On sailing a Folksong – spinnaker preparation

I went aboard during the slack tide to do a few jobs – strengthen the mooring lines, make it easier to drop the pick-up line and also the anti-chafe plastic piping on the stern lines had slipped and need re-securing. I ran the engine and remembered how much it needs a service.  And there was very little water in the boat – one pull on the hand-pump was enough.


When I bought Blue Mistress, I inherited a spinnaker that had seen better days and, having written it off, I have been content to sail without one. However, I have recently acquired a nearly-new spinnaker from a Folkboat –  (North Sails), so am now looking at ways of setting it.

The idea is to prepare the ground for doing it single-handed and then, for the first few times have a crew, to test out the the theory.

By sewing tags onto the spinnaker bag at the forward ‘angles’, I can tie it to either side of the pushpit forward of the stanchions. It will be held open by the line to the forestay and fixed at the base to the bow roller. The bungee cord can be tightened or loosened to control the size of the opening and keep the sail in the bag until needed.

Having worked that out and found the halyard was not long enough to feed back to the cockpit, which could be a problem –  (and dropped the bag back into the dinghy to bring home for sewing), I looked at the pole.

I wanted to decide on lengths – length of sheet/guy and downhaul.

By shackling a block forward, and feeding the downhaul back to the cockpit, I can control it from there.

The sheet/guy can be fed to the second track aft of the main sheet track and brought round the winch to the usual cleat, (Blue Mistress does not have self-tailing winches – doesn’t seem to need them).

I know it’s possible to do this single-handed because it happens on Fram.

In theory, given a good day and light winds, I could probably manage this sail – but, hey, that’s theory and I have a way to go yet. (All suggestions gratefully received).


By the time I came to leave, the flood tide was well under way and it carried the dinghy back to the slipway.

Just the two of us on this trot at the end of February – Blue Mistress and Charisma.

2 thoughts on “On sailing a Folksong – spinnaker preparation

  1. Bill, we just launched a JJ Taylor Folk boat. She was an estate liquidation, rough shape. Now going to lead strings aft. Any help would be appreciated.

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