry a simple matter of easing the afterguy and having a trip line trigger the snap shackle.


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