Latest News: Forums Racing "Racing" without a spinnaker

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  • #4520

    Greetings from Ireland,

    I am “racing” in our local Winter Series in Wexford Boat Club, it’s our 1st season of racing and while we seem to be just about able to keep up with the 420’s on the beat (maybe I’m just dreaming), but with no spinnaker we definitely are losing out on the run.

    I’m hoping to tap into people’s experience and advice of sailing without a spinnaker. What’s the best technique for getting the max VMG out of the boat going downwind without one?

    Also, is a 2nd-hand spinnaker worth buying or are they being sold because they are thoroughly worn out?

    Regards and thanks for any replies,

    Dave Doran.

    Colin Parkstone

    Have a word with an Enterprise sailor for some hints.

    A good jib pole at the correct length is a must and you can sail by the lee a lot more without a spinnaker so your track close to the lay line better.

    Do not go for a jib pole at the class spi pole length, its to long and go for the spike and hook ends so you can gybe it faster.

    I sell my sails often or at the end of each season, they are a good cost saving over a new suit and have only a season use on them most of the time. Others do it also so that could be a move for you and they will be in good condition for a club sailor.

    An old spi is good to start with, use and learn with it then when you have done that your feel able to use a costly new one if you want.

    Down side with old sails are the setting of them is hard work in light winds and could drive you to distraction but its a start!!

    Enjoy!!!! You have many things to master with that sail ? But Oh what fun it is with one.
    ps, VMG ??? Did you used to have a cooker in your last boat?? 😆


    VMG. Velocity Made Good. No cooker. Though with the speed we travel downwind, I probably could put on a fry, eat it, wash up and still not be at the leeward mark. Have thought about Jib pole. What length would you reckon. Anyone else any advice.



    An Ash broomstick seems to be about the right length. It works for me, varnished with a hook and pin.


    I looked at the Enterprise website where they have good info on a “flyaway” jib pole system. Essentially, the jib pole is suspended by a bungee cord from the mast and pulled down by a control line which is connected to and runs from the jib clew, up through the centre of the jib pole, exits through a sheave, down to a turning block and cleat screwed to the deck.

    The advantages are; no chance of the pole disappearing overboard and the crew doesn’t have to try to spear the jib and hook onto the mast when the boat may be bouncing all over the place. Also its easier to goosewing the jib effectively, especially single-handed.

    Would this be a legal fitment for Wayfarer racing. I looked at the rules and so far, have only found reference to “running rigging” which need not comply with the official drawings. i.e. the “flyaway” jib pole rigging would be legal.

    What’s the view of more experienced racers.

    Regards, Dave Doran.

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