Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't Be Afraid to Let it Out

Over the last two seasons many people have either been introduced or rotated into the position of trimmer. There is one common thread that I see happening over and over again when a novice first starts to trim the spinnaker. The natural tendency is to sheet in when instead they should be letting out. I consistency see the spinnaker foot cramped up around the headstay. The spinnaker has some shape but overall is not flying properly. It is being choked.

Let the Spinnaker fly well in front of the boat. Remember that the spinnaker needs to be deep and full to power up. The adage applies to as well upwind as in downwind....When in doubt let it out.

Some of the speed issues we encounter on the downwind legs are caused by altering course to try and keep the spinnaker full. If the spinnaker collapses too much the helm has to correct fall off to keep it full until it is under control again. Watching ad playing the curl of the luff edge is crucial in keeping the spinnaker powered up and full.


Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Spinnakers aren't the only sails that novices tend to over trim. I see so many boats where the jib is over-trimmed and is backwinding the main.

7:16 PM  
Blogger the skip said...

have had some issues with that as well. The jib tell tales give novices a bit more to judge from. Maintaining the curl of the spinnaker is such a fluid trim it requires smoother and constant trimming. I think it is a harder concept for novices to grasp. The jib can be set for a longer period of time without requiring too much adjustment.

I am going to get out on the water and have someone else helm and visually show the crew what the proper trim is. THink it might work a little better then trying to bark trim commands from the helm. When I do that I find it is usually "sheet in hard and snap the spinnaker to get it under control" if it is collapsing or "let it out but not too much" which may tend to confuse them and does not offer a proper solution to trim just a recovery method.

Thanks for the comment.

8:28 AM  

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