A-sail

Where do those of you who fly A-spinnakers run the sheets ?
Can the hause holes be used to turn them ?
Jim

Hi, Jim,

We sheet our drifter to snatch blocks on strops attached to the aft hawse holes. It’s not a completely fair lead, as the sheets do run on the boom gallows, but it’s the best we can do. If we used an asymmetrical, that’s where we’d sheet it too.

Tom
SV Galatea

Hi Jim – On Surprise, I sheet both the drifter and the asymmetric to the same place as the fairlead for the jib top, via a snatch block, when carrying an apparent wind angle of 75 to 90 degrees. Once the apparent wind is aft of the beam I begin moving the fairlead forward to pull down on the leech just as you would with any headsail. I either use a strap/snatch block around the bulwark or I put a snatch block on the sheet and barberhaul it by running a line from the snatch block thru the midship hawse to the midship cleat, which permits me to easily make adjustments by easing or taking in the line. It flies better, rolls less and has more power off the wind than just sheeting it way aft and leaving the “fairlead” fixed. I use the same arrangement when sailing deep angles with the jib top. Keeping the leech properly set off the wind can make a big difference in speed, particularly in light air. Once, I was broad reaching alongside a 37 footer in about 8 kts of wind, staying pretty much even. I finally decided to put my beer down, and get to work trimming the sails. I moved the fairlead forward, tightened up the leech and trimmed the jib. An hour or so later, he was about a mile behind me. Another example occurred last Spring when I rounded the north end of Cozumel heading for Isla Mujeres, and crossed in front of a Hunter 42 that was coming up the other side of Cozumel. He had his jib fairlead way aft running downwind at a deep angle and his jib was flopping all over the place as he rolled in the seas. I bore off a bit to parallel his course, moved my jib fairlead forward and eased the sheet. I had no main up but was pulling away from him fast. Obviously, he wasn’t happy with this and he rolled up his jib and tried to sail with just his main. Then he took his main down (i.e. rolled it up) and tried to fly just his jib. About two hours later I could barely see him as I pulled into Isla Mujeres. Our apparent wind was about 160 degrees and he would have done much better if he had moved his fairlead forward. I am glad he didn’t because it was such a joy to whip him so badly.