Spinnaker Peels
by Evan Gomberg
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Description:

The Term “Peel” describes crew work to change one head sail for another without going “Bald Headed”, i.e., with no head sail. The are several reasons to change head sails all urgent in nature in the racing environment. The wind is stronger than the sail can handle, and if the sail isn’t changed, sometimes very quickly, it will literally blow to pieces.

The wind has lightened up to the point that the sail cloth is to heavy for the sail to stay “Full”. A lighter weight sail is required. In this case time is of the essence to remain competitive in the race
Conditions and/or race tactics have changed and the headsail that’s up is the wrong shape for the new situation. Again, time is of the essence to remain competitive in the race.

This section will address Spinnaker Peels specifically. While the written process description seems lengthy, a crack crew should be able to complete a Peel within a couple minutes of the order being given. Speed will come with practice and communication. Getting the basics down is the first step.

Terms:

Chute / Kite Slang for Spinnaker
Inside Hoist Raising a new chute inboard of the current flying chute
Outside Hoist Raising the new chute outboard of the current chute
Foredeck Stripper Line A line attached at the bow to serve as a surrogate for the Afterguy
Stripper Leash A line attached to the line trimming the chute to be doused or “Old” chute. The leash ensures the chute being doused can be brought in efficiently
Working Sheet
or Afterguy
Line actively in use to trim the spinnaker
Lazy Sheet
or Afterguy
Line not being used on the current jibe. Will be used for the next jibe
Strip Taking down or “Dousing” a spinnaker

Outside Hoist Vs. Inside Hoist

There are some advantages to hoisting the new chute “outside” of the existing chute:
1. The helmsman can get back on a proper course sooner
2. The new chute can be trimmed correctly sooner
3. The Spinnaker Pole need not come into hard contact with the Headstay
4. Getting the Old chute down will be easier


Why do an Inside hoist?
The configuration of the halyards dictates an inside hoist is required. (If an outside hoist were performed, the halyards can pinch each other at the top of the mast making a take down difficult or impossible without extreme action).

Halyard Configuration

- Rule of thumb: Halyard on same side as hoist = Foredeck choice outside or inside hoist.
- Opposite side’s halyard usually means inside hoist is required to not cross the halyards.
- Depending on how things were done, if the opposite side’s halyard is clear, and will remain clear after the hoist, an outside hoist can be performed with the opposite side’s halyard.
- If the jibe that a peel will be performed on is known / anticipated, a savvy foredeck man can select the initial halyard to use that will set the foredeck up for a preferred hoist peel later in the race. It is common practice to use the opposite side’s halyard for the initial hoist to setup for an outside hoist.

Outside Hoist / Inside Take Down

Setup to Peel- Outside Hoist:

1. Tactician Calls out: “We need to Change the Spinnaker to ____ oz.”
2. Foredeck team determines “Outside” Vs. “Inside” hoist and lets the cockpit team know the plan (these instructions for outside. Go to next section for inside hoist)
3. Foredeck team rigs new spinnaker / “chute” on the same side as the current chute.
4. Cockpit team switches to trimming current chute from the lazy afterguy.
5. Foredeck team attaches the now slack working sheet to the new spinnaker on deck.
6. Foredeck team passes the new halyard over the line trimming the current spinnaker and attaches it to the new chute to facilitate the outside hoist.
7.
Foredeck Team attaches “Stripper Leash” to the line trimming the current spinnaker.
8. Helmsman steers to a deep beam reach. During peel, the helmsman helps trim the chutes using the helm.
9. Cockpit team eases pole forward and down so foredeck team can attach the Foredeck Stripper Line to the current spinnaker. Foredeck team calls out “Stripper Made!” when the stripper is attached.
10. After the stripper line is “made”, the Cockpit team eases all tension on the working afterguy to provide slack to the foredeck team.
11. Foredeck team detaches the now slack afterguy from the “current” spinnaker and attaches it to the new chute and calls out “Ready for Hoist!”
12. Cockpit Team Levels Pole and gets ready for the hoist.
13. Cockpit team designates a “New Chute Trimmer” that will trim the new chute using the Sheet attached to the new chute. The “New Chute Trimmer” does not trim in until the new chute is all the way up.
14. Mast makes ready to hoist new chute

The “Hoist”

1. Foredeck-man calls out “Ready to hoist new chute?” Aft Teams respond “Ready”
2. Foredeck hoists new chute with cockpit team triming the afterguy as in a normal hoist.
3. When chute is all the way and the halyard is secure on deck, Foredeck-man calls out: “Made!”
4. Cockpit Trims the new sail. Helmsman steers proper course

The “Inside Strip” / Douse (Following Outside Hoist)

1. All available hands go up to foredeck and one into the “sewer” to assist with strip of old spinnaker. Most or all the cockpit crew will need to stay in their positions.
2. A Mastman makes ready to lower the old chute’s halyard.
3. A second Mast-man, and others, take up tension on the “Strip Leash”.
4. When the Mast-man / crew on the strip leash is ready, they call out: “Ready to Strip!”
5. The Foredeckman Releases / “Spikes” the old chute from the foredeck stripper line and then helps to bring in the chute.
6. The halyard and “Lazy” Afterguy are eased and the sail is dropped down the forward hatch.
7.
The strip team pulls in on the strip leash as the Lazy Afterguy is eased as required to bring in the chute.
8. When the strip team is ready, they call “Lower the Chute!” The person on the halyard lowers the chute as fast as the team can pull it in being careful not to drop it in the water.

Following “the Strip”

1. Halyard is secured forward on the bow to ensure it will be clear for the next peel if a jibe is performed.
2. Lazy Afterguy is hooked up to the “New / Current” chute
3. Determine / predict next drill, jibe, douse, etc..
4. Stripped chute is repacked ASAP

Inside Hoist / Outside Take Down

Setup to Peel- Inside Hoist

1. Tactician Calls out: “We need to Change the Spinnaker to ____ oz.”
2. Foredeck team determines “Outside” Vs. “Inside” hoist and lets the cockpit team know the plan
3. Foredeck team rigs new spinnaker / “chute” on the same side as the current chute.
4. Cockpit team continues trimming current chute on the working spinnaker sheet and afterguy. Maintain focus on current chute.
5. Cockpit team designates a “New Chute Trimmer” that will trim the new chute using the lazy afterguy attached to the new chute. The “New Chute Trimmer” does not trim in until the new chute is all the way up.

6. Foredeck team attaches the lazy afterguy and the foredeck stripper line to the new spinnaker on deck
7. Foredeck team attaches the new halyard to the new chute to facilitate the inside hoist under the current chute.
8. Foredeck Team attaches “Stripper Leash” to the line trimming the current spinnaker. The stripper leash is to be led over the lazy afterguy.
9. Mast makes ready to hoist new chute
10. Foredeck man makes sure everything is ready, then calls out “Ready for Hoist!”

The “Hoist”

1. Helmsman steers to a deep beam reach. During peel, the helmsman helps trim the “New” chute using the helm. Helmsman continues on a deep beam reach until the old chute is stripped and new chute is attached to the afterguy.
2. Foredeck-man calls out “Ready to hoist new chute?” Aft Teams respond “Ready”
3. Foredeck hoists new chute. When chute is all the way up and the halyard is secure on deck, Foredeck-man calls out: “Made!”
4. Cockpit team trims the new chute from the lazy afterguy and continues to trim the old chute from the working sheet & afterguy. Both chutes are flying.

The “Outside Strip” / Douse (Following Inside Hoist)

1. All available hands go up to foredeck and one into the “sewer” to assist with strip of old spinnaker. Most or all the cockpit crew will need to stay in their positions.
2. A Mastman makes ready to lower the old chute’s halyard.
3. A second Mast-man, and others, take up tension on the “Strip Leash”.
4. Cockpit team eases pole forward and down so foredeck team can “Spike”/ release the old chute from the working afterguy.
5. When the foredeck-man is ready for the release, he calls out to the crew “Ready for the Strip?” The aft teams respond with “Ready!” Foredeck-man Spikes the old chute.
6. Simultaneous Crew Actions During the Strip:
Cockpit Team:
Working Afterguy Trimmer eases all tension on the working afterguy to provide slack to the foredeck team to attach it to the New Chute.
Working Sheet Trimmer eases the working sheet attached to the old chute as required to allow the mast crew to pull in the old chute. The end of the sheet needs to get to the foredeck hatch.
New Chute Trimmer continues to trim new chute from the lazy afterguy.
Mast Team:
Strips / lowers the old chute pulling it into the foredeck hatch using the Foredeck Stripper Leash.
Foredeck-man:
Attaches working afterguy to the new chute
7. Getting Ready to transfer the New Chute from the foredeck stripper line to the working afterguy:
Cockpit Team:
Working Afterguy Trimmer takes up tension on the working afterguy, now attached to the new chute, but does not pull to hard against the head stay.
A grinder is positioned on the working afterguy to grind in as soon as the foredeck striper line is spiked / released.
Topping Lift Trimmer stands ready to raise pole
Foredeck-man:
Calls out to the cockpit crew “Ready for Spike?” – Cockpit crew calls out “Ready” when the working afterguy trimmer and grinder are ready for the transfer.
Mast Team:
Gets ready to raise inboard end of pole.
8. Quick actions by foredeck-man and cockpit team team to transfer the new chute to the pole:
- Foredeck-man spikes / releases the foredeck stripper line.
- Working afterguy trimmer and grinder immediately trim the new chute to the end of the pole and off the headstay.
- Topping Lift Trimmer raises outboard end of pole
- Mast Team raise inboard end of pole to correct height.
9. Helmsman steers proper course


Following the strip

1. Halyard is secured forward on the bow to ensure it will be clear for the next peel if a jibe is performed.
2. Lazy Afterguy is hooked up to the “New / Current” chute
3. Cockpit team transfers trimming to the working spinnaker sheet.
4. Determine / predict next drill, jibe, douse, etc..
5. Stripped chute is repacked ASAP

 

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