Offshore Downwind with Gunmount Spinnaker

Boat handling, ideas, questions...
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unfetteredalexandria
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:57 pm

Offshore Downwind with Gunmount Spinnaker

Post by unfetteredalexandria »

I’m curious to hear from folks with offshore experience running off the wind with the gun-mount spinnaker. I assume this will primarily be the F32 crowd.

I’ve found that my F25 handles really well under spinnaker alone going downwind in heavy conditions for inshore daysailing, probably better than with the main up as well. How does that compare to others’ experience, especially offshore, running off the wind for long periods of time?

If you find this strategy effective, how high do you find you can point before it makes sense to bring the main back into the picture?

If you’ve found it’s always or usually better to keep at least some of the main up, is your reefing strategy different than without the chute?

Do you find rolling to be better or worse with chute alone?

Do you find that you need running backstays, especially if not running with the main to provide some semblance of a backstay? If so, how did you rig them?

Do you find that a flatter, heavier spinnaker is needed? If so, what is your experience scaling down the size and shape, and scaling up the cloth weight?

Has anyone tried setting up a second spinnaker halyard, so you can run up a smaller or larger chute “inside” the flying one like racers do when changing headsails? If so, how did you do it? For the F32 and F29 with the camber-spar jib, might that halyard be used in this way? (Obviously you’d need to rig the pole with additional clew lines…)

It seems to me that in really serious conditions, trying to heave-to under triple-reefed main, or maybe a storm trysail would be the best strategy. On the F25, without a jib, I seem to only be able to get to a slow fore-reaching condition, as opposed to being truly hove-to, where you have almost no headway, and slow sidewise drift. Possibly flying some small bit of canvas from the spinnaker halyard would help here, but I’ve not tried. I’ve read that the F32 can heave-to just fine with its little camber-spar jib. Does anyone have other thoughts on this?

And before anyone gets sidetracked, NO, I don’t plan to go offshore in my F25, although I know this has been done.
1984 round-mast Freedom 25
Western Shore of the Chesapeake

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