There was a symmetric spinnaker in the boat as we bought it. We had it checked by Ullman sails in Cape Town, they say that it is in good conditions, probably not used much but that it may have been wet for long time and that it is not that strong anymore. We think it is about 180sqm probably 1.5oz with a sock.
We should be able to use it with up to 20 knots of apparent wind but the material may break given age and bad conditions.
We ask a friend in Cape Town with a lot of racing experience to help us hoisting the spinnaker for the first time on Eidos, Francesco. We go out with just 10-15 kn wind, not much waves and some rain.
After a quick discussion on how to rig it, the spinnaker is up. Marcella is at the helm and the sheet, Francesco at the sock and I am at the winch (small manual winch at the mast).
I immediately discover that I am not fit enough to easily winch it up, but slowly it gets there. I need to move the halyard back to the main electric winch to do this faster, especially if we need to hoist it in two.
Once up the sailing is very smooth, much better than with the main and the genoa. We can sail it up to 110 degrees, much more than expected. I think that the width of the catamaran helps with it.
We have a short run and we have to take it down, it is quite easy with the Francesco experience. It looks very reasonable to do it just in two plus the autopilot, we need some practice.
We are back in the marina after only few hours with more than 20 kn of wind, the mooring is fine. It has been a very pleasant sailing.
In conclusion we now need to practice and master how to sail the spinnaker without extra help and the first step is moving the halyard to the main electric winch. It is clear that the spinnaker will be very helpful in our next passage from Cape Town to Cape Verde, mostly downwind.