First off Iâ€™m no pro at running a chute. Iâ€™m getting better, but anything reading this should feel free to point out any mistakes. As Brad said, the F18/Tiger forum would be a good place for your questions as well. Running the spinnaker isnâ€™t nearly as a black art as many believe.
The main sail acts as a backstay for the mast, so main sheet tension is critical when the spinnaker is full, and this especially important with a comp-tip mast.
Iâ€™m assuming that there is only one line for hoisting and retrieving the spinnaker. When making my turn downwind I keep tension on the main and dump the traveler, trying to shadow the spinnaker as much as possible while hoisting it. Also this should help keep your speed up while the crew is hoisting. Keeping yourself pointed downwind, you donâ€™t want to go too deep and gybe either. While transitioning this can make for a whole bunch of issues. With the way the snuffer is orientated you will want the wind coming from the right, it can be done on the other tack, but it is just a bit easier when on starboard. Same goes with retrieving and snuffing the spinnaker. The crew needs to release the downhaul when you are making the turn as well. Between the downhaul, mainsheet tension, and the spinnaker pulling on the mast, it can make it do some weird bends it shouldnâ€™t be doing. For the crew when hoisting, pull, pull, pull! Getting it up as quickly as possible makes things easier, when the spin starts to fill, there is a lot of tension on the halyard making that last little bit hard to get. Use a Sharpie, and mark the spin halyard somewhere around the cleat so you have a reference when it is completely up. On the FXone I hoist on my knees, but that is only because Iâ€™m holding the tiller with my ankles and steering a bit. F18â€™s that Iâ€™ve crewed on I was standing while hoisting. Iâ€™m guessing that the H16 spinnaker isnâ€™t as big, so it probably wonâ€™t take the same amount of effort to raise as the F18. A lot of F18â€™s have moved the spin halyard cleat to the mast as well, so standing is easier.
Spin is up. At this point you should sheet in the main traveler. I run mine centered. You should be a step ahead of the crew and be pulling in the traveler just before, or slightly ahead of the crew sheeting in the spinnaker. When the spinnaker is properly sheeted the leading edge of the sail is on the verge of folding over and collapsing. When I first started I was way over sheeting the spinnaker and it wasnâ€™t working the way it should. When the crew is sheeted in, turn the boat slowly up wind. As the hull starts to rise, (assuming itâ€™s not from a puff), turn downwind slowly. You want to keep the windward hull just barely out of the water. In lighter conditions the crew will be on the low side of the boat to help promote this. Because of apparent wind the main sail actually thinks it is going up wind. I donâ€™t do it on the FXone because Iâ€™ve got my hands full, but you can sheet the main to get the tell tails flowing properly. I donâ€™t know with the jib if you want to travel out, sheet out, or a combination of the two. My guess would be to sheet out just a little bit to open the slot between the jib and the main sail. Running with the chute, unless youâ€™ve got very consistent wind direction and strength, you should always be making slow â€œSâ€