Setting the Spinnaker

When you are racing the spinnaker set is a critical maneuver, which is hopefully executed to perfection, so that as your bow turns downwind around the weather mark the spinnaker immediately fills.

When you're cruising time isn't essential. It is far more important to get things done smoothly, and if it takes 10 or 15 minutes to do things right, so be it.

If the sea state is sloppy, or if the wind is very light, we'll set a spinnaker net first (to prevent the spinnaker from wrapping around the headstay).

Next, the sheet and guy are run and attached to the lifelines to leeward.

We'll then bring the spinnaker halyard to the same point as the sheet and guy and secure it. The lazy (unused) spinnaker halyard and any other headsail halyards are all brought back to the mast.

In the olden days, before efficient socks, we would launch the chute from a "turtle". This was a nylon bag with a round top that had a removable canvas lid. We'd stuff the chute into the turtle starting with the bottom by holding the two clews together.

We'd then keep both leeches together as the sail was pushed into the turtle, ending up with the head, and two clews overhanging the edge.

Today, you will have your spinnaker held in a sock. The key with the sock is to hoist it so that it doesn't get twisted on the way up.

We always set the spinnaker in the lee of the mainsail.

Once the socked sail is hoisted, the tack is pulled out towards the pole end, the sock raised and then the sheet is trimmed.

If the air is light to moderate, you can raise the sock with the sheet partially sheeted. But if the breeze is at all strong, it will be better to leave the sheet slack and the guy eased off so the pole is well forward, keeping the unfurling spinnaker in the lee of the mainsail until the sock is all the way up.

Keep a secure grip on the sock downhaul line, or a turn on a winch or cleat. As the sail fills it will try to force the sock up and in a strong breeze the forces on the downhaul line can be quite high.

Launching from a turtle is a little more complicated. You want to keep the spinnaker in the lee of the main, where it will stay collapsed, until it is fully hoisted. Then trim the guy, and after this the sheet.

While the chute is in the lee it can be easily hoisted. But once it starts to fill, it will be very difficult to finish hoisting the halyard. If the sail fills prematurely, the best thing to do is head off dead downwind, allow it to collapse in the lee of the main, and then finish hoisting. This may also involve easing the guy so the pole goes forward.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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