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Thread: Someone explain the "blooper"

  1. #1
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    Question Someone explain the "blooper"

    I've never been on a boat that's flown a blooper. I've seen it done a handful of times, but never actually been a participant.

    What are the defnining characteristics of a sail made to be a blooper?
    Under what conditions is it advantageous to fly a blooper?

    Who the heck named it a "blooper" anyway?
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figment
    I've never been on a boat that's flown a blooper. I've seen it done a handful of times, but never actually been a participant.

    What are the defnining characteristics of a sail made to be a blooper?
    Under what conditions is it advantageous to fly a blooper?

    Who the heck named it a "blooper" anyway?
    Since it's illegal to fly two spinnakers at the same time, a blooper is like a spinnaker and is flown free opposite the spinnaker but rates as a jib, which is legal to fly with a spinnaker.
    Tom L

  3. #3
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    A blooper is flown for the same reason, but with the wind further aft, that you would fly a tallboy; i.e. to stop the rollypollys.

  4. #4
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    LP (luff perdendicular measurement) no greater than that of the largest headsail aboard the boat (keeping it technically just another jib) but the LP can be shifted in position. This allows the luff to be cut very hollow and considerable round to be added to the leech. Foot round is measured from mid-luff and can't exceed 55% of luff length, which allows a very long, deeply-curved foot. In addition, the maximum sail width measurements, taken as a line between luff and leech at a percentage of luff and leech lengths (for example a line from 50% of the way up the luff, across the sail to a point 50% up the leech) can't exceed that percentage of the foot length. What this does is to keep a headsail's proportions jib-like (widest on the bottom, pointed and without big spinnaker-style shoulders) except that the extreme luff hollow, foot length and curve and leech roach allow the blooper to be distorted into a big curve, kind of like a powderhorn. The idea is to add sail area that is so far off to leeward and aft that it doesn't interfere with the regular chute and is also less likely to be blanketed by the mainsail's wind shadow.

  5. #5
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    Only used for sailing absolutely dead downwind AFAIK.
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  6. #6
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    Default Don't do it, mate!

    I still have nightmares about those stupid things.

    Mickey Lake

  7. #7
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    Figment, the question is an indication of your relative youth.

    I loved them, in fact on the 3/4 tonner I used to race it was known as "Gareth's sail", as in "we'll have to put up the bloody Gareth's sail again". It was proven that they did nothing for boat speed as long as the boat was upright and on course, but they did help keep the boat in those states as John said.

    As the IOR went the way of all great things, the introduction of believable digital logs and we now have boats that sail much better, they're useless except for calendar pictures.

    I loved the way you could set the foot a fraction of an inch away from the water and there's be little vortices of water droplets there.

    Edited, I think the name had something to do with the wonderful concurrent fashion for young ladies going braless.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Todd, somehow I knew you'd be the one to supply the textbook definition I so nerdily craved! =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl
    It was proven that they did nothing for boat speed as long as the boat was upright and on course, but they did help keep the boat in those states as John said.

    As the IOR went the way of all great things, the introduction of believable digital logs and we now have boats that sail much better, they're useless except for calendar pictures.
    This corresponds perfectly with the handful of times I've been passed by boats flying a blooper. Always an IOR boat. Always on a loooooong deep run on a boat with a couple too many crew that would otherwise be really really bored on that run.

    So I gather that it's hoisted last, after the spinnaker is set and drawing? It must be set outside of the spinnaker sheet then, right?
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  9. #9
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    One thing to keep in mind about bloopers is that they are most effective on Fractionally rigged boats. That is to say, if your forestay only goes three quarters of the way up your mast, on a gusty downwind leg, the upper part of the main will be drawing where there is no spinnaker to counterbalance it. Combine that with the extremely fine ends of the IOR, and you start rolling all over the place...
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  10. #10
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    Default Yes you do start rolling all over the place.

    Much more sensible designs now even with the huge mains that they use.

    As I recall you had to use two guys to fly the blooper. One guy on the halyard, as you wanted to keep it just off the water. Another guy on the sheet. I personally agreed with Hwyl's friends. I hated the damn things.

    Mickey Lake

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figment

    So I gather that it's hoisted last, after the spinnaker is set and drawing? It must be set outside of the spinnaker sheet then, right?
    Yes: set outside the pinnaker, long pendant on the bow, sheeted to the end of the boom, halyard critical.

    They were the progenitor of the "cruising chute" (in it's many names), I can concede that may be arguable. I've done passage runs with a jib set opposite the poled out jib and sheeted to the boom end, to alleviate rolling, I'm guessing it's knowledge I gained from blooper days.

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