Cruising in low wind/1: what to do at the carriers

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gennakerAft sailing with little wind requires a certain amount of effort to achieve performance that can give some satisfaction. The two options we have for sailing in this gait are the use of a gennaker or a spinnaker. Both, for easier use in cruising even with a small crew, can be mounted with a sock for easy hoisting and lowering.

Using a gennaker is undoubtedly easier; just think of the greater number of maneuvers involved in using a spinnaker: spinnaker, high charge, low charge, double sheets on boats of a certain size, and greater difficulty in gybing.

The stocking is the ideal solution for sailing with the gennaker even in a small crew. It facilitates life on board by simplifying the hoisting and lowering of the sail.
The stocking is the ideal solution for sailing with the gennaker even with a small crew. Facilitates life on board by simplifying the hoisting and lowering of the sail.

It is true that the spinnaker generally allows for more rest. but it is also true that in wind conditions of 5 to 9 knots the angles with respect to the wind that you would normally reach would still be quite narrow, 115 to 140/145 degrees, regardless of the type of sail you use, and this is a range of use typically by gennaker which is a sail, especially if it is of the latest generation, that in these conditions turns out to be quite a bit more efficient.

Again, in order to find the best vmg (Velocity Made Good, the actual speed of approach to a point), conduction is also crucial. For example, using a gennaker and sailing at all costs at very wide angles is counterproductive: you lose speed and would be detrimental to good vmg. Conversely, sailing with a gennaker means starting out at fairly tight angles, even 110 degrees, with very little wind, having the boat create its own apparent wind which, as we know, will turn toward the bow and also allow us later to lean.

Although the spinnaker allows you to lean more than the gennaker, in light winds you still need to keep a fairly narrow angle between 115 and 145 degrees which is the perfect range of use for the gennaker.
Although the spinnaker allows you to lean more than the gennaker, in light winds you still need to keep a fairly narrow angle between 115 and 145 degrees which is the perfect range of use for the gennaker.

Tight corners when you have to start the boat are basically a flywheel to build up the apparent wind that will later make us lean. In the case of reaching a waypoint positioned exactly in the full stern, edge navigation and not direct navigation will be required.

JIBING WITH THE GENNAKER
This maneuver assumes two possibilities: “inside gybing,” that is, with the sail luff passing between the forestay and the sail luff, or “outside gybing,” with the luff passing beyond the sail luff.

Generally with little wind one gybes inside, but it is clear that in order to be able to do so without having too many problems, the length of the bowsprit or bowsprit takes on decisive importance: the longer they are, the more space there is between the forestay and the gennaker luff during the gybe, and thus it becomes easier to turn the sail. Conversely in stronger winds it is certainly easier and less complicated to jibe outside.

SPATA-ROBERTO1OUR EXPERT
Roberto Spata started racing dinghies. He approached offshore sailing by racing on any type of boat and winning, to date, 17 Italian, 6 European and 5 World Championships. In 2003, he founded New Wind, a technical consulting and service company aimed at both shipowners and major Italian shipyards. www.nwind.it.

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