Spinnaker sailing can be exhilarating and for many, a reason to sail altogether! I am not among those, but I do love spinnaker sailing and mine goes up anytime it is possible – sometimes even when it is not, but that’s another story.
Because the forces are so great, the sail flies free and the amount of lines increases, it is important that everything works fine. Even more so when it is sailed solo or shorthanded.
Flying my spinnaker I noticed that the guy was not free through the spinnaker pole fitting. I did not like it, but it did not feel like a major problem. However, the last time I sailed I had some problem jibing the spinnaker because the spliced end of the guy would slide through the fitting and prevent it from opening.
I realized then that it was time to scale down the size for the lines. The old lines were 22mt x 10mm and the spliced end had the cover tucked back in the rope creating a 14mm thickness for the last 20cm.
I purchased two 23mt x 8mm lines Liros Racer Vision with a breaking load at over 4000kg. The core is dyneema SK78 and high grip cover. For some reason the indicated and provided lines with the boat were 10mm thick with dyneema core – I am not aware of their breaking load, however it sounds overkill as the sail would rip before a much smaller line with such a load.
The old line was perhaps more comfortable to handle with bare hands, however impracticable over 10kn wind. Under that TWS the line was however very heavy on the spinnaker.
The new line has a great grip on the winch. Being slimmer it moves through the tweaks easily even in light wind and it goes through the pole fitting with low friction.
I have also spared about 600gr per sheet. 1200gr is perhaps not a great saving in terms of weight on a displacement boat like Veloce, however 600gr sheet in light wind makes the difference between a spi that flies and one that does not.
I have spliced one end to use a snap shackle removing the cover from the splice having no more than 10mm in the last 20cm. I normally use the snap shackles when I sail solo or in fresher breeze as it is faster to handle and ”park” somewhere whilst clearing the deck.
In lighter wind and buoy regatta I believe that the old reliable bowline is a far better option. In that case I only need to invert the ends of the sheet and guy when rigging the spinnaker.