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Yachting Home Forums All things Technical Above Decks NAUTICAT 331 – SPINNAKER OR CRUISING SHUTE

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    John Crump

    Mark Ashley-Miller posted the following message on 30th January but a glitch means that members could not reply. We are investigating the problem. In the meantime this re-post may enable a dialogue to begin:

    Does anyone have any experience of fitting / using a spinnaker on a 331?
    Or an Asymmetrical Genoa.
    I have (foolishly or otherwise) entered the Round the Island Race.
    I feel I need a spinnaker if I am to get around in any kind of reasonable time.
    I would be happy to rent one or buy one (plus all the necessary rigging)
    Any advice welcome!
    Thank you

    I can advise that my 331, SKYLER, was fully equipped for a spinnaker with the boom slung vertically up the front of the mast. Unfortunately, the new owner is not a member of the Association.

    John Crump, Webmaster


    Hi Mark, I sail solo, so a spinnaker is not for me. But i did get a Quantum gennaker for my Nauticat 515. It is a giant sail, beautiful, and lets me move at 4-5 knots on an 8-knot breeze. Not to be used, however, for wind from 150-180 (dead over the stern).


    Relatively easy to set up and use.

    Paul Jepson

    I have similarly been considering a cruising chute or spinnaker. I favour the cruising chute for simplicity and ease of handling especially if fitted with a roller. The only leg of the Round Island likely to be a dead run which would favour a conventional spinnaker is from St Catherines to Bembridge. However you wouldn’t go too far wrong with a just a pole to boom out the genoa. I would be interested to know what handicap you have been given. I believe a 331 has previously had a Channel Handicap.
    Paul Jepson
    Arabella 331

    Nicholas Muir

    I had a cruising chute made for my 33 Mk2 last year. It has transformed the performance, turns a non-sailing day into a sailing day.
    I had it made by Crusader sails. They were slow but did a great job. I did not have to give them any details, they knew exactly what to do.
    Attached is a picture of my boat under ‘full’ sail off Ardnamurchan, West coast of Scotland

    Nicholas Muir

    Hi Mike (in Devon!)
    Cost last year from Crusader was just under £1,500. That comes with a snuffer, which nicely bags the chute.
    They were quite helpful with set up but I had a friend on board who knew exactly what to do. It was quite simple in the end.
    Head – you need an extra halyard, basically a twin of the genoa halyard – Most masts have this provision however if not you should be able to attach a block at the top of the mast and run the halyard outside the mast
    Tack – you want to have an attachment as far forward of the bow as you can get – attach a 3 metre length of 8 or 10 mm to the tack eye on the chute. Attach a block to take the line low down outside and on the strong section of the pulpit. The line then comes through the block and secures on one of the mooring cleats. Having this line means that the sail can fill away from the pulpit when hauled up. See attached photos. It would be best with a short bowsprit, I have plans to fashion one sometime out of an old windsurfer mast!
    Clew – The chute goes outside everything, of course. Attach a long sheet to the clew. Lead back through the ’leading/turning’ block just above the step up onto the aft deck, then lead to a separate block at the same point as that for the genoa sheet, and up onto the winch.
    When everything is connected haul the sail up and then pull a line which will ’unsnuff’ the sail. The sail should fill, and this is when you need a mate on the winch.
    It is not an easy thing to sail with by yourself. It is simpler to ’snuff’ the chute and then gybe. You need to watch it, if the wind picks up you should get the chute in early, especially if you are alone and sailing on autopilot. I tend to rig it on one side for a longish leg and then stow on the deck by the guard rail going up wind (if you can get up wind in a N33!)
    Hope that this gives you an idea – it was much easier than I thought but take care its a very powerful sail which will transform your down wind sailing.

    Mark Ashley-Miller

    Thank you so much everyone – that is really helpful!
    I have bought a second hand one off another member Andrew.

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