The original little bubble spinnakers were only used the first year. After that, everyone went to a pole with asymetrical kites. The boats didn't come standard with gear (that anybody used-I think I may have the original stuff still in the plastic bag that it came in) other than swivel blocks on the front crossbar that no one used either after the beginning. The halyard tang came on the mast, and a cleat for the halyard (that everyone changed) but you had to rig up your own system beyond that.
Tack line goes from tack of kite to end of pole and back to cleat on front crossbar. Ratchets at the back of the wings. Most had the sheet turn 180 at the back ratchet, and back through another ratchet under the wing about in the middle of the wing. Most of the time the front ratchet is kept on, except in light air. The sheet only makes a 90 degree turn around it, so it'll slide through without too much trouble even left on. The crew will need both on to hand hold the 550 sq. fot. sail, unless the crew is a real beast. My wife can handle it fine any time we can fly it with the two ratchets. Sheet continues across the tramp through the same setup on the other side of the boat. Both ends of the sheet fasten to the clew of the kite. Halyard goes up the mast to a bullet block at the tang, and fastens to the head of the sail. Most put a swivel cleat low on the mast.
After heading downwind, pull tack out, halyard up, sheet in, and haul ass.
Most let the sheet go around the front to gybe. A few pulled it through.
There are all sorts of one halyard systems that connect the halyard and tackline, so you just pull one line. Look on F18s for all sorts of ideas for setups.
The chutes we used in the Prosail series were huge compared to most asymetricals today. Some you couldn't even pull the foot all the way tight, and the foot of the sail went from the end of the pole, all the way to the back of the wing. They were good for going low, but not nearly as efficient as what's used on F18s for sailing high.
We launched the chute off the tramp from all sorts of bags. I have one on each side of my tramp with a half circle hoop for the opening. Each hoop has some of the same nylon rod used for breakable rudder pins bent in a semi-circle, and sewn into the bag front. The back of the bag is mesh so water can flow through. The hoop is held under a shockcord whose ends go through grommets in the tramp. No need to flip the hoop out from under the shockcord to launch the sail. Pulling the sail out automatically opens it. At takedown, flip the hoop back to open the bag, gather the big sail down between your knees on top of the bag, flip the hoop back over, slam the shockcord over the hoop, and that's it. Really takes less time than typing it out.
The newer short footed ones can be pulled back into a tube carried along side the pole ala F18s.
They're really not hard to handle at all, once you get the hang of it. My 105 lb. wife can handle ours with no problem. It's just a little scary for a first timer to hand the sheet to the skipper, and scamper across the tramp to grab the foot of the sail the first few times when it's blowing for takedown. Crew dumps tackline, as does skipper the sheet, when crew has sail foot in hand. Halyard is best thrown overboard to stream straight back at takedown to prevent tangles. Halyard end takedown lines on the newer high aspect kite setups are a lot easier and quicker, but the old one line at a time system was not bad. It's what every boat in the Prosail series used. Imagine 20 boats screaming to a mark with no penalty for contact, for prize money.
The boat is really stable, and not twitchy at all like a lot of lighter, new boats. It'll handle the kite fine in pretty strong wind with both crew on the wire. Watch for puffs, and head up before one gets to you, then bear off with it when it hits. You bear off if you become overpowered to keep the hull from going too high. This boat is most fun barely flying a hull with the kite up, and both on the wire.
Last edited by Tom King on Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.