Topic : Trimming the Spinnaker

My crew (and wife) sits low to leeward (in the naughty corner) when flying the spinnaker but has trouble responding to shifts because she can't see the burgee when the main is in the way.

I try to call the shifts but am usually too busy with my own jobs and miss them.

How do other crews catch the shifts?

Posted: 17/05/2008 21:36:39
By: Terry - 3591
In light winds, let her site to windward and you sit to leeward. She'll see and you can still do what you need to do.

Posted: 17/05/2008 22:11:26
By: Mike
Crew to windward is not a good idea in merlins unless you're Steve Leney.

Tne best trick is to get really close to the mast and look up at the luff of the kite. The crew doesn't need to see the burgee, it tells you very little about what the sail actually wants to do.

It's also about team work. If it's obviously going to collapse the helm should bear away very slightly to help keep it full. This reduces the amount of sheet needed to move, helps the boat accellerate and reduces crew noise.

Posted: 18/05/2008 08:06:24
By: Chris
Good description that 'the naughty corner'!
What you describe is the conventional way to do it.
What we do is: Jilly complains she can't see the spinnaker luff so I move in or out so she can move as well to see past the jib luff. She can't see the burgee so if there is a change coming (gust from more abeam for example) she relies on me telling her and her other senses I suppose, watching the ripples on the water, breeze on her hair, etc.
I have often thought that really good sailors rely a lot on peripheral vision. Our eyes are like zoom lenses, we tend to zoom in on the detail but we mustn't forget to keep zooming back out to get an overall view.
Hope this helps, Pat

Posted: 18/05/2008 10:18:09
By: Pat Blake
You are right I find that I hear the gust before it strikes (there has to be some benefit to a very short hair cut)

Posted: 18/05/2008 18:01:10
By: ian
Thanks - all useful tips.

Rather than gusts, the issue is about those subtle changes of wind direction that require the pole angle to be adjusted.

Any further hints and tips gratefully received.

Posted: 18/05/2008 20:42:43
By: Terry - 3591


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