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Cruising Sails

Far from the world of powerful headsails and blown up spinnakers is the lazy beat up the narrow waters of the Delta with a self tending jib. Dick Wilson, for example, used one on Answer for years. Above is the jib-club hardware that Ray Alsup has on Pegasus for sailing the Delta his way: "The most rewarding part... are the hours after dark, deep in the delta, sailing from one set of flashing red or green channel markers to the next. High in the Delta the winds were fresh and warm. The sound of silence and beingcalone on the water... is always a plus. Iíll never understand why people are quick to head for an anchorage. Delta sailing is at its best after dark..


"A cruising spinnaker/gennaker has been a welcome addition on our Triton" according to a recent e-mail by Joel Sminchak. "I sail on a Triton on Lake Erie. We recently got a gennaker/spinnaker to reach and run with. Adds 1-2 knots downwind and is tons easier than a spinnaker (no pole!). The sail is similar to an asymmetrical spinnaker. The main modification you need is a block and line at the bow to control the tack. Use the spinnaker halyard to raise the sail and the spinnaker sheet to trim. No pole or topping lift are required. Note that the spinnaker sheets need to reach all the way around to the opposite side on a jybe. When jibing, release the spinnaker sheet until it luffs and pull the sail forward around the forestay. It takes some quick work at the spin sheet to bring in the slack and some measure of skill and timing, but I much prefer jibing with a gennaker than to spinnaker jibes. The sail was designed for lighter air, but we have had it up in 15 knots without a problem. As with asymmetrical spinnakers, you must reach more than run. It has added significant power for us in the choppy waters around the Lake Erie islands. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or the Banks Sails loft in Cleveland js@sails.com.

Joel Sminchak

sminchak@battelle.org