DOWNWIND

Enghave 29

DK 2960 Rungsted Kyst

Tel (0045) 21455922

info@deckchute.com

© 2014 DECKCHUTE BY DOWNVIND

 

Deckchute -- who is it for?

Deckchute is for the skilled sailor who is familiar with gennaker and spinnaker sailing.

Deckchute is not a beginners tool! 

Deckchute is targeting the experienced sailor, who occasionally or usually is sailing shorthand or singlehand, cruising as well as race.

As an experienced sailor you will be able to sail with family and friends, or on your own enjoying gennaker runs in strong winds.

Abowe all, Deckchute is an outstanding tool for short- or singlehand retrieving of downwind sails in strong winds!

 

How can it be?

This is so due to the nature of Deckchute sailing. 

You stay in the safety of the cockpit, running the sail up and down pulling lines by the pit winch.

The days of grasping at canvas outside the cockpit is over!

 

Deckchute sailing leaves very little to be done at sea when launching and retrieving the gennaker.  : 

  • Deckchute is mounted and dismounted in the safety of a harbor.

  • Going upwind, the gennaker is protected inside Deckchute.

  • You are ready to launch and retrieve the gennaker at will.

  • Staying in the safety of cockpit you launch and retrieve the gennaker over and over again.

  • Staying in the safety of cockpit you launch and retrieve the gennaker handling lines and winches.

  • You can launch and retrieve big gennakers short- or single handed, even in strong winds.

  • Staying in the safety of cockpit you can Velcro or zip the gennaker to avoid random twisting during launch.

  • Deckchute sailing has "no good tack and no bad tack" when retrieving. Since the Backtail line engages the gennakers tack corner, and not a pad sitting up the sail, both tacks are "good".
     

Deckchute is a new mix of proven methods and maneuvers used at sea for decades: 

The snuffer system for small cats and dinghies developed in the 1960´ties, the windward spinnaker launch and drop, used in top-end yacht race since who knows, retriever lines, though in a slightly different configuration.

Now mixing and adding a few changes have made it possible to have a"small cat and dinghy system" for gennakers 20-200m2 of keelboats and large multihulls.

The short story is that it all adds up to a safe and reliable tool for launching and above all retrieving large gennakers in strong winds.

That´s what Deckchute really is!

If you have enjoyed gennaker sailing in small cats and dinghies you will have an easy time sailing Deckchute. Otherwise, you face some learning and training.

Windward gennaker launching and retrieving?

Windward launching and retrieving is recommended in moderate to strong winds.

pointing deep downwind in strong winds, less so in moderate winds.

Mainsail and jib are carried during windward launch and retrieving.

 

Leeward launch running with the jib is possible.

Leeward retrieving running with the jib is not possible, the gennaker will get stuck in the fence. Change the BackTail line to windward position in Deckchute, and go for a normal windward drop. 

 

Leeward launch and retrieving with the jib furled/lowered is recommended in zero to light winds.

 

Running with the gennaker is business as usual: Jib furled or lowered, normal jibing. 

Windward launching procedure:

  • Point deep downwind in strong winds, less so in moderate winds.

  • Secure the BackTail line in its "max length position". The BackTail line will carry tack corner, awoiding that it is blown away until the tack line takes over.

  • Hoist the gennaker.

  • Pull the tackline from cockpit, bringing tack corner of the gennaker forward to its normal running position at the bow/bowsplint.

  • Take in the gennaker sheet, bringing the gennaker to the leeward side of the jib.

  • Point higher.

  • Furl/lower the jib.

  • go.

  • see the videos.

 

Windward retrieving procedure:
  • Point deep downwind in strong winds, less so in moderate winds.

  • Unfurl or hoist the jib.

  • Ease the gennaker sheet to de-power the sail, do not let the sheet go.

  • Take the slack out of the BackTail line by the pit winch, pull it hard by hand, let go the tackline.

  • Pull in the BackTail line by the pit winch, bringing the tack corner of the gennaker into the Deckchute ring.

  • When the luff of the gennaker is tense, start easing the halyard. 

  • Make sure that the tackline and the sheets are loose, and are running as the gennaker enters Deckchute.

  • Lower the gennaker by pulling the BackTail line by winch untill you reach the tack corner. Pull the rest of the BackTail line in by hand, bypassing the branchlines of the tack corner and of the lower pad.

  • Lower the gennaker into Decckchute keeping the luff tense. Do not drop the halyard!

  • Sailing alone: Ease 2 meters of halyard, bring in 2 meters of BackTail line, ease 2 meters of halyard, bring in 2 meters of BackTail line, keep going until the gennaker is down.

  • As soon as the gennaker is in Deckchute, you can go upwind and tack. No clearing up on the foredeck or in the pit.

  • See the videos.

Technical info

Deckchute consists of two parts – a hard part and a soft part.

The core of the hard part is a special engineered curvilinear convex ring, which is very strong and smooth. It is made in high grade anodized aluminum. The Deckchute ring is connected to a durable all weather PVC mesh tube. The two parts are integrated via a special design developed by skilled sailmakers. The hard part is nearly seamlessly connected to the soft part, a tube made of Bainbridge quality mesh, high end zippers and ropes and reinforcements in best quality sailmaker materials. 

The hard part in front is the opening through which the gennaker is launched and retrieved into Deckchute.

The hard part is placed on the foredeck well behind the forestay, where it is firmly tied down to its pad eye. The soft part, the Bainbridge mesh-tube runs back from the foredeck over the coach roof by the mast, to a point in front of the jammers / halyard clutches on the coach roof. Here the back end of Deckchute is stretched and tied down to its padeye. On big Yachts Deckchute prototypes running from the foredeck along the scan deck to a point in front of the winches at the cockpit have been tested.

Deckchute comes in different diameters and lengths tailor made to fit your boat and your gennaker.

Currently Deckchute will manage gennakers sized 20-200m2.

Deckchute prototypes for bigger gennakers are beeing tested.