“Anybody can get a sail up. It takes a sailor to get it down”
That statement is particularly true regarding the spinnaker. The ATN spinnaker sleeve makes the average sailboat owner a great sailor. And the sail is ready to be hoisted again immediately, no more packing! Don’t be fooled by “look-alikes” from other sailmakers or do-it-yourself kits. There is nothing that works like an ATN Spinnaker Sleeve!!
Problems Solved by the ATN Spinnaker Sleeve
1) The main problem to solve was the mixing of the control lines and the sail. A separate channel (which contains the control line) is sewn alongside the main sleeve which contains the spinnaker. The separate channel (side sleeve) is made of a different colored cloth than the main sleeve which shows the eventual twists of the sleeve prior of hoisting it. Any twists can easily be identified and removed before hoisting
2) The mouth of the sleeve had to be rigid to remain open when pulled against the sail, slippery to enable it to slide over the sail without chafing it, light (weight aloft should always be avoided) and sturdy enough not to break when stepped on or stored. While the round shape seems obvious, the oval shape is more spinnaker friendly for it doesn’t have the tendency to rotate around the sail as it is guided by the spinnaker leeches and it is easier to slide through the hatch when storing below deck. Fiber glass was the material of choice. We make them out of Kevlar which, while expensive, offers a good combination of strength and lightness.
3) The control line is a closed loop, made of 2 different lines. One side is to hoist the sleeve. It must not kink and it should be small enough to travel in the side sleeve and through the top turning block. The other side must be much heavier as it is handled by the operator to douse the sail. It also must not kink as well as be long enough to be lead through a snatch-block on the fore deck and then to a cleat or a winch on bigger boats.
4) The cloth problem came from the fact that spinnaker or bag cloth doesn’t breathe and might bleed. The cloth that is milled especially for ATN is a ‘tricot’, a mesh like material which is light, strong, and doesn’t retain water. The sail can dry when in the sleeve and it will not cling to the sail when hoisting the sleeve, even after long period of wet storing.
5) Finally, the spinnaker is fastened inside the spinnaker sleeve with a swivel shackle to allow gibing. The hoisted spinnaker sleeve must always remain in the same position at the mast head, on top of the flying spinnaker, while allowing the spinnaker to rotate under itself. This also gives more flexibility when loading the sail.
Features of the ATN Spinnaker Sleeve
- Single hand any spinnaker, reacher, gennaker, MPS, screecher or mizzenstaysail up to 15,000 sq. ft.
- High-tech, ultra-light Kevlar Hoop matches shape of the spinnaker and will not warp under load
- Single control line led through separate sleeve eliminates fouling
- Contrasting visual reference stripe
- Wire pennant with swivel at head of spinnaker prevents sleeve from affecting sail shape by allowing the sleeve to accumulate on the pennant
- Mesh construction allows sail to breathe, so that sails dry quicker, even while stored
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