April 26, 2012
Furl the chute!
When I first moved to Maine I worked the bow on a J130 in local PHRF races. The largest spinnaker on the boat had more than 2000 square feet of sail area - larger than my house! Clean sets and douses were tricky maneuvers. After a douse, two of the crew would have to go below and re-pack the chute. It was usually hot and unpleasant down below, especially if it was rough.
Spinnaker sleeves do a good job of taming a spinnaker, but they are bulky and difficult to store. Then along came spinnaker furlers. The first ones didn't seem much better than spinnaker sleeves. They were bulky and complicated with large swivels and thick foam padding on the torque rope, and they didn't make much sense for racing. Also like spinnaker sleeves, they weren't easily interchangeable. If you had more than one spinnaker then you really needed more than one furler.
The Karver KSF Top Down furler changes all of that. Check out this video from Euromarine Trading Co. below:
Furling from the top down isn't as efficient as furling from the middle of the luff, but the Karver KSF has so many other great features that this is easy to overlook. For instance, the Karver KSF has a locking drum that prevents the spinnaker from accidentally unfurling. As shown in the video, the bottom drum can easily accomodate an adjustable tack line - an important feature when racing. Perhaps most impressive is that you need only one furler. The Karver KSF furlers can quickly and easily be moved from one spinnaker or code zero to another. Simply pull the lanyard and push the locking (and captive!) pin out of the way to move the swivel to another sail. By the way, the head swivel you see below is for a 43' boat, and it's smaller than my hand. Cruisers, racers, bowmen rejoice!
April 17, 2012
SailPack, the sail design program we use at Maine Sailing Partners, is an extraordinarily powerful design tool that allows us to look at sails and boats in a way that not many people can. For instance, there's this:
a Crowther 46 catamaran with a rotating wing mast with diamond shrouds. How do we design a jib that will sheet and trim properly and be sure that it won't interfere with the mast rotation? Using SailPack, we can bend the jib onto a virtual Crowther 46, check the rig, check the trim, and look at the whole thing like this:
Multiple views and very useful tools.
Bainbridge Sailcloth is once again running a free sheets promotion. Buy a sail made with Bainbridge sailcloth between now and August 1, 2012, and receive free Marlow MB12 double braid sheets. Considering a cruising asymmetrical spinnaker this summer? Need storm sails to go South next fall? Buy now and get free sheets.