The snuffer (aka. the condom)

Modern sailboats have a sail called the spinnaker. It is made of very light material and it looks like a parachute with beautiful colors and designs. Setting a spinnaker is the process by which you setup, raise and sail this particular sail. Dousing it is the reverse process to bring the sail down and put it away. Normally both of this tasks can be very arduous requiring several people

Our spinnaker has a dousing accessory called a snuffer. A snuffer is basically a very long sleeve that can be rolled up or down to encase the spinnaker. This fabric sleeve makes the task of setting and dousing a spinnaker much easier for a short handed crew. Basically you raise the spinnaker encased in this sleeve and when it is all ready you pull on special ropes to roll-up the sleeve allowing the large spinnaker to catch the wind. When you are done with the spinnaker you reverse the process by rolling down the sleeve.

When rolled down or encased the snuffer/spinnaker looks like, well, a very large condom. This has being an endless source of jokes. José Manuel refuses to call this thing by anything other than condom. So whenever it is time to use this sail, the jokes begin. You can see a few photos of the snuffer in action with me rolling down the snuffer and later getting ready to lower the entire thing through the forward hatch.


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