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To Snuff or not to Snuff that is my question


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Im looking at getting a kite for the 5.8 some where in the near future, but im not sure whether to go for the snuffer kit or not.

I notice on the pricing for them, the snuffer costs an extra $500 for that does anyone know what you get for the money?

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Yah yah yah, the age old quandry......

Apparently the snuffer system gives you a larger "Thumb Print" to windward, thus slowing you a little.

I doubt it would make any significant difference downhill.

The real advantages with the snuffer are in the set/retrieval of the spinnaker, much quicker to do both, however having said that all the cool kids are going back to tramp bags this year.......

The snuffer system is a spinnaker bag that runs beneath the entire length of the spinnaker pole with an opening at the front end of it made of carbon/plastic that closely resembles a dunny seat, in fact I have heard of ppl actually using dunny seats !! smile.gif

the halyard is fed thru the dunny seat and attatched to the head of the spinnaker and VOILA ! hoist away, and wen it comes time to rip it down it has no chance of fouling cause of the size of the dunny seat smile.gif

....or sumfing !

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I have been watching the warrell 1000 videos, and it seems all of those guys are using bags. In one of the videos, one of them got into trouble when they lowered the kite a little early, and it filled with water.

I know in the fireball class, (not a cat) they went from chutes to bags, because the sets where a hell of a lot faster. (timed 2 seconds from start to filled)

more research me thinks.

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  • 1 month later...

I say snuff. I crew on a lot of different spin cats (N6.0, I-20, I-18, Fox, Tiger) and own a Mystere 4.3 metre with a snuffer. I managed teams in the last three Worrell 1000 regattas. I sailed in the Alter Cup this month on Hobie Tigers with tramp-launched spins.

My opinion - the drag to windward is insignificant, especially with the newer mid-pole launch systems. Launching off the tramp seems to limit tactics at the mark roundings. At the bottom, you'd better be on Starboard for the takedown if you plan to launch at the top without gybing. The snuffer is faster, and you're MUCH less likely to foul lines, run over the 'chute, etc., in a crash gybe or mark rounding. The extra time with the spin up coming into a gate at the leeward mark in traffic alone is worth a great deal. Crew is done snuffing and out on the wire where he (or she!) belongs MUCH quicker.

Worrell teams use tramp bags because the sets and douses are much less critical - you don't round marks in the Worrell. In the morning, you set the spin at the start, and the ground crew takes it down when you hit the beach in the afternoon (evening... late at night... crack of dawn).

Snuff it. It also very much cleans up my end of the boat - extra lines on the deck and the tramp bag live right where I like to cross the boat in a tack. Bleccch! Keeps the jib sheet and downhaul lines clear of the spin sheets, tack line and halyard, all of which come across the front beam right in crew country.

Sure - good crews can deal with the tangle, but why? Keeps my head out of the boat and on tactics. I vote snuffer.


ps - cool site.

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Originally posted by John Williams:

I say snuff.

John you mention the mid pole snuffer systems. Can you offer any advice of suppliers or web sites with details of mid pole systems. I sail Nacra 5.8 and have used both snuffer and bare pole. I believe a mid pole snuffer would be the ultimate, but as yet unseen in Australia.


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Hey -

The F18HT class in the States has some pics of mid-pole systems at http://www.f18htclass.com/. Function and design seem to widely vary between manufacturers. I believe Mystere International in Canada just made their first mid-pole snuffer bowl from carbon, set to mount on any two-inch diameter pole. Don't know the price$$$.

I know a couple of Tornado sailors that tried to come up with a homemade mid-pole suffer at the hardware store... heard it didn't really pan out.

Haven't sailed with one - just full-length snuffers. Good luck... I like idea of one on a 5.8!

Regards -


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OMG, thats expensive. considering its all $USD

Skunk Snuffer: $695

Hall, Inc. carbon pole, bare: $600

Outboard pole end, delrin: $50

Inboard pole end and sheave, stainless: $70

Spinnaker sock: $110

Line and Hardware Package: $198 (includes halyard system, tack line, and all necessary hardware)

hang on while I just pick myself up off the floor smile.gif

[This message has been edited by HooD (edited 28 June 2002).]

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  • 2 months later...

I sail a Tornado with the chute under the tramp developed by Bundy and Forbes. The mouth is at the front of the tramp on the port side.

Many said I would have trouble setting and droping on a port tack. After practicing a few techniques we do not find it to much slower. Still prefer to raise and drop on starbord but find it not necessary to plan tackticks around this.

The windage is off course better than a snuffer on the pole and the bag on the tramp. Not to mention cleaner.

I have not tryed this set up on a boat with a smaller diagnal across the tramp but may suggest retrieving from 3 pionts on the kite. We use 2.

A danger is if you make the sock to tight it will be hard to bring in, and if you make it to loose, the shoot will collect water.

Our sock was made by Redhead Sails with the assistance of Bundy and Forbes. Took allot of the headache out of it for us.

Big fan of the sock.


Stephen Medwell

Team Tornado'ALIVE'

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