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Parasailor on A54

Joerg Esdorn
 

Scott, my procedure is similar to yours.  Getting the main unfurled is helpful and easing the sheet is vital, although there is a point where easing it too much results in the sail coming down twisted.   I lead the snuffer line to an opening block attached to the Leeward forward mooring cleat with a soft shackle and pulling through that block, I’ve not needed a winch to pull down the snuffer.   If you don’t have the block, you cannot really pull effectively and a light person risks being hoisted up by the line!   I’m having the snuffer line lengthened now so I can get it on one of the cockpit winches when necessary.   As it was, I could put it on the anchor capstan but it was not long enough to reach the mast winches.  I want to be able to pull the snuffer down from the cockpit, which could be a big safety factor.  

On your other point, I fully agree.  It’s very important to make sure the people doing the work have done the specific work before and have an excellent reputation.  And you or a third person whom you trust must check the work carefully.  I’m having Lithium batteries installed on my boat by the local Mastervolt dealer.  At the end, a Mastervolt technician will travel to the boat and certify the installation.   I’m hoping that is being careful enough!  Cheers. Joerg 

Craig & Katherine Briggs
 

"a professional is someone who gets paid for his work - it doesn't mean they are competent."

Scott SV Tengah
 

Thanks for all the answers, Joerg. Very helpful.

Last question - what's your procedure for taking down the Parasailor. Specifically, what AWA do you use, do you use the main to blanket the Parasailor and where do you run the snuffer line? After experiencing a lot of trouble getting it down in 35 knots true, I've settled on pulling out the main (not easy in 35 knots!) leading the snuffer line to the aft part of the leeward pulpit rail and then back to the windward side main mast winch. When I release the leeward sheet, the Parasailor flies forward and by doing this with the snuffer line, the snuffer more closely matches angle of the luffing Parasailor. All is easy when it's 15 knots true or less, but when a squall hits, things get much harder!

As an aside, I just checked the MPPT a few days ago and noticed that the positive wire leading to the battery was heating up a lot. Turns out, it was yet another thing done during our nightmare experience with some marine electricians (nearly everything they touched, I had to re-do). The wire connection was loose and when I checked the MPPT, noticed that when charger output got above say 25amps, output hit a wall and dropped suddenly - probably because of the loose wire! Moreover, the plastic around the terminal was sooty and had melted a bit, probably from all the arcing and overheating.

After tightening the connection, the solar panels output more yesterday than they've ever output in the last 2 years I've had it - 265AH. Another reminder to always check during/after you pay someone to do something!

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Joerg Esdorn
 

Good questions, Scott.  Here are my answers:

1.  I've not seen any chafe and I know literally thousands of boats use the Tacker for their cruising chutes.  I know because my father had one in 1987!  So I think it's going to be fine but I've only had it up maybe a total of 24 hours so I can't speak authoritatively on chafe.
2.  It does ok but most of the time in moderate winds the apparent wind moves aft quickly.  But it strikes me that your setup may be better for dead downwind passages in trade wind conditions - 20 knots or so.  I figure you can trim the windward sheet so that the clew is close to the pole, opening up the bottom of the sail more than if the clew were fixed at the forestay.  But I spoke to a A55 owner a while ago who said that it works great even dead downwind - the sail is simply sitting out on the leeward side rather than more toward the centerline.  
3.  Yes, I have the standard sheet which is taking most of the load of the sail.  The windward sheet and guy each have small loops at their ends.  I run a soft shackle through those loops and through the bottom of a snap shackle which connects sheet and guy to the sail.  The snap shackle on the Tacker is hooked into that same soft shackle.  I crank in the sheet with the windward winch to reduce the amount of load taken by the forestay.  The guy prevents the ATN from moving up the forestay.    If I get a sudden gust, I can trip the snap shackle and the sail will fly out.  Just like you blow the guy on a conventional chute.   But it probably will be better to let the leeward sheet go and pull down the sock.  I've done that a bunch of times.  
4.  Not an issue I've encountered but I don't sail dead downwind in light air.  That's slow.  135 degrees true wind angle is the way to go below about 11 knots, then you can fall off more.    Once a racer, always a racer I guess.
5. I will give it a try once I'm on a long downwind.  That's not anytime soon since I just postponed my trip to Irland, Scotland and the Faroe Islands to next year.  

I love the wind generator.  Zero noise in the aft cabin; it has a special mount that prevents vibrations passing through to the mast.  It's no good in light air downwind, but if the apparent wind is at like 120 AWA or less, it adds to the solar nicely.  And at anchor, of course.  Remember they work 24 hours/day, so the fact that it may output 1.5A per hour only, still results in it inputting 36 AH over the day.  If the winds are fresh, I expect it to do 50Ah or more.  It's not very cost efficient, of course, but I'm a great proponent of using alternative energy when possible.  

Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
On the hard in Vigo, Spain 

Scott SV Tengah
 

Joerg,

A few questions for you:

1) So you've not seen any chafing on the Genoa from the ATN? It seems like you're saying that the ATN may not be good for ocean crossings?
2) How does it do at 150-180 degrees?
3) Do you have any lines on the windward side? Or is the sole attachment/control the ATN? My concern would be sudden squalls that produce 30+ knots and the lifting force that the ATN/Genoa would have to endure. When it hit 30+ at night, we simply left the sail up - I would rather lose the sail than a crew member. Turns out the Parasailor did completely fine.
4) Any issues with the Parasailor rubbing on the Genoa? The first time we deployed the Parasailor, it rubbed the Genoa and, well, you can see all the little repairs we had to do on the foot area! The sail does collapse when you're flying in light winds as intended and the wind goes <5 knots apparent - so I want to be sure we don't damage the ultralight fabric again!
5) I would suggest you try the pole in rolly seas and see if it helps reduce rolling. I think the ability of the sail to move a bit allows the sail to "absorb the rolling" vs transmitting it to the boat.
Overall, I actually like a bit of movement.

That said, the setup of the pole is a pain and it would be great if I could eliminate that.


As an aside - how do you like your mizzen mounted wind generator? How is the noise in the aft cabin? Any idea how many amp hours a day it averages?

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Joerg Esdorn
 

Wow, Scott, quite the setup.  Certainty an interesting solution to use the pole to prevent the swinging if there is significant swell.  The much simpler alternative is the ATN Tacker over the furled up Genoa.   https://www.atninc.com/atn-tacker-sailing-equipment.shtml.    You can use that alternative for a few miles, yours for hundreds of miles.  I think the Tacker  makes the sail even more stable than your Solution since it fixes the tack of the sail at the forestay. Cheers. Joerg 

Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
Sheltered in Vigo, Spain

Scott SV Tengah
 

On our recent 31 day passage, we had plenty of time to play with the Parasailor and I believe I have figured out a way to rig it up without anything more than three blocks and a few soft shackles.

See attached photos.

There is no chafing now. I learned how to make dyneema soft shackles and made about 10 of them. They’re super easy to make and very useful to have aboard.
 
Here’s how we set up the bow and windward downguy
 
First block is attached via a soft shackle to the soft shackle that is on our Bamar EJF-1 curler. The windward downguy goes from the Parasailor tack/windward clew first to this block. This prevents the downguy from going too far forward and rubbing on the bow seat. 
 
Second block is connected via two soft shackles to those “horns” that are on the bow roller. Windward downguy then goes through this block. On our A54 #69, the horns are like downward facing hooks, but there is a small closed loop where I attached the 5mm soft shackles. I was worried 5mm would be a bit small but breaking strength should be 3000kg and I flew the Parasailor for, I think, 10 total days on this passage in up to 30 knots true without any issues. I believe the sail will rip before the soft shackle.
 
Third block is attached to the second cleat aft from the bow. The windward downguy then goes through this block and continues to the staysail track back to the secondary winch. 

The rest of the lines:

The windward sheet goes through the pole, which is set at nearly Genoa clew height (far forward) and is only tightened enough to prevent the Parasailor from swinging too far to leeward. We tried to run it without the pole but it doesn't seem to work that well - too much lateral motion.
 
Leeward sheet goes directly to the leeward Genoa track and then Genoa block then primary winch. 
 
We started out hating the sail, but now we wouldn’t want to do a double handed light wind circumnavigation without it. We have flown it nearly DDW in 10 knots true (5kts SOG, 5 kts apparent) and also flown it in 30+ knots true (9+ SOG and 20-25 apparent). It can fly from 80 apparent to DDW. This range makes the slightly cumbersome setup worth it. Additionally, the rolling is reduced DRAMATICALLY and there is almost none of the luffing/slamming you get with the wing-on-wing setup.
 
One additional tip is that I put a soft shackle with a metal ring (snatch block would be better) on the life rail, around the location of the forward cleat. The snuffer line runs here and then back to the mast winches. I don’t winch it down for fear of ripping the sail, but simply put a few wraps on the winch. The angle that this creates in the snuffer line makes it much easier to snuff the sail in higher winds.

Hope this helps.
 
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Laurens Vos
 

Yes a video would help to get a better understanding how you did

Scott SV Tengah
 

Thanks for the photos Joerg. The video would be helpful so I can understand it better. Or more accurately, so I can come up with better questions. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Joerg Esdorn
 

Hi Scott, a few thoughts.  

1. I agree with you that the bow pulpit is not strong enough to take the load of the guys.   

2.  I would do what you are suggesting - use the ring - with a few twists.  When you are flying the Parasailor on a broad reach or downwind, the guys will be pulled forward and the strap will chafe on your bow seat.  I think you will need to take that seat off.  Alternatively, you will need to attach a third strop to the ring and lead it to a point aft so that it prevents the ring from moving forward.  Or, mount a stainless strip that has a rigid eye above and aft of the board.  

3. Rather than using blocks, you should use rings like the Antal rings I use.  Cheaper and they don’t bang around.  See the pic I posted.  

4. If you use the Tacker, you don’t need the guys at all.  I really like the Tacker since it stabilizes the sail a lot and simplifies rigging the sail.  The downside is that it puts loads on a small part of the forestay foil and chafes on the rolled up Genoa   I think only time will tell whether this is a problem.  Lots of people use the Tacker for their cruising chutes so I suspect its ok   

5.  To prevent the leeward sheet from rising too high, you may need a barberhauler.  I use an opening eye over the sheet attached to a line run to one of the cleats on the leeward side deck for this.  


I have posted pictures of the setup on my boat which may help you.  I also have a video I could send you.  I hope this helps.  Cheers. Joerg 

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53
Kincsem

Scott SV Tengah
 

Hi all,

I just purchased a used Parasailor (169sq meters) for my A54 and had a bit of trouble flying it the first time, going dead downwind. With our rolling, the Parasail tacks/foot area was chafing against the rolled up Genoa as it rolled with the swell and when we tried to ease the sheets/guys to fly it out further forward, the Parasailor rose up rather than going further forward.

Per the suggestion of the seller, another A54 owner, for DDW I ran the port/starboard guys to the Genoa car, which was positioned as far forward as possible. The guy lines then went to the staysail turning block and then the big cockpit winches. The sheets went directly from the Parasailor clews to the Genoa turning blocks and then the small cockpit winches. 

I believe a solution would be to run the guy lines down to the bow roller area, which is what the attached official Parasailor instructions specify. Now the question is where on the A54. On the attached photo of my bow area, I believe a solution would be to put two blocks on the ring that I'm holding, circled in red. That ring is attached via webbing to two shackles to the bow roller. Normally I attach the code zero furler to that and it works great. Perhaps with this solution, I can jibe the Parasailor as per the attached instructions. Thoughts?

Another idea I'm less excited about is to attach it to the liferails. When I purchased the boat, the previous owner had two blocks attached to the little welded loops far forward on the life rails, circled in blue - what he used them for, I'm not sure. And well, his English isn't great, so difficult to ask. My thinking is that these welded loops are definitely not strong enough and even if I attached the blocks to the forward end of the life rails, I'm not sure the whole life rail assembly and attachment system is strong enough.

The final solution is what Dmitris (Alma Libre Too) did which is have a bow roller extension added. I don't like that solution as I use the bow roller for the anchor rode snubber and also attachment lines for mooring balls, as you can see in this photo from our current location in Bonaire. A bow roller extension would interfere with these lines as the boat rotates.

I have how seen Ashia, an SM2K did it, but I don't think we can attach directly to the shackles at the bottom of the webbing strop you see in the photo, as that may rub on the teak bow seat. I read Joerg's post about it but perhaps he and others can chime in on how they would do it on my setup?

Thanks all!

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com