Elliott / Pattison Sailmakers

August 2016
Sail Sense
Because your sails matter!
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Choosing Spinnakers
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Choosing the Right Spinnaker:

With the increased use of asymmetric spinnakers, both in sprit boats and in conventional rig boats, I get lots of questions on what type of sail a customer should be using. With sprit boats the choices are easier because all the spinnakers will be asymmetric so it is just a matter of matching the sail design to the conditions the sail is to be used in. With conventional rig boats the choices aren't always so clear and will vary depending on the rating system you sail under, the type of racing you do and the displacement of your boat.

So first a quick look at the current naming system for spinnakers, and their uses. You have all probably seen asymmetric spinnakers named things like Code 2A, 3A etc. and similar names for symmetric sails; Code 2S, 3S etc. In this case the "A" stands for asymmetric and the "S" indicates symmetrical. Odd number sails are reaching sails, even numbered sails are running sails, and the numbers indicate the wind range of a sail with a Code 1 being for light air and the higher the number the more wind the sail is make for. And of course there are the Code Zero spinnakers which are specially designed sails for extremely tight reaching, will have very nearly straight luffs, and be built the minimum mid-girth the rating rules allow for a spinnaker

Conventional rig boats will often use a combination of symmetric and asymmetric spinnaker, however in some areas such as Southern California more and more of them are using almost entire inventories of asymmetric sails. This is because their PHRF rules allow slightly bigger asymmetric sails with no change to the rating. Traditional symmetric spinnakers have luff and leeches equal to .95 times the square root of I squared plus J squared. = .95*SQRT((I squared)+(J squared)). However their rule for asymmetrics allows a the luff to be 1.03*SQRT((I squared)+(J squared)) or slightly over 8% longer than a symmetrical luff, and the leech only has to be 5% shorter than the luff so it can be about 3% longer. This is a fair amount of additional area at no extra rating.

Typical Spinnaker Selection Chart

Recent News - 2016 Hawaii Races
Limitless Crew in Kaneohe  
EP sails powered Express 37's to the podium in both this year's Pacific Cup and Single Handed Trans Pac. Congratulations to both skippers and crew!
Shawn Ivie and crew sailed Limitless to 1st in the very competitive Division C that included 3 other Express 37's, and to a 4th Overall in the Pacific Cup! Limitless was sailing with almost a complete new inventory of EP sails.
In the Single Handed TransPac Joe Barry sailed is Express 37 Pakala to 2nd in the Ku Division, with a full set of EP sails! 
Pakala on her way to Hanalei

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Or email us to set up an appointment to have your sails checked, or to talk to Skip or Harry about new sails.
(949) 645-6697 or
Elliott / Pattison Sailmakers  949 645-6697  
Skip:     se@epsails.com  
Harry: hp@epsails.com          
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