Spinnakers and tuning guide

Joanna Crabtree

Posted: 11 Jul 13 05:11
Message ID: 2341
Hi all,

I'm the Lark class captain for West Kirby, and we've been running Monday evening "practice sessions" here to try and build enthusiasm, confidence, share ideas and have some fun amongst the crews.

What I'm after, if anyone has something, are:
- a good guide/set of instructions for setting, raising, gybing, dropping the spinnaker. We all muddle through on each of our boats but would be great to have the definitive view that we can discuss/practice at the next session

- a tuning guide for different types of weather conditions; fair, medium, strong winds. I've seen some produced for different classes by Volvo for the youth teams, as a one page matrix, and thought if we have something similar for the Lark that would be really useful. Again this is something we'd really benefit from here

Many thanks for your help,

PS - any other useful guides anyone has would be gratefully received, for our future sessions....

Steve Chatten

Posted: 12 Jul 13 09:21
Reply ID: 6501
Hi Joanna,
Im certainly no expert & would love to see some spinnaker tuning tips, but thought I would offer my views on Spinnaker manoeuvres…
If in a good breeze, then don’t attempt to hoist until you are pretty square to the wind – trying to hoist while broadside in a blow will guarantee a swim. In fact, I learnt this pretty quickly in my first Lark while on West Kirby marine lake.
Same for dropping in a breeze – if on a tight reach, then plan ahead to make sure you have acquired enough ground to windward so you can bear off onto a run long enough to drop without sailing past the mark (or into the marine wall in your case;))
Make sure there is as little friction in the halyard as possible – you want to make your hoists & drops as quick & slick as possible – fighting friction & snags isn’t going to help you here.
Some helms (who do a helm drop rather than a crew drop) like the crew to keep the pole out for an extra moment to prevent the spin going under the boat.
Personally I find that I can get the kite down faster than the crew can get the pole off normally so we end up fighting each other with the spin half down, so I prefer the crew to focus on getting the pole off the mast & stowed on the boom in this scenario.
That said, we have been experimenting with the crew drop this year (which hasn’t been without its problems) and on balance, the crew drop does seem to be marginally quicker & means the helm can concentrate on the mark rounding.
Hopefully we will see a West Kirby open again next year??


Garry Packer

Posted: 13 Jul 13 05:05
Reply ID: 6502
Jo either pm me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/garryjohn.packer or email me training at bcyc dot org dot uk as I have some resources for training club racing.


Joanna Crabtree

Posted: 14 Jul 13 03:39
Reply ID: 6503
Hi Steve,

Many thanks for the tips - I've added them into my notes. We have perfect weather for the next session so great for spinnaker practice

Will we see you up here for one of our sessions this summer?

And yes, we have a proposed date for a West Kirby Open next year - I'm liaising with Laura over the dates.

Garry - many thanks for your posting. I've dropped you an email.

Best regards