Gun Mount Spinnakers

Gun Mount Spinnakers

Postby R. Bush » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:33 pm

I wonder who now owns the patent on the gun mount spinnaker system?

As a single handed sailor I think it is the best spinnaker management system I have ever seen. It is surprising that no one else out there has adopted the design (at least for single handed cruisers). Any patents must surely be nearing expiry by now.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby gamayun » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:19 pm

Does anyone have the specs for the gun mount spinnaker for a F38? Mine didn't have one and I'm completely sold on the idea after watching an old video of the gun mount design on an F21. If anyone knows who might fabricate them, that info would be appreciated, too.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby bad » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:30 pm

Gun mount... What kind of sailing are you thinking about. Shorthanded or with crew. A standard spinnaker setup is hard to beat and even asymmetrical designs can be sailed to much deeper angles. Also, controls have evolved since the gun mount and you may have more viable if sailing shorthanded - a well designed sock or a top down furler would control the beast during sets and gybes... and you can not set straight from the bow, consider a removable sprit. I would talk to several sailmakers and riggers to get recommendations and also a sense of who would support you the most.

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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby sailmon » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:54 pm

We are now looking into a genniker or cruising chute with a sock for our F38 - and plan to attach tack to top of bow pulpit where gun mount would go if we had one. As a former owner of a gun mount spi (on our F30), I can tell you that they are amazingly easy to use (launch, jibe, douse) and a real pain to set up. Set up is enough of a pain that I don't think we used it more than 9 times in 10 years we owned the boat.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby Teke's Pride » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:02 pm

Sailmon,

I don't know what you mean by a pain to setup. I use my gun mount spinnaker almost every weekend. True, it use to take me forever to lace the launch sleeve onto the pulpit but I fixed that about the 5th time out by rigging snap hook to the pulpit. I have since swapped out the snap hooks for locking D rings to prevent accedentaly snagging/ripping the chute.

Image
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/freedom21/photos/albums/246673799/lightbox/1954935084?orderBy=ordinal&sortOrder=asc

It takes maybe 5 min. to roll out the launch sleeve; hook it to the pulpit; attach the halyard and two tacks; tie off the stern end to the main traveler track; and tie off the retreval line to a deck pad eye. Stowing it at the end of the day takes about the same amount of time in revers order.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby R. Bush » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:49 pm

I almost always sail alone, so I really like the idea of being able to do all my spinnaker handling without having to leave the cockpit. The lake I sail on can see the wind change from 3k out of the north to 30k out of the south in less than 60 seconds, so it is great to be able to dose the spinnaker from the safety of the cockpit without having to run up onto the foredeck to fight a flapping mountain of fabric into a bag before it fouls up and ends up in the water.

I also like the fact it is perfectly balanced, and you can adjust the sail with one hand rather than a winch - no matter how hard the wind is blowing.

I figure it takes me about 45 minutes to rig the spinnaker in the spring, and then another 30 minutes to get it back into the boat in the fall. For the rest of the year it lives in it's sock on the deck and is ready to go whenever I feel like using it.

The only experience I have had with modern spinnakers is when I crew for some racing friends of mine. I have had some really scary experiences dealing with those monsters on windy days! On my boat I want safe and simple.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby sailmon » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:42 am

If you plan to leave the spi rigged all the time, you may want to consider a more uv resistant material for the sock. Nylon will not hold up well to the uv.

What I meant by pain to set up was: pulling pole off deck, securing in sleeve, snapping blocks deck near pulpit and on toe rail, pulling sail bag from sail locker, running and securing leashes (pole end and cockpit end), securing retrieval bag and sail along lifelines, pulling head of sail out of bag and up through pulpit, attaching halyard, pulling sheets/guys out of bag, securing to sail and running through blocks across deck & and back to cockpit, and finally securing retrieval line. Upon returning to dock, needing to reverse all of above. To me seemed to run contrary to "Freedom" philosophy. I ended up using spi mainly on 1 & 2 week trips when I could rig and leave it. Didn't worry too much about uv on sleeve for a week or 2.

Regarding launching, jiving and retrieval, it is definitely the best thing since sliced bread. A joy for single or double handing.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby Rick Simonds » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:21 pm

Whenever the subject of gun mount spinnakers comes up I'm always one of the biggest cheerleaders for them. I think they're great, it's probably my favorite Freedom feature. I'm surprised they didn't catch on more widely.

I leave mine in the bag, rigged, hooked to the bow pulpit all time.  My original nylon bag got eaten by sunlight very quickly, I had a new one made in Sunbrella. It does have noticeably more friction (my next one might be Sunbrella with a nylon liner) but it works fine. To store it I just stuff the bag into its own mouth. I sewed a cover for it that hooks to the bow pulpit, covers everything up from sunlight and keeps rain out of the mouth of the bag. I leave all the rigging in place as well, just like any other running rigging. The pole stays in the gunmount and lays on the lifeline when not in use. It not only isn't in the way, it makes a really great lifeline, if anything I'd love to have a giant, solid lifeline on the other side, too. From fully stored to flying is something like 5 minutes. Storing it at the end of the day is another 5 minutes.

I can see the argument that a lot of lines for it are always running across the deck, cluttering up the foredeck, whether the sail is being used or not. They also present a bit of danger; I warn people new to my boat that those lines are a trip hazard or can roll underfoot and cause a fall. That has merit but my counter argument is that it's a SAILBOAT, I'll make those concessions for really great sailing.

I really don't see any other downwind/offwind sail being as easy or as versatile. A gunmount chute will go from 60 apparent on one tack all the way around to 60 apparent on the other tack with no dead spots anywhere. One person sets, flys and douses it, all (well,...usually all) from the cockpit. It's pretty hard to have a spinnaker disaster with one.

"Different boats, different long splices" and all, I'm just offering a bit to the discussion but, if a gunmount fits your boat, I think it's the best option. They are easy, effective and great fun.
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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby gamayun » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:40 am

I am single handing my F38, which will involve races in and offshore San Francisco Bay. This often means high winds (20+ k) that can be tame one minute and blasting the next, as well as variable sea state with short, choppy white caps on the bay and rollers offshore. I have an asym spinnaker now that is in a sock and takes 2 to handle. The boat is perfectly balanced with the spinnaker in 10 knots, but anything more than that, and I'm afraid that my autopilot and I would be in trouble. After seeing the videos on the gun mount spinnys, I am completely sold on them and it's great to hear how others are making them work.

Rick, I am originally from Tallahassee and will be visiting family there December 12-16. I hope this is not too forward of me to ask, but would you be willing to show me how you set up your spinnaker so I can take measurements and pictures? I have some pictures that Teke's Pride has posted, but that's an F21, so I would think it would be quite a bit different. I would bring a copy of your "Gunmount Spinnaker Instructions" to help me follow along. This is an amazingly detailed document. Many thanks for writing that up!

If anyone is not using their gunmount pole and spinnaker, I would love to talk with you about buying it!

Cheers all,

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Re: Freedom Yachts

Postby Rick Simonds » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:23 pm

Not forward at all, messing with the boat is probably what I'd be doing anyway. I'm a gunmount true believer and wouldn't pass up a chance to preach the gospel. ;) The boat is about 40 minutes south of Tallahassee at Shell Point. We can run the chute up and down at the dock or go for a short sail.

Does your boat have the reinforced bow pulpit for the gunmount? That part would be a little tough to add but, you can't find the rest, it seems to me that a good welding shop could fabricate it fairly easily. Someone here wrote a really good post about relining the gunmount sleeve with plastic pipe. That would be a good bit of data for a fabricator.

As far as I know, an F32 and a F38 use the same length pole (mine is 18 feet.) Do you (or another F38 owner) know this for sure?


PM me, we'll trade phone and email info and set something up.
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