Author Topic: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?  (Read 3541 times)

Col Delane

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How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« on: December 19, 2014, 09:30:21 AM »
Has anyone come up with an effective way to keep a continuous spinnaker sheet (i.e. one that crosses the cockpit between ratchet blocks with ends meeting at the clew) in the boat rather than dragging in the piss when going uphill?

As forward hand I get caned by my skipper if a sheet is dragging in the water, as well as for leaning into the boat trying to secure the sheet so it won’t be dragged out. I think that’s what is meant by the saying “between a rock and a hard place”!

IMHO the cam cleats on the cockpit side walls just do not have sufficient grip to hold the continuous sheet, for a light touch of the sheet (how ever caused) will flick it out of the cleat, and away she goes out of the boat. This is less likely to happen with sheets that end in the cockpit because the loose line sits on the cockpit floor rather than go up over the hiking straps and also has enough weight to pull down through the cleat.

I though about adding another cleat below the existing one (like near floor), but figured the same issue would arise. I then tried sticking a couple of stick-on plastic bathroom hooks to the tank wall offset from the vertical hoping that the S bend angle change would keep sufficient tension on the cleat, but alas, the sheet still snaked passed them and the hooks pulled off too easily. I'm currently experimenting with some Velcro (hook side) stuck to the wall below the cleat and some webbing (with loop side) to hold the sheet against the tank wall, but haven't found a good way to secure the webbing to the boat.

Any better ideas?
South of Perth Yacht Club
Swan River
Perth, Western Australia

Craig Wilusz

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 10:35:43 AM »
We pulled the side cleats off the side and mounted them on the deck.  Pull sheet after drop, cleat, all done.  No issues.

Craig and Deborah
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Col Delane

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2014, 10:45:14 AM »
By "mounted them on the deck" do you mean just inboard from the forward turning/ratchet block so that when the sheet is pulled into the boat is goes through the cleat horizontally (like the jib sheets)?

If so, being almost in line with the shrouds, I guess they're not where anyone would sit so do not become (literally) a pain in the ass!

Cheers
South of Perth Yacht Club
Swan River
Perth, Western Australia

Craig Wilusz

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2014, 04:22:52 PM »
Yep, Col.  That's it. 
Craig and Deborah
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John Learmonth

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 07:24:15 AM »
Quite a laugh that all of us forward hands have the same issues ,the spinnaker sheets are one ,but the whinging skippers a definite . Ha ha
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 09:44:46 PM by John Learmonth »
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Peter Beardsley

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 05:24:27 PM »
I am not a big continuous spin sheet fan for a couple of reasons -- one of which is that I think it makes blow-through gybes harder since you'll have two knots on the clew of the kite that can hang up on the headstay, and because I think sometimes there's not enough slack in the middle in the event of a big knockdown.  Certainly if the sheets are too short, you end up with the ancillary problem that Col describes.  We keep our sheet with a tail spliced into the middle for quicker rigging, quicker gybes, and we end up being able to keep our sheets cleated and not have them come out as much once they are cleated, and that is with an extra set of feet in the boat frequently sailing 4-up, who can trip on the sheets to pull them out of the cleats.  On the plus side, having a 4th who is 70 lbs also means you can send him to leeward to recleat the sheets if needed without feeling like you're losing a ton.
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Jon Stubbs

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2014, 05:26:12 AM »
We had a Velcro strap underneath the cleat to stop the rope from running if it got knocked out of the cleat.

With the Harken cleats, I've always thought the boat has a $100 solution to a $6 problem.

Ed "Buttons" Padin, Class Administrator

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Re: How to keep spinnaker sheets in the boat going upwind?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 12:33:22 PM »
Col,

I've found it successful to trim the sheets and put a simple slip not into the sheet inside the ratchet turning block.  Not a tight one and definitely NOT and overhand not.  Sitting in the middle, on the approach to the mark I reach the windward end of the sheet, pull out the slack, and pop the slip knot.  The forward person just reached under his/her butt and does the same on the windward side.

Keeping the sheets in the boat is good for 1) easing skipper concerns, 2) going faster (less drag?), and 3) makes for better photo ops. 
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