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Retrofitting a bowsprit for an asymmetric kite

As more and more cruising sailors catch onto the benefits of sailing downwind with an asymmetric spinnaker, rather than a conventional symmetrical spinnaker with an adjustable pole controlled by sheets and guys, so we’re seeing a lot more boats with retrofitted bowsprits (and indeed also new boats with these as factory fitted options).

From a sailor’s perspective, we ask why you actually need a bowsprit, whether you could fly an asymmetric without one and, if you decide to go with a bowsprit, what options are open to you and how you go about fitting one properly.

From a surveyor’s perspective, we’re interested in the quality of the installation, most particularly making sure that the considerable torsional loads induced by the upwards pull of the tack of the sail are properly distributed.

This article discusses what options are available, how to decide what works best for you, and what to look out for when fitting your new bowsprit.

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