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Help with 5.5 Uni and spinnaker.  Bottom

  • OK, I have a 97 5.5 UNI I picked up last year. I have been sailing Hobie 18s for about 20 years. I like the UNI, it is light fast and fun. The rudder system sucks out loud but that is a different post.

    The boat came with a Hooter and it is not worth a crap off the wind, reaching yes it is fine, but off the wind, not so much. I race against an old friend with an I-17 Non R with a spinnaker, and he is kiling me in all the club races. I am never going to nationals or really sailing anywhere but my home lake so "class legal" is not a concern. The local club hits me the same for the hooter as a soft Spin. I just need to go deeper than the hooter will let me.

    A long time ago I parted out a Hobie 18 and got a spinnaker with (Not and SX) it has a 20 ft luff a 19 ft leach and a 12 ft foot, it is similar in size to the other spins I have seen on boats this size.

    I have a mid pole snuffer and bag already for cheap and a halyard for the hooter already.

    So what I need to know is how long should I make the pole? The Hooter pole is way over built, a techno fiber with a built in truss system under it. it is 1.75 not 1.5 like I need for the snuffer. I have the spreader bar between the hulls already (no jib but I could, I have one from a 17 sport). I sail solo 99 percent of the time so the jib is not likely going to happen.

    I also need to know if I need to use the halyard ring to help the mast rotate?

    I have the Hooter sheets on the rear cross bar but I can move them to the shrouds. I will need to put the snuffing grommets in the spin and will do that when I rig it for the first time and get some accurate measurements. Any input on where to put them would be greatly appreciated.

    Any input would be a lot of help, this is all new territory for me, but exciting. Thanks in advance, Ricardo.

    Lake Perry KS
    N-5.5 UNI +spin
  • If you convert what are you going to do with the hooter? Is it big enough to work on a P18?

    Edited by Quarath on Jan 26, 2012 - 08:18 PM.

    Dustin Finlinson • Magna, UT
    Member: Utah Sailing Association
    1982 Prindle 18
    1986 Hobie 17
    1982 Prindle 16
    1980 Prindle 16(mostly)
    1976 Prindle 16(mostly)

    Check out "Prindle Sailors" on Facebook.
  • I have not decided anything on the hooter yet, I need to see what the kite works like first. Ricardo.

    Lake Perry KS
    N-5.5 UNI +spin
  • i sail a mystere 5.5
    i use a tornado spin
    my pole is 13' and 5' past my bows (not exactly "class legal" but works best for my setup)

    My blocks are attached to my stay/chainplate

    You might try bag launching a few times (crew helps) to make sure everything is working as you want before you mount the hoop, put in patches on your sail, etc

    From "Jake" on catsailor (on patch placement)

    you typically will need three patches to gather the spinnaker in enough to fit the shorter snuffer sock. Chances are that your two existing snuffer points are not in the correct locations for the mid-pole, so you will need to add three.

    1) measure the length of the sock from the grommet at the back to the aft side of the hoop (basically the area of the sock that will completely cover the spinnaker). Subtract 8 to 12 inches. This is the length the spinnaker will be when snuffed.

    2) lay the spinnaker out on the ground and stake the corners

    3) take two (or three) pieces of string and tie an open eye on one end (large enough to fit around your stakes).

    4) mark or cut each piece of string to the measurement you took of your snuffer sock.

    5) loop each piece of string around each stake/corner of the spinnaker.

    6) at the bottom of the spinnaker, bring the two pieces of string together so that their ends meet, taught, from the tack and the clew. Put a piece of tape there. This is one of the snuffer points (any longer and the spinnaker will be hanging out of the sock when snuffed).

    7) take the string at the head and pull it towards the mark you just made at the bottom of the kite. Put a piece of tape at the end of that string.

    8) If the distance between these two marks is less than the snuffer distance you measured, you don't need a third grommet (but chances are you will. If the third grommet is needed, simply measure halfway between the top and bottom mark and put a third piece of tape there.

    These are your snuffer points.
  • QuoteI also need to know if I need to use the halyard ring to help the mast rotate?

    Preferred but probably not critical.

    My spin halyard tang was higher than i was comfortable with (i had a few other local boats to compare) so i created a line bale (bail?) about 1' down, for a small block to hang off for my spin halyard.

    i love it but have to change out the small dyneema every year


    Edited by MN3 on Jan 27, 2012 - 09:34 AM.
  • Great advice, keep it coming.

    I guess I am going to have to get the spinnaker out and put it on a pole and see what the triangles look like. Any numbers on how the triangle should work?

    For example the ratio of foot length of the sail compared to length of the pole as compared to distance to the shroud for the blocks.

    I am very new to this spin stuff so treat me like I know nothing, which is not far from true. LOL. thanks again Ricardo.

    Lake Perry KS
    N-5.5 UNI +spin
  • The rule of thumb on the spin hlyd blk/bail location is that it wants to be no more than 1/3 of the distance from the hounds to the mastead, above the hounds. So if you've got 6' above the hounds, the bail would be located 2' above the hounds. I've gone as high as 50%, knowing all the time I was pushing the limit. Regardless of where you place it, remember that having the mainsail sheeted in(and travelled out some) is part of supporting the upper mast when the spin is up. When in trouble, blow the spin first, then the main. The other way round puts the mast at big risk!
    My suggestiong is to temporarily secure the head of the spin at the appropriate spot, and see where the tack lands on your spin pole. That will help determine your pole length and height. Where to locate the turning blk for the sheet will be dictated by your sail shape, too much leech tension, the blk moves aft. Too much foot tension, the blk needs to go fwd. Of course, the rear beam and the shroud are the only solid attachment points, which is why using a spin designed for a boat other than yours may be a less than perfect fit. You have a little bit of control over the sail shape with a fixed turning blk location by adjusting the tack location fore and aft, up and down. So if you can use your existing pole for experimentation, that might be helpful. The windsurfing mast I used as a pole on an H18 was cut down to 12', and supported by vectran guys from the bows to the pole tip, and the center of the pole was stabilized with similar lines from the bridle tangs. Beware of an overly long spin pole, particularly on a boat not originally designed for a spin. It will just increase the lee helm you'll experience with the spin up. Good luck!

  • Dave thanks for the reply. What you say makes a lot of sense. I think next real step is to get a day where there is light wind and set everything up and play with the dimensions. The boat has a hooter halyard already so I will start there and play with the pole length to get the tack where I want it. Thanks again, Ricardo.

    Lake Perry KS
    N-5.5 UNI +spin

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