Reply To: Fitting an Asymmetric sail to a Dufour Classic 35

Jeremy Rowley

    Hi Roger,
    I have an asymmetric spinnaker on my Classic 35. After trying to make it work by attaching the tack to the bow roller for a couple of years I eventually gave up and fitted a retractable bowsprit made by Seldon and never regetted it. I attached the hoop that the bowsprit runs through to the side of the bow roller on the Port side. When the bowsprit is in the stowed position the sprit lies paralell to the centre line. When it is in te deployed position it the aft end of the sprit is close to the genwale in front of the cleat. This means that the front of the sprit is then exactly on the centre line.

    The sprit pole needs to be trimmed to the right size and the end riveted on. You will need a very heavy duty pump action rivet tool to do this. We found that retail tools were not up to the job and broke on first use and had to borrow an expensive one.

    Photo attached shows the sprit in the stowed position. You can see the hoop bolted to the side of the bow roller. The deckeye for the deployed position can be seen just inside the loop of the shoreline on the deck. I did have photos of fitting it, but unfortunatley I lost them when I dropped my phone in the drink.(doh!)

    I found flying the A’ sail takes a bit of practice and has a narrow operating window of about 90 degress to 160 degrees of the wind. It doesn’t really work well anything more than 160 degrees off the wind, although it can be goose-winged if sailing directly downwind, but is unstable. The narrow operating window, and the sheer effort of setting up all the lines means that the sail does not get used very often.

    To lower I found that releasing the tack, gathering in the foot whilst simulateaously pulling the clew under the boom and straight down the main hatch works well and is very quick. I have often used the A’ sail when sailing singlehanded. It just needs thinking through how to lower it and put the autopilot on.

    Good luck