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Title:
REMOTE RELEASABLE LINE LOCK DEVICE AND METHOD AND A SAILBOAT COMPRISING THE SPINNAKER RECOVERING SYSTEM WITH A REMOTE RELEASABLE LINE LOCK DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/170206
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A remote releasable line locking device (16) for releasable locking of a retrieval line (21) of a spinnaker recovery system and a method is disclosed. The releasable line locking device (21) comprises a flexible sleeve (17) intended for arranging on a line (21) in a sliding manner and to surround the line to be locked and released respectively by means of friction between the line and the flexible sleeve (17). Attachment means are provided for attaching the flexible sleeve to patches (29) on a spinnaker (5). A locking sleeve release member (25) engaging the retrieval line is secured to the sailboat (1). The flexible sleeve is connected to a connection member (24) to be attached to a lower patch (29) of the spinnaker.

Inventors:
BARTHOLIN, Henrik (Enghave 29, 2960 Rungsted Kyst, 2960, DK)
JOUBERT, Michael Wayne (30 Camino Son Bielo, Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca, 07320, ES)
Application Number:
DK2019/050083
Publication Date:
September 12, 2019
Filing Date:
March 08, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EJENDOMSSELSKABET AF 16. JANUAR 2015 APS (Enghave 29, 2960 Rungsted Kyst, 2960, DK)
International Classes:
B63B21/08; B63H9/10; F16G11/02; F16G11/10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRADE A/S (Ceresbyen 75, 8000 Aarhus C, 8000, DK)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A remote releasable line locking device, in particular for releasable locking of a retrieval line of a spinnaker recovery system, wherein the releasable line locking de- vice comprises

- a flexible sleeve intended for arranging on a line in a sliding manner and to surround the line to be locked and released respectively by means of friction between the line and the flexible sleeve,

- attachment means for attaching the flexible sleeve to corresponding attachment means arranged on a spinnaker, and

- a locking sleeve release member engaging the retrieval line and securable to the sail- boat, in particular to the deck or the railing or below deck and

wherein said flexible sleeve is arranged with a first end towards the release member and the second end towards the spinnaker; and where the flexible sleeve further com- prises filaments that are plaited or knitted into a tubular member forming the flexible sleeve, or the tubular member of the sleeve is be extruded or cast from an elastic or rubbery polymer and where non-plaited or non-knitted ends of the filaments are as- sembled into a connection member or connected to a connection member and where said connection member is connected to the attachment means intended for attaching the sleeve member to corresponding attachment means arranged on a spinnaker.

2. A remote releasable line locking device according to claim 1, characterized in that the flexible sleeve is made of filaments of fibres of one or more polymeric materials having a high melting point, such as polyoxymethylene (POM), ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), aramide based polymer or combinations thereof, or said tubular member of the sleeve is to be extruded or cast from an elastic or rubbery polymer, such as styrene butadiene rubber, polyurethane rubber, or polychloroprene rubber (Neoprene) or the flexible sleeve is stitched or glued or welded into tube shape from a flat member, e.g. a woven textile.

3. A remote releasable line locking device according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the non-plaited or non-knitted ends of the filaments forming the connection end are secured by attaching a sleeve or a bushing on the connection member adjacent to the flexible sleeve or by means of one or more knots or tackles on the filaments or groups of filaments forming the connection member adjacent to the flexible sleeve.

4. A remote releasable line locking device according to any of the claims 1 to 3, characterized in further comprising a protective cover arranged to surround the flexible cover.

5. A remote releasable line locking device according to any of the claims 1 to 4, characterized in that one or more remote releasable line locking device with or without a protective cover are attached to the spinnaker or to one or more patches arranged in the mid part and/or lower part of the spinnaker, such as near the spinnaker’s midline, at or near the spinnaker’s lower edge or at or near the spinnaker’s tack comer.

6. A remote releasable line locking device according to claim 4 or 5, characterized in that the locking sleeve release member comprises one or more release members hav- ing a through-going bore and through which bore the retrieval line is arranged and where at least one of the release members is secured to the boat, such as by an attach ment line.

7. A remote releasable line locking device according to any of the claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the attachment means arranged on the connection end comprises a ring member, a shackle, a carabin hook, a u-bolt with a locking member or a rope end or rope loop, and where the attachment means and corresponding attachment means arranged on a lower patch of the spinnaker, such as a strap or a ring member, or vice versa, or where the attachment means of the locking device is secured directly to one or more lower patches of the spinnaker.

8. A remote releasable line locking device according to claim 7 characterized in that the locking sleeve release member comprises a ring member and attachment member for securing the release member to the hull of a sailboat, such as to the deck or a rail- ing, or within the hull or below deck, or the release member comprises a loop member lashed to the deck or railing or below deck.

9. A remote releasable line locking device according to any of the claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the flexible sleeve comprises one or more reinforcing bushings or sleeves arranged at the first and/or second end of the sleeve.

10. A spinnaker recovering system for recovering and/or storing of spinnakers on a sailboat, comprising

- a spinnaker, having at least one or more lower recovery line attachment patches and an upper recovery line patch attached thereon for attachment of the retrieval line to the spinnaker,

- a spinnaker retrieval line,

and wherein the spinnaker recovery system comprises a remote releasable line lock ing device according to any of the claims 1 to 9, attached or attachable to the one or more lower recovery line attachment patches on the spinnaker.

11. A spinnaker recovering system according to claim 10, characterized in that one or more additional attachment member, such as a ring, a shackle or a strap is attached to the tack corner and/or the clew comer, and/or the lower luff, leech or the foot of the spinnaker for guiding the retrieval line there through.

12. A spinnaker recovering system according to claim 10 or 11, characterized in fur ther comprising a sleeve member attached to the deck or below deck for receiving and storage of the recovered spinnaker.

13. A spinnaker recovering system according to any of claims 9-12, characterized in further comprising a winch arranged at the deck, such as at the cockpit end of the deck, by the mast or below deck for pulling in the retrieval line during recovery of the spinnaker, preferably by means of a manually operated or motorized winch.

14. A spinnaker recovering system according to any of claims 9-13, characterized in that the upper patch and the one or more lower patches are arranged in a substantially vertical line on the spinnaker, and preferably on a centrally or substantially central arranged vertical line extending between the head and the lower edge of the spinnaker.

15. A method for recovering and launching a spinnaker on a sailboat comprising a hull and at least one mast extending upright from the deck of the sailboat, said spinnaker comprising a head in the top to which a halyard is attachable,

where an asymmetrical spinnaker comprises a tack line in the lower tack corner and sheets in the lower clew comer, or where a symmetrical spinnaker comprises sheets/guys attached to the tack corner and the clew comer of the symmetrical spinna- ker,

and where said halyard is provided for raising and lowering the head to and from the top of the mast, said spinnaker further comprising an upper patch to which a recovery line is attached and one or more lower patches to which the retrieval line is attached through one or more remote releasable line locking device according to any of claims 1-9, where said spinnaker recovery comprises at least the following steps

- Releasing the halyard, the tack line, the sheet and the guy

- Simultaneously pulling the recovery line, whereby the lower part of the spinnaker is recovered

- Releasing the remote releasable line locking device attached to the lowermost patch by contact with the release member, while pulling the retrieval line, followed by con tinued pulling of the recovery line

- Recovering the upper part of the spinnaker by continuing pulling the retrieval line.

16. A method for recovering and launching a spinnaker on a sailboat according to claim 15, characterized in that when the spinnaker is launched, with the retrieval line attached thereto, whereby the remote releasable line locking device is tensioned by means of pulling of the retrieval line combined with the wind forces pulling upwards in the flying spinnaker and the patch to which the remote releasable line locking de- vice is attached.

17. A method for recovering a spinnaker on a sailboat according to claim 15 or 16, characterized in that the recovery line is guided through a first frontal opening in the spinnaker storage sleeve and that pulling of the line guides the spinnaker through the frontal opening and into the storage sleeve.

18. A method for recovering a spinnaker on a sailboat according to any of claims 15 to

17, characterized in that pulling of the halyard when launching pulls the spinnaker from the storage sleeve. 19. A method for recovering a spinnaker on a sailboat according to any of claims 15 to

18, characterized in that the retrieval line is further guided through a guiding member attached to or near the tack corner and/or the clew corner and/or the lower luff, the lower leech, or the foot of the spinnaker, and where pulling of the recovery line initial ly assists in shortening the foot of the spinnaker, in order to recovering at least the tack comer and/or the lowermost part of the spinnaker.

20. A method for recovering a spinnaker on a sailboat according to any of claims 15-

19, wherein pulling of the retrieval line is performed by one or more crew members by hand, by a manually operated winch, or by means of a motorized winch.

21. A sailboat comprising a spinnaker recovery system according to any of claims 10- 14, which further comprises a remote releasable line locking mechanism according to any of claims 1-9.

Description:
Remote releasable line lock device and method and a sailboat comprising the spinnaker recovering system with a remote releasable line lock device

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a remote releasable locking device for securing a re- trieval line of a spinnaker.

The present invention also relates to spinnaker recovering system comprising a remote releasable locking device for securing a retrieval line of a spinnaker.

The present invention also relates to a method for launching and recovering a spinna- ker on a sailboat.

The present invention relates to sailboats with a spinnaker recovering system compris- ing a remote releasable locking device.

Background of the Invention

A spinnaker is a special type of sail for sailboats. Spinnakers are large substantially triangular symmetrical or symmetrical sails which are designed to be used when going down wind, sailing with the wind 90°-l80° off the bow. Asymmetrical spinnakers are also used for reaching, that is sailing with the wind as close as 40°-90° off the bow. Asymmetrical spinnakers are sometimes also called gennakers.

When the wind fills the spinnaker, the spinnaker“balloons” out in front of the boat, i.e. in front of the mainsail and the jib when the wind is 90°-l80° off the bow.

During reaching, the asymmetric spinnaker fills to the leeward side of the boat, like a very large jib, when the wind is 40°-90° off the bow.

The spinnaker increases the speed of the boat and results in a much more comfortable sailing experience. A sailboat going down wind or reaching, not launching its spinnaker, is seriously un der powered.

The resulting sailing speed is slow and the sailing experience is a disappointing one. For this reason a spinnaker is always launched whenever possible in sailing competi- tions and races, where a skilled crew is handling the sails.

For safety and practical reasons the spinnaker is seldom launched on cruising at lei- sure trips, e.g. sailing together with family and/or friends. The spinnaker is particular ly not launched when only a few persons are on board the yacht, when the yacht is very big, or when the majority of the persons on board are inexperienced in sailing sailboats. Even when conditions are perfect for a memorable fast and enjoyable downwind sailing experience, the spinnaker is seldom launched for safety reasons.

The area of the spinnaker is quite large in relation to the size of the sailboat and the other sails used on the sailboat. Thus, the forces of the wind acting on the spinnaker are dramatic. Serious injury to persons and damage to the sail or to the rig may easily occur if the spinnaker is not strictly controlled.

A spinnaker out of control is a serious threat even in moderate winds.

Further, the spinnaker is rather bulky to handle. For these reasons it requires the action of several skilled persons to launch, run and recover the spinnaker in a safe and con trolled way. In addition it requires that one or more of the crew leave the cockpit and go to the front deck to assist in launching and/or recovering the spinnaker. Leaving the safety of the sailboats cockpit at sea is dangerous, especially in windy weather, in rough waves, at night, during rain, when the deck is wet and slippery, or in any case if you are inexperienced.

Traditionally spinnakers are launched and recovered by hand. Depending on the size of the spinnaker and the wind speed, one, more or as many as 10-20 crew members are engaged on the deck of the sailboat, when the spinnaker is launched or recovered.

Especially recovering the spinnaker by hand the traditional way is a challenge. Grasping the fabric of the spinnaker trying to control and secure it on the deck, as it is lowered, is certainly neither easy nor without risk.

Spinnakers are usually made of lightweight and strong fabric, usually nylon. The fab- ric may be selected from a more modern, stronger or a heavier type of fabric if the spinnaker is designed for sailing in windy weather or stormy weather, in particular during sail races.

The head, i.e. top corner, of the spinnaker is attached to the halyard, i.e. which is used for hoisting and lowering the spinnaker. The halyard is attached to the top end of the mast, e.g. through a ring like member, a roller wheel or similar means, and runs down inside, and parallel to the mast. The halyard can be pulled, secured or slacked, respec- tively, when needed, e.g. from the cockpit of the boat, when it is necessary to set, se- cure or recover the spinnaker, respectively.

A spinnaker may be symmetric or asymmetric.

Symmetric spinnakers are substantially large triangular sails where the angle of the top is unequal to the angles of the two lower corners of the sail, which are identical. A symmetric spinnaker is mounted symmetrically on the boat, i.e. the lines carrying load while sailing are connected to the boat in a symmetrical way in relation to the length axis of the boat (see fig. 2). The spinnaker is controlled by lines, such as rope or wire, i.e. a guy and a sheet running from the lower two corners of the sail to the two aft cor ners of the boat. The windward line is named the guy. It is attached to the windward or tack corner of the spinnaker and is stabilized by a spinnaker pole. The leeward line is called the sheet. It is attached to the leeward or clew corner of the spinnaker. The guy as well as the sheet and the lowering or the raising of the spinnaker pole is used to control the optimal position of the spinnaker relative to the sailboat, and the wind. Further they are used to trim the shape of the sail. During gybing, the spinnaker pole must be moved from the“old windward” to the“new windward” side of the sailboat. During the gybe the sail(s) (main sail and possibly also the jib) are also moved from one side of the boat to the other, as the tack of the sailing boat is changed downwind from starboard to port or vice versa. This procedure is quite difficult and requires a skilled crew. Asymmetric spinnakers (see fig. 1) are large, substantially triangular sails where the angle of the top is unequal to the angles of the two lower comers of the sail, which are also not identical. An asymmetric spinnaker is set asymmetrically on the boat, i.e. the lines carrying load while sailing are connected to the boat in an asymmetrical way in relation to the length axis of the boat. The spinnaker is controlled by lines, such as rope or wire, i.e. a tack line, attaching the tack corner of the sail to the bow of the sail- boat in front or behind the forestay or to a (retractable) bowsprit (see fig. 1), and an active sheet and a lazy sheet, attaching the clew corner of the sail to the two aft cor ners of the boat. An asymmetric spinnaker is less difficult to use since it do not require a spinnaker pole. Instead its tack corner is attached to the bow of the hull or to a (re- tractable) bowsprit by a tack line or a guy. The asymmetric spinnaker is easy to gybe.

It only requires releasing the active sheet (the leeward sheet) and pulling in the lazy sheet one, as the tack of the sailing boat is changed downwind from starboard to port or vice versa.

There have been several attempts to provide a spinnaker launching and/or recovering system which make it safe and easy to launch and recover spinnakers on sailboats. One system for launching and/or recovering the spinnaker has for long been used in small sailboats, also called dinghies, that is sailboats without a keel for balancing the boat.

A retrieval line is attached to the center of the spinnaker and the line runs into a ring to which a sleeve is attached. The sleeve and the ring are either attached to the bowsprit and deck of the dinghy, or they are integrated parts of the hull of the dinghy. When sailing, the spinnaker is easily recovered and folded into the sleeve by this system, simply by slacking the halyard and the sheets and by pulling the retrieval line and vice versa when launching the spinnaker. The fact that the system folds the spinnaker as it is recovered is essential. In this way the length of the sleeve needs only be half of the spinnakers length from the head to the tack corner (see fig 1). Folding the spinnaker is important since the spinnakers length from the head to the tack comer normally by far exceeds the full length of the dinghy or sailboat or yacht. The system works very well on dinghies, but is not suitable for use on larger sailboats e.g. sailboats with keels and/or yachts, unless the boat is fitted with a very fast and powerful winch for running the retrieval line. Smaller boats are rarely fitted with winches of this kind, and even in bigger boats fitted with winches of this kind, the system is not practical. The size of the spinnaker in relation to the width of the hull of sailboats or yachts and the line speed of the retrieval line simply renders it impossible to recover the spinnaker by pulling it down in a retrieval line attached to the center of the spinnaker without the lower half of the spinnaker including the clew- and tack comers and the sheets land on the water to the lee and in front of the bow, where it is inevitably sailed over by the boat with a substantial risk of tearing the spinnaker.

Even in medium sized spinnakers this system is difficult to use when taking down the spinnaker from the centre of the spinnaker by a retrieval line. You have to have the mechanical means to retrieve the spinnaker very fast and you have to coordinate the recovery of the spinnaker well to keep the lower part of the spinnaker from landing on the water.

An obvious solution to this problem would seem to be to attach a first- and a second retrieval line to a higher and a lower portion of the spinnaker respectively. When the second retrieval line is pulled first, it would bring the lower part of the spinnaker into the boat first and thus reduce the risk of the foot of the spinnaker and/or the sheets and tack line attached to the lower corners thereof landing on the water. When the first retrieval line attached to the higher portion of the spinnaker hereafter is pulled, it would bring the rest of the spinnaker into the boat.

This system will require that you change lines during the recovery of the spinnaker. Changing lines during recovery of the spinnaker may work well on small spinnakers and/or on smaller boats, where like in dinghies, the line speed and the force needed to set and/or recover the spinnaker is limited and the first- and second retrieval line can be pulled and changed by hand by one crew.

For medium and larger sailboats it is highly impractical to use this system that re- quires that you change retrieval lines during recovery of the spinnaker. Even when handling medium sized spinnakers you often need to pull the retrieval lines of spinna- kers by a winch in order control the retrieval lines and to apply sufficiently large force on the retrieval lines to recover the spinnaker. Often you will need the power of two more crew pulling the retrieval lines, or by a manually powered winch. Changing lines on the winch during the recovery of the spinnaker is difficult and even dangerous and it will also slow down the recovery of the spinnaker significantly. Further, it is often a difficult, dangerous or even impossible task keeping several retrieval lines sorted out and changing them on the winch, e.g. in strong winds and/or at night.

For these reasons the system is not used for medium and larger sailboats.

Three systems are designed to reduce the risk of the spinnaker landing in the water when it is recovered and to reduce the number of crew that must leave the safety of the cockpit to assist on the foredeck when the spinnaker is launched or recovered.

Two of the systems reduce the risk of the spinnaker landing in the water when it is recovered. Both systems share the disadvantage that at sea, a number of crew mem bers have to bring the spinnaker forward to the foredeck, where it has to be mounted to the bow and to be hoisted prior to launching it. Recovering the sail, once again crew members have to enter the front deck, grasping the sail as it is lowered, dismounting it at the bow, and recovering it from the front deck.

In one system, a winding gear or a capstan at the deck near the bow is used to twist or wind the spinnaker around itself between the winding gear on the deck and the halyard at the top end of the mast. The spinnaker is stored in the wound up condition. Prior to launching the spinnaker, crew members have to bring it forward to the front deck of the sailboat, where the spinnaker is mounted to the winding gear or a capstan at the deck near the bow, and to the halyard. Then the wound up sail is hoisted and may now be launched by unwinding it. To recover the spinnaker, it is wound up again, the hal- yard is lowered, the wound up sail is grasped and secured by crew members on the front deck, dismounted at the bow, and recovered from the front deck.

In theory the wound up spinnaker can be hoisted in the safety of harbor, remain hoist- ed and wound up sailing upwind, and be launched going down wind or reaching as required, until the sailboat again reaches harbor, where the wound up spinnaker can be lowered in the safety of harbor, dismounted at the bow and recovered from the front deck.

In this way the spinnaker can repeatedly be launched and recovered without crew members have to leave the safety of the cockpit at sea.

However, this is not common practice due to the obvious risk of strong winds partly unwinding the hoisted wound up spinnaker. This may result in tearing the spinnaker, especially while going up wind.

Even in light winds, going upwind with the large body of the wound up spinnaker hoisted in the mast is an unpractical and clumsy approach, which will slow down the sailboat a lot, and is therefore not undertaken.

A second system uses a’’sleeve” which is drawn onto the spinnaker before bringing it to the sailboat. The sleeve is a separate device that is attached between the spinnaker halyard and the spinnaker. The halyard is attached to the top of the sleeve and the head of the spinnaker is attached to the inside of the sleeve, e.g. with a swivel snap shackle. To help guide the spinnaker into the sleeve there is a large circular or oval fiberglass- or plastic ring at the lower end opening of the sleeve. In order to fit over the entire spinnaker, the sleeve needs to be relatively large for the spinnaker size. In use, the fiberglass ring followed by the sleeve is pulled downwards over the spinnaker to“snuff’ the air out of the spinnaker before bringing it to the sailboat.

The spinnaker is stored“snuffed” in the sleeve and prior to launching of the spinna- ker, crew members have to bring it forward to the front deck of the sailboat, where it is mounted to the deck near the bow, and to the halyard. Then the“snuffed” spinnaker is hoisted and may now be launched by hoisting the sleeve itself to the top of the mast. To retract the spinnaker it is“snuffed” again by lowering the sleeve from the top of the mast, the halyard is lowered and the“snuffed” spinnaker is grasped and secured by crew members on the front deck, dismounted at the bow, and recovered from the front deck. In theory the“snuffed” spinnaker can be hoisted in the safety of harbor, remain hoist- ed and“snuffed” sailing upwind, and be launched going down wind or reaching as required, until the sailboat again reaches harbor, where the“snuffed” spinnaker can be lowered in the safety of harbor, dismounted at the bow and recovered from the front deck.

In this way the spinnaker can repeatedly be launched and recovered without crew members have to leave the safety of the cockpit at sea.

However, this is not common practice due to the obvious risk of strong winds tearing the hoisted“snuffed” spinnaker, especially while going upwind.

Even in light winds, going upwind with the large body of the snuffed spinnaker hoist- ed in the mast is an unpractical and clumsy approach, which will slow down the sail- boat a lot, and is therefore not undertaken.

One known system features a single retrieval line attached both low and high in the spinnaker. This system is described in US 2014/03525594 Al.

This single retrieval line system principle can be used in spinnakers of any size and its function is comparable to the system used in dinghies for decades: Recovery a single retrieval line is simple, safe and fast.

The system includes a mechanical remote releasable line lock device attached to the lower portion of the spinnaker. A single retrieval line for recovering the spinnaker can pass through the remote releasable line lock device and can be attached to a higher portion of the spinnaker. The spinnaker is recovered by pulling the single retrieval line from the cockpit of the boat, by hand, by winch, by motorized winch or by other mo- torized means for pulling lines on yachts.

The remote releasable line lock device attached to the lower portion of the spinnaker is spontaneously activated/locked whenever running the spinnaker. Pulling the single retrieval line will thus bring the lower portion of the spinnaker into the boat first. When the lower portion of the spinnaker is well recovered into the boat, the remote releasable line lock device is deactivated/opened by a remote release device secured to the boat, now allowing the retrieval line to travel through it, now pulling the higher portion of the spinnaker into the boat, while the deactivated remote releasable line lock device is resting by the remote release device in the boat.

However, the remote releasable line lock device according to US 2014/03525594 Al is not practical. It is a complicated bulky mechanical device made from a large num ber of specially engineered parts made in hard materials, such as metals or potentially rigid plastic. Such hard materials results in increased weight attached to the spinnaker. Further, the hard materials of the remote releasable line lock device are likely to cause wear and tear on the spinnaker, especially when launching, running and recovering the spinnaker or when the spinnaker is stowed away together with the hard parts of the remote releasable lock.

Spinnakers are made for thin fabric that in their normal use will make fast and violent movements in the wind. The bulky and heavy remote releasable line lock made from hard metal and plastic components, attached to and flying with the running spinnaker are likely to tear the spinnaker during its normal use where the spinnaker makes fast and violent movements in the wind, e.g. during sailing or when launching or recover ing the spinnaker, this may further cause damage to the rig and to the crew.

Furthermore, the system will be costly and possibly unreliable due to the many and specially engineered individual parts of the release locking device and the remote re lease device secured to the boat.

A much simpler device for locking and unlocking lines is described in US 20140223967 Al.

It describes a device for manual locking and unlocking an elongate tubular element such as a line by a crew member.

The device is used manually to lock and unlock a line, such as a halyard or a tack line by securing the line to the deck of the boat. The principle used is known as early as 1870, where when Dr. Steinberger, a dentist at the Rudolfsspital in Vienna, reported the discovery of his doctoral Student Schmall, who got the idea to use the toy "Madchenfanger" (girl catcher) for the extension of fingers and arms.[l] The principle was adapted for the use in surgery, [2] and already in 1873 termed„Schmall'sches Extensionsgeflecht“.[3]

The device described in US 20140223967 Al using this known principle comprises a plaited/braided or knitted tubular locking sleeve that has an inlet end pointing towards the pulling means such as a winch and an outlet end pointing away from the pulling means such as a winch and a body between the inlet- and the outlet end of said lock ing sleeve, comprising a lumen allowing an elongate tubular element such as a line to pass through it.

The inlet end of the plaited/braided or knitted tubular locking sleeve is attached to a fastener made from a hard and durable material for fastening said locking sleeve to a firm structure of the boat, such as the boats deck. The first end of the plaited/braided or knitted tubular locking sleeve is attached to a tensioner for manual tensioning and de-tensioning of said locking sleeve by a crew member.

Locking an elongate tubular element, such as a line, by the locking sleeve is brought about when the locking sleeve is tensioned manually by pulling the tensioner.

The knitted or plaited/braided structure of the locking sleeve imparts a certain amount of elasticity to it by means of the interlaced filaments moving relative to one another in the longitudinal direction of said locking sleeve. When the locking sleeve is ten sioned along a substantially rectilinear path, the knitted or plaited/braided filaments are drawn in the longitudinal direction of the sleeve. This draws in the individual plaited/braided or knitted filaments and reduces the inner diameter of the locking sleeve and creates a massive friction of the inner surface of the sleeve against the out side surface of the elongate tubular structure, such as a line, passing through the sleeve. This prevents said line from sliding inside the internal volume of said locking sleeve between the inlet and the outlet thereof, and locks the line to the deck of the boat. Unlocking the elongate tubular element, such as a line, by the locking sleeve is brought about when the tension is manually relieved from the tensioner by a crew member. This result in that the tension on each filament is relieved and thus on the plaited/braided sleeve is relaxed. This further results in that the sleeve is no longer forced into the reduced diameter state, whereby the friction of the inner surface of the sleeve against the line passing through the sleeve is reduced and the firm grip in the line is released, because of restoring and increasing the internal diameter of the lock ing sleeve, and thus allow the surface and the body of an elongate tubular structure such as a line, to slide easily through the sleeve.

It is understood that the locking sleeve according to US 20140223967 Al is in its re- laxed / unlocked state, whenever the line is being pulled from the boat.

Object of the Invention

Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide a system and a method for re- covering a symmetric or an asymmetric spinnaker on sailboats, which do not suffer from the above mentioned disadvantages.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a system and a method for re- covering a symmetric or an asymmetric spinnaker on sailboats, which is reliable in use and which reduces the risk of errors during recovery of the spinnaker.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a system and a method for recover ing a symmetric or an asymmetric spinnaker on sailboats, which is inexpensive to produce and which is light weight and without complex mechanical locking/unlocking mechanisms.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a system and a method for re covering a symmetric or an asymmetric spinnaker on sailboat that reduces the risk of the spinnaker landing in the water and reduces the need for crew to have to leave the safety of the cockpit to assist on the foredeck when the spinnaker is recovered.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a system and a method for re covering a symmetric or an asymmetric spinnaker on sailboats such as yachts, where a spinnaker of any size can be can be repeatedly launched and recovered manually or by use of manually powered or motorized means for pulling lines on boats such as winches, reels, or other mechanical means for pulling lines, by a single or few crew members positioned in the safety of the cockpit or of the hull, simply by pulling or slacking a single retrieval line and the ordinary lines used for running the spinnaker, i.e. the halyard, tack line, sheets, and/or guys.

Description of the Invention

These objects are met by the present invention which provides a remote releasable line locking device, in particular for releasable locking of a retrieval line of a spinnaker recovery system. The releasable line locking device comprises

- a flexible sleeve intended for arranging on a retrieval line in a sliding manner and to surround the retrieval line to be locked and released respectively by means of friction between the retrieval line and the flexible sleeve,

- attachment means for attaching the flexible sleeve to corresponding attachment means arranged on a spinnaker, and

- a locking sleeve release member engaging the retrieval line and securable to the sail- boat, in particular to the deck or the railing or inside the hull or below deck.

The flexible sleeve is arranged with a first end towards the release member and the second end towards the spinnaker; and where the flexible sleeve further comprises filaments that are plaited/braided or knitted into a tubular member forming the flexible sleeve or the tubular member of the sleeve is to be extruded or cast from an elastic or rubbery polymer and where non-plaited or non-knitted ends of the filaments, and where non-plaited or non-knitted ends of the filaments are assembled into or connect ed to a connection member and connected to the attachment means intended for at taching the sleeve member to corresponding attachment means arranged on a spinna ker.

Hereby is obtained a system in which pulling of a (single) retrieval line passing through the one or more remote releasable line locking device will bring the spinnaker into the boat, lower portion first, medium and higher portion last, and thus eliminating the risk of the spinnaker landing in the water when it is recovered. Further, the remote releasable line locking device is automatically unlocked during recovery of the spinnaker. This eliminates the risk of human errors and resulting po- tential damages to the spinnaker, the rig and the crew.

In the present application, the present invention will be described in relation to use in launching and recovering of asymmetrical spinnakers. It is however noted expressly that the present invention works equally well when launching and recovering symmet- ric spinnakers. Thus, the present invention also covers application in systems for launching and recovering of symmetrical spinnakers.

It is noted that the attachment means on a spinnaker for attaching the flexible sleeve thereto, comprise conventional attachments such as patches stitched or glued to the spinnaker as is known in the art.

The flexible sleeve is to be arranged on a recovery line in a sliding manner. The flexi- ble sleeve is made from yam or filaments of fibres. The filaments are plaited/braided or knitted into a tubular member forming the flexible sleeve. Alternatively, the flexi- ble sleeve is be made from an elastic or rubbery material that is extruded or casted into the flexible tube member or the flexible tube member is made from a suitable fabric, which is stitched or glued or welded into shape.

The flexible sleeve is, thus, arranged with a first end pointing towards the pulling means such as a winch and towards the release member and towards the foot of the spinnaker, and a second end pointing away from the pulling means such as a winch and pointing away from the release member and pointing towards the top of the spin naker; and a body between the first- and the second end of said locking sleeve, com prising a lumen allowing an elongate tubular element such as a line to pass through it.

The flexible sleeve is arranged on the retrieval line with a first end towards the release member and the second end towards the spinnaker.

Thus, the first end is also pointing towards the pulling means such as a winch and to wards the release member and towards the foot of the spinnaker, and an second end pointing away from the pulling means such as a winch and pointing away from the release member and pointing towards the top of the spinnaker, the body of the flexible sleeve is between the first- and the second end.

In the first end of the flexible sleeve, the filaments are secured so as to ensure their durability and to ensure that the flexible sleeve remains plaited/braided or knitted, e.g. by splicing, gluing or otherwise bonding the ends of the filaments together, or by se- curing the end of the flexible sleeve in a bushing, a collar of plaited filaments or a collar surrounding/arranged at or near the first end of the flexible sleeve. Depending on the type of polymeric material of the filaments, the bushing may also be formed by melting the fibres/filaments in the first end part of the flexible sleeve and forming a bushing of the melted material.

The filaments thus forming the plaited/braided or knitted flexible sleeve continues from the second end of the flexible sleeve where the filaments are assembled and thus forms the connection member attaching the flexible sleeve to the spinnaker.

The body of the flexible sleeve thus forms an elongated hollow tube. A line, wire or rope can be arranged through the lumen of the flexible sleeve. When pulling the con nection member, the tension in the filaments and the friction between the inside of the flexible sleeve and the outer surface of the rope or wire results in that the diameter of the flexible sleeve, e.g. the plaited/braided or knitted sleeve, is reduced and tightened around the line, rope or wire. This combined tension in the flexible sleeve and the friction against the rope or wire results in that the locking device is held firmly in place on the line, rope or wire until the tension on the flexible sleeve is released.

The connection member is preferably connected to attachment means so as to attach ing the remote releasable line locking device to corresponding attachment means ar ranged on a spinnaker, such as patches as known in the art, and as discussed further below.

The remote releasable line locking device further comprises a locking sleeve release member. The release member is to be secured to the sailboat, in particular to the deck or the railing, or below deck, or inside the hull of the sailboat. The retrieval line is arranged so as to slide through a ring member or similar of the release member. When pulling in the retrieval line, the flexible sleeve (and thus the remote releasable line locking device itself) which is secured firmly to the retrieval line, will travel with the retrieval line, dragging the connecting patch - and thus the spinnaker itself along with it, towards the release member as outlined above. The first end of the flexible sleeve will then collide with the release member, which pushes the first end of the flexible sleeve resulting in release of the tension of the flexible sleeve, such as the plaited/braided or knitted filaments. When releasing the tension in the flex- ible sleeve, the flexible sleeve will loosen and the diameter of the flexible sleeve will again increase, thus releasing the firm grip on the retrieval line. This allows the re- trieval line to slide through the flexible sleeve and thus also through the remote releas- able line locking device by continuing pulling of the retrieval line.

Further details of the release member are discussed further below.

The remote releasable line locking device and the flexible sleeve is preferably made of filaments of fibres of one or more polymeric materials having a high melting point, such as polyoxymethylene (POM), ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) (tradename is e.g. Dyneema®), aramide based polymers (tradenames are e.g. Technora® or Kevlar®) or combinations thereof. Or said flexible sleeve is ex- truded or cast of an elastic or rubbery polymer, such as styrene butadiene rubber, pol- yurethane rubber, or polychloroprene rubber (Neoprene®). Alternatively, the flexible sleeve made from a suitable fabric, which is stitched or glued or welded into tube shape. The materials mentioned here all have the right characteristics, i.e. durability, strength, resistance to UV light and chemical degradation/corrosion, heat tolerance, flexibility.

This ensures that there is a significantly reduced or substantially no risk of damage to the remote releasable line locking device resulting from its normal use at sea, and the mechanical stress and frictional heat that occurs when the recovery line slides through the lumen of the flexible sleeve.

The non-plaited/braided or non-knitted ends of the filaments that extends from the second end of the flexible sleeve and forms the connection end member of the flexible sleeve for attachment to the spinnaker are preferably secured by attaching a sleeve or a bushing on the connection member adjacent to the second end of the flexible sleeve or by means of one or more knots or tackles on the filaments or groups of filaments forming the connection member adjacent to the second end of the flexible sleeve.

This secures the filaments to each other in the connection end member and thus en sures that all filaments in the plaited/braided or knitted body of the flexible sleeve are subjected to equally large tension when a pulling force is applied to the connection end, and thus to the locking of the body of the flexible sleeve by pulling e.g. by the wind force acting on the launched spinnaker.

It is noted that any sleeve or bushing provided on the flexible sleeves second end and/or on its first end must also be able to withstand the stress already mentioned and frictional heat generated when the retrieval line slides very fast through the flexible sleeve, when the unlocked remote releasable line lock rests by the release member secured to the sailboat. Thus, suitable materials for the bushings or sleeves are those polymeric materials discussed above in relation to the filaments or metallic or ceramic materials which are equally able to withstand the frictional heat and any wear caused by abrasion from the retrieval line when the line slides very fast through the remote releasable line locking device, Suitable metals for bushings are e.g. certain stainless steel alloys, titanium and other metals with similar high melting points.

Preferably, the attachment means arranged on the connection end comprises a ring member, a shackle, a tackle, a carabin hook, a u-bolt with a locking member as well known in the art, or a rope end or rope loop, and where the attachment means and cor responding attachment means arranged on a lower patch of the spinnaker, such as a strap or a ring member, or vice versa, or where the attachment means of the locking device is secured directly to one or more lower patches of the spinnaker.

This provides easy attachment as well as subsequent release between the connection - and/or attachment means on the remote releasable locking device and the correspond ing attachment means on the spinnaker.

The connection end attachment means may alternatively comprise that the filaments are made into a conventional rope end or rope loop, e.g. by knitting or plait- ing/braiding. This rope end or loop can be tied, spliced or connected to attachment means on the spinnaker by means well known in the art.

The remote releasable line locking device preferably further comprises a protective cover arranged to surround the flexible sleeve. This protective cover protects the flex- ible sleeve from unintended impacts that may release the grip made by the flexible sleeve on the recovery line.

A protective cover may be attached to the spinnaker, e.g. to a patch or surround the flexible sleeve in a“free flying” manner, that is flying with the Spinnaker’s retrieval or recovery line where it is mounted to surround the remote releasable locking device itself and the spinnaker’s retrieval or recovery line that pass inside the remote releasa- ble locking device.

Tests have shown that the flexible cover is particularly sensitive to impacts made on the flexible sleeve’s first end that may cause the flexible sleeve to loosen the grip on the recovery line. Thus, the protective cover covers the first end and at least a part of the flexible sleeve, or preferably the entire flexible sleeve, such as discussed in details further below.

The protective cover is in principle a rigid pipe-like member made in a suitable mate- rial such as polymer or metal or combinations thereof as discussed further below.

One or more remote releasable line locking device with or without a protective cover are attached to the spinnaker or to one or more patches arranged in the mid part and/or lower part of the spinnaker, such as near the spinnaker’s midline, at or near the spin naker’s lower edge or at or near the spinnaker’s tack corner. This allows to safely re- cover a large spinnaker into a storage sleeve which is shorter than the height of the spinnaker.

Alternatively, the protective cover may be attached to the spinnaker or a patch ar ranged in the mid part and/or lower part of the spinnaker, such as at or near the mid line of the spinnaker or at or near the lower edge (foot) or at or near the tack corner. This enables to protect the remote releasable line locking device while recovering the lower part of the spinnaker and maintain control of the position of the remote releasa- ble line locking device. Hereby any unintended release of the remote releasable line locking device is also avoided during recovery of the spinnaker.

As mentioned above, the remote releasable line locking device comprises a release member. The release member comprises a member secured to the boat. The release member is suitable to collide and withhold the first end of the flexible sleeve, thus unlocking it.

In a preferred variant, the locking sleeve release member comprises one or more re- lease members having a through-going bore and through which bore the retrieval line is arranged and where at least one of the release members is secured to the boat by an attachment line or other suitable means.

The remote releasable line locking device may thus be deactivated/released by the release member. The remote release member is secured to the boat by an attachment line. The attachment line may be secured to the boat at a suited position, such as the deck, the storage sleeve of the spinnaker or e.g. a railing or below deck or within the hull).

The remote release member is in principle one or several (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 5 or more) tube- like or ball- like members, here shown in an embodiment comprising a number of balls. It is noted that the shape of the release member(s) is irrelevant as long as it/they are able to extend into the lumen of the protective cover and push to the first end of the flexible cover to release the grip on the recovery line.

The release member may also be a cone-shaped body with the pointed end towards the flexible sleeve. Alternatively, the release member comprises a number of truncated cone shaped members that are able to extend into the lumen of the protective cover and activate/release the grip on the recovery line.

The release member(s) should be suitable to travel freely on the retrieval line or re- covery line, which pass through a bore in the remote release device(s). The first end part of the remote release member(s) has a diameter allowing it to travel into the lu- men of the protective cover’s first end. The retrieval/recovery line is drawn through the lumen/bore of the remote release member(s), allowing the recovery line to slide freely through the release device(s).

When pulling the retrieval/recovery line, it will drag the lower patch, the protective cover and the flexible locking sleeve inside it - and thus the spinnaker itself along with it, towards the release member, until the release members will slide into the lu- men of the protective cover. Thereby, the release member(s)’ first end will meet the first end of the flexible locking sleeve and push to the first end of the flexible sleeve.

Continued pulling in the retrieval line results in that the first end of the flexible lock ing sleeve is now pushed by the remote release locking member(s) towards the oppo- site end of the flexible sleeve. This loosens the plaited/braided or knitted structure of the filaments in the flexible sleeve and increases the diameter of the flexible sleeve and the lumen therein. Thereby, the remote release locking device automatically loos- ens the grip on the retrieval line.

Continued pulling in the retrieval/recovery line will then cause the recovery line to slide freely through the release member(s) as well as the flexible sleeve. This enables recovering the upper part of the spinnaker by pulling the single retrieval line during recovery. The spinnaker, the lower part as well as the uppermost part of the spinnaker can thus also be pulled into the spinnaker storage sleeve by pulling the single retrieval line.

The release member may alternatively comprise a loop made of filaments of fibres of one or more polymeric materials having a high melting point, already mentioned, or it may comprise a member made of a strong and durable material such as metal in the shape of a ring member, a U bolt, a padeye, a loopeye a groove shaped plate or pro- file or a shackle or similar which may be lashed to the boat or which may be attached to an attachment member, e.g. a plate member with holes for screws or bolts, for se- curing the release member to the hull of a sailboat, such as to the deck or a railing or below deck, or inside the hull. Further, the flexible sleeve may comprise one or more reinforcing bushings or sleeves arranged at or near the first and/or second end of the flexible sleeve.

This protects the plaited/braided sleeve from stress, wear and tear that may result in that either of the ends of the flexible sleeve are torn, and thus “un- plaited”/”unbraided” or“un-knitted” e.g. by wear caused by abrasion or frictional heat when the line slides very fast through the flexible sleeve when it is unlocked by the release member secured to the sailboat.

The above mentioned drawbacks of prior art and the above mentioned objects of the present invention are also met by a spinnaker recovering system for recovering and/or storing of spinnakers on a sailboat. The spinnaker recovery system comprises a spin naker retrieval line and a spinnaker, having at least one or more lower retrieval line attachment patches and an upper retrieval line patch attached thereon for attachment of the retrieval line to the spinnaker. The spinnaker recovery system comprises one or more remote releasable line locking devices according to the present invention at- tached or attachable to the one or more lower retrieval line attachment patches on the spinnaker.

This ensures, the lower part of the spinnaker can be recovered without the need for having crew members leaving the cockpit and going to the front deck for assisting in recovery or launching of the spinnaker. Further, the spinnaker recovering system elim inates the risk of lower parts of the spinnaker or the lines, such as tack line and sheets attached to the spinnakers lower comers, the tack- or the clew corner, ends in the wa ter and risks being torn if ran over by the sailboat.

The retrieval line is anchored to the upper patch of the spinnaker by a knot or a splice or by other connecting means known in the art or as described elsewhere in this pre sent application.

The spinnaker recovery system according to the present invention is equally suitable for smaller boats as well as medium sized or large to very large sailboats. The spinnaker recovery system according to the present invention can be applied to newly sold sailboats but are also easily retrofitted onto existing spinnakers and/or ex- isting sailboats. The spinnaker of an existing sailboat only needs to have one upper patch attached and one or more lower patches attached to the spinnaker, e.g. along a suitable central vertical line. Then the retrieval line can be anchored to the upper patch by attachment means already described above and one or more remote releasable line locking devices each with or without protective covers according to the present inven tion can be slided onto the retrieval line and their attachment means can be attached as already described above, to attachment means arranged on each of the one or more lower retrieval line attachment patches on the spinnaker.

Further, the locking sleeve release member is to be attached to the deck or a railing of the hull, below deck or inside the hull, in particular in a suitable place at the aft end of an on- or under deck mounted storage sleeve receiving and containing the spinnaker (as discussed further below). Then the retrieval line is drawn through the ring-like member.

Preferably, one or more additional attachment members, such as a ring, a shackle or a strap is attached to the tack corner and/or the clew comer, and/or the lower luff, leech or the foot of the spinnaker for guiding the retrieval line there through.

This results in that the retrieval line can be drawn through the one or more additional attachment members arranged on the lowermost part of the spinnaker. This ensures that the lowermost part of the spinnaker is pulled in first as discussed further below.

The spinnaker recovering system preferably further comprises a sleeve member at tached to the deck or storage means below deck for receiving and storage of the re covered spinnaker.

This ensures effective securing of the spinnaker because the spinnaker is drawn direct ly into safe storage means while recovering the spinnaker. This is done while sailing so that dangerous situations do not occur when sailing and while the spinnaker is re covered and stowed away. Such dangerous situations can e.g. occur if the wind and waves catches the spinnaker while crew members are stowing the spinnaker manually on the fore deck.

In particular, the spinnaker recovery system according to the present invention is par ticularly suitable for use together with a spinnaker launching/recovery system and storage systems as described in WO 2016/155747 A, which is incorporated herein by reference. The systems of WO 2016/155747 A can all be easily adapted to comprise the present opinion simply by retrofitting the spinnaker with one upper and one or more lower patches with connection means for connecting the spinnaker to the above described remote releasable line locking device and the retrieval line running through it, respectively; and by securing the locking sleeve release member to the deck or a railing of the hull, below deck or within the hull.

The spinnaker recovering system may further comprise a winch arranged at the deck, such as at the cockpit end of the deck or by the mast or below deck for pulling in the retrieval line during recovery of the spinnaker, preferably by means of a manually operated or a motorized winch.

The latter enables safe and fast pulling of the retrieval line and enables that the spin naker can be recovered safely and very quickly.

The spinnaker recovering system may comprise a single retrieval line for fast and/or effective recovery of the spinnaker by arranging the upper patch and the one or more lower patches in a substantially vertical line on the spinnaker, and preferably on a cen trally or substantially central arranged vertical line extending between the head and the lower edge of the spinnaker.

The present invention also relates to a method for recovering and launching a spinna ker on a sailboat. As already described above, the sailboat comprises a hull and at least one mast extending upright from the deck of the sailboat, said spinnaker com prising a head in the top to which a halyard is attachable, where an asymmetrical spin naker comprises a tack line in the lower tack corner and sheets in the lower clew cor ner, or where a symmetrical spinnaker comprises guys and sheets attached to the tack comer and the clew corner of the symmetrical spinnaker. Said halyard is provided for raising and lowering the head to and from the top of the mast. As also described above, said spinnaker further comprises an upper patch to which a retrieval line is attached and one or more lower patches to which the retrieval line is attached through one or more remote releasable line locking device as described above. The method for recovering said spinnaker comprises at least the following steps: Releasing the hal- yard, the tack line and the active sheet, and simultaneously pulling the retrieval line, whereby the lower part of the spinnaker is recovered. Then, the remote releasable line locking device attached to the lowermost patch is released by contact with the release member attached to the deck or a railing or below deck or within the hull, preferably at or near the cockpit end of a spinnaker storage sleeve while pulling the retrieval line, followed by continued pulling of the recovery line. Then recovering the upper part of the spinnaker followed by continuing pulling of the retrieval line.

If more than one lower patches with a remote releasable line locking device attached thereto are used on the spinnaker, e.g. on very large spinnakers, these remote releasa- ble line locking devices are released in sequence when reaching/colliding with the release member during pulling in the retrieval line as described in relation to the first lower patch and remote releasable line locking device mechanism just described.

Alternatively, said halyard is provided for raising and lowering the head to and from the top of the mast. As also described above, said spinnaker further comprises an up- per patch to which a retrieval line is anchored and one or more lower patches to which the retrieval line is attached through a one or more remote releasable line locking de- vice as described above.

When the spinnaker is launched, with the retrieval line attached thereto is then se- cured, followed by the remote releasable line locking device, i.e. the flexible sleeve, is tensioned by means of pulling of the retrieval line combined with the wind forces pull- ing in the spinnaker. This will lock the flexible sleeve in combination with wind forc- es pulling in the spinnaker and the patch to which the remote releasable line locking device is attached.

This fastens the remote releasable line locking device to the retrieval line and thus locks the remote releasable line locking device and thus the lower patch of the spinna- ker in a firm grip on the retrieval line. Thus, spontaneously locking the elongate tubu- lar element of the flexible sleeve to the retrieval line by the flexible locking sleeve is brought about when the body of the flexible sleeve is tensioned. This is done remotely by pulling the retrieval line as it is pulled from the cockpit of the boat for recovering the spinnaker.

When the spinnaker is launched by pulling the halyard, the retrieval line anchored to the upper patch will follow, followed then by the remote releasable line locking device attached to the lower patch, surrounding the retrieval line.

When the flexible sleeve is tensioned, pulling of the retrieval line, e.g. by a winch, this will tension and lock the body of the flexible sleeve onto the retrieval line passing through it. The body of the flexible sleeve is caught between the oppositely directed pulling forces: The upward pull from the launched spinnaker via its patch attached to the connecting member of the flexible sleeve and the downward pull in the retrieval line by the winch stretching and locking the body of the flexible sleeve.

Pulling of the retrieval line towards the cockpit end combined with the pulling action in reverse direction from the spinnaker via the connection member results in pulling of the plaited/braided or knitted filaments in the sleeve. This tightens the plaited/braided or knitted structuring of the filaments and results in narrowing of the diameter of the sleeve as well as the lumen inside the sleeve locking it to the retrieval line.

It is understood that the releasable locking sleeve according to the present invention is in its tensioned or locked state, when the retrieval line is pulled so as to assist in re- covering the spinnaker and until the releasable locking sleeve finally meets the releas- ing member that remotely unlocks the releasable locking sleeve. In contrast, and as already explained above, the constrictor according to US 20140223967 Al is in its relaxed or unlocked state whenever the line is being pulled from the boat. It is there- fore further understood that, although the releasable locking sleeve according to the present invention and the constrictor of US 20140223967 Al use the same well known locking principle, the locking principle is clearly applied in very different ways, for two different purposes, solving to different problems when comparing the releasable locking sleeve according to present invention and the constrictor according to US 20140223967 Al.

Preferably, the method further enables storing of the spinnaker in storage means, such as a storage sleeve arranged on the deck of the sailboat or storage means arranged be- low deck. This can be obtained when the method for recovering a spinnaker on a sail- boat comprises guiding the retrieval line through a first frontal opening in the spinna- ker receiving and storage means and that pulling of the retrieval line guides the spin naker through the frontal opening and into the storage means.

When re-launching the spinnaker according to the method, it preferably requires pull- ing of the halyard and releasing the retrieval line, which pulls the spinnaker from the storage means.

Preferably, the retrieval line is further guided through a guiding member attached to or near the tack corner and/or the clew corner and/or the lower luff, the lower leech, or the foot of the spinnaker, and where pulling of the retrieval line initially assists in shortening and recovering the foot of the spinnaker, in order to recover at least the tack comer and/or the lowermost part of the spinnaker.

The pulling of the retrieval line is performed manually by one or more crew members or by means of motorized or manually operated winch as will be discussed in detail later.

Finally, the abovementioned drawbacks and the objects of the present invention are met by a sailboat according to the present invention. The sailboat comprises a spinna- ker recovery/receiving/storage system as described above, which further comprises a remote releasable line locking mechanism as described above.

Description of the Drawing

In the following, the invention will be described in detail with reference to the draw- ing in which Fig. 1 shows a side view of a sailboat, in the present case a yacht, with an asymmet- ric spinnaker set as known in the art,

Fig. 2 shows a side view of a sailboat, here also a yacht, with a symmetric spinnaker launched for sailing as is known in the art,

Fig. 3 shows the remote releasable line lock device attached to the lower portion of the spinnaker activated/locked by pulling the retrieval line of the running spinnaker, locking said line to it,

Fig. 3a shows details of the flexible locking sleeve, in particular a plaited version thereof,

Fig. 4 shows the remote releasable line lock device attached to the lower portion of the spinnaker deactivated/opened by a remote release device secured to the boat, allowing the retrieval line to travel through it,

Fig. 5 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat with an asymmetrical spinnaker, and a first embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system which may be used in large and very large sailboats where a single retrieval line is run on a fast and power full motorized winch,

Fig. 6 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat with an asymmetrical spinnaker, and a second embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system which may be used in small sailboats where a single retrieval line is pulled by hand by a crew member,

Fig. 7 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat with an asymmetrical spinnaker, and a third embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system which may be used in medium sized and large sailboats where a single retrieval line is run on a mo- torized winch or pulled by several crew members,

Fig. 8 shows an example with the reinforced second end of the remote releasable line lock device attached to the lower portion of the spinnaker, Fig. 9 shows the release action of the remote releasable line locking device 16 deac- tivated/opened by a remote release device 25 secured to the boat,

Fig. 10 shows the remote releasable line lock device with a protective cover,

Fig. 11 shows the remote releasable line lock device with a protective cover attached to a patch on the spinnaker,

Fig. 12 shows the remote releasable line lock device with a protective cover attached to a patch on the spinnaker with an alternative release mechanism,

Fig. 13 shows a side view of a sailboat running an asymmetrical spinnaker and a spinnaker recovering system and with a protective cover for the remote re- leasable locking device mounted in a fixed position to the foot of the spinna- ker,

Fig. 14 shows a side view of a sailboat running a symmetrical spinnaker with a spin naker recovering system and with a protective cover for the remote releasable locking device mounted in a fixed position to the lower patch of the spinna- ker,

Fig. 15 shows a side view of a sailboat running an asymmetrical spinnaker with a recovery system and the remote releasable line locking with the protective cover mounted in a fixed position to the tack comer of the spinnaker.

Detailed Description of the Invention

Fig. 1 shows a side view of a sailboat 1, in the present case a yacht, with an asymmet- ric spinnaker launched for sailing as known in the art. This sailboat can easily be ret- rofitted with a spinnaker recovery system according to the present invention. Unless otherwise stated in the text, the system is explained in relation to a sailboat 1 of any size comprising at least one hull 2 and at least one mast 3, such as a yacht or a super yacht. The present invention is, however, equally applicable on any other type of sailboat running spinnakers e.g. smaller sailboats, such as dinghies, as discussed below or above, or applicable on catamarans as well as trimarans.

The sailboat 1 comprises at least one hull 2 with a deck 2a and at least one mast 3 which holds the sails when sailing. A boom can be mounted to the mast 3 by conven tional fittings as are well known. The mast 3 and the boom can support a main sail, not shown, as is likewise well known. The mast 3 can also be provided with stays, where only the fore stay 4 is shown in some of the drawings, to support the mast 3 as is well known in the art.

At least one sail can be an asymmetric spinnaker sail 5 that can be somewhat triangu- lar in shape and is shown fully raised in FIG. 1. The spinnaker 5 comprises a tack cor ner 11, the lower front corner of the spinnaker 5, which is attached to the bow of the hull 2 in front or behind the fore stay 4 or to a bowsprit 6, e.g. a retractable bowsprit 6 by means of a tack line 12. The clew corner 9, the lower comer of the spinnaker 5, is attached to a sheet lOa which is connected to the leeward aft comer of the boat and which is carrying load, and a lazy sheet (not shown on fig 1), connected to the wind ward aft comer of the boat, and which is not carrying load, as is well known in the art. The head 7 of the spinnaker 5 is connected to a spinnaker halyard 8 for hoisting the spinnaker 5 to the top end of the mast 3.

The tack line 12 connects the tack comer 11 of the asymmetric spinnaker to a bow sprit 5a, e.g. a retractable bowsprit, to the deck 2a of the hull 2 in front of the fore stay 5b, or to the deck of the hull behind the fore stay 5c.

In the latter case, the halyard 8 exits the mast 3 under the fore stay (not shown in fig 1)

Fig. 2 shows a side view of a sailboat 1, here also a yacht, with a symmetric spinnaker 5 launched for sailing as is known in the art.

The tack corner 11 of a symmetric spinnaker 5 is attached to the outer end of a spin naker pole 13 by means of a windward sheet lOb, also named a guy connected to the windward aft comer of the boat. Said spinnaker pole 13 is usually attached to the mast 3 in the other end. The clew corner 9 of the spinnaker is attached to a sheet lOa, which is connected to the leeward aft comer of the boat, as described above.

Though the method, as well as the remote releasable locking device and the spinnaker recovery system according to the present invention is equally applicable on symmet- rical spinnakers, it will be described and illustrated on the drawings in relation to asymmetrical spinnakers.

Fig. 3 shows the remote releasable line lock device according to the present invention. Attached to the lower portion of the spinnaker activated/locked by pulling the retrieval line of the running spinnaker, locking said line to it.

The remote releasable line lock comprises a flexible sleeve i.e. a plaited/braided or knitted, or extruded or moulded from an elastic or rubbery polymer or tailored from a flat piece of e.g. woven textile as mentioned above tubular flexible locking sleeve 17 with a first end 18, a second end 19, and a lumen 20 allowing an elongate tubular ele- ment such as a line 5 to pass through it.

The second end 19 of the flexible sleeve 17 is attached to the spinnaker 5 by a connec- tion member 24. The connection member 24 may be attached to connection means, such as a rope, line end or shackles, carabin hooks as discussed above. The connection means are attached to corresponding connection means 29a on a lower patch 29 on the spinnaker. The one or more attachment lines are connected to the ends of the filaments extending from the second end 19 of the locking sleeve as also discussed above.

When running the spinnaker, the remote releasable line lock is "flying", with the re- trieval line 21 extending through the lumen 20, its first end 18 pointing towards the foot of the spinnaker.

Spontaneously locking the elongate tubular element to the retrieval line 21 by the body of the flexible sleeve 17 is brought about when the locking sleeve 17 is ten sioned. This is done remotely by pulling the retrieval line 21 by hand or by winch from the cockpit 2a of the boat or elsewhere from the boat 1 for recovering the spin naker 5. Pulling of the retrieval line 21 (B, fig. 3 ;3a) towards the cockpit end combined with the pulling action in reverse direction (A, see fig. 3a) from the flying spinnaker 5 via the connection member 24 results in pulling of the plaited/braided or knitted filaments 23 in the body of the flexible sleeve 17. This tightens the filaments 23 and results in narrowing of the diameter of the sleeve 17 as well as the lumen 20 inside the sleeve 17 (A’ in fig. 3a) and thus results in locking of the elongate tubular element to the re- trieval line 21.

Fig. 4 shows the release action of the remote releasable line locking device 16 at- tached to the lower portion of the spinnaker 5 deactivated/opened by a remote release device 25 secured to the boat (such as the deck or the railing or below deck or within the hull) by an attachment member 27. The retrieval line is drawn through the opening in the ring member 26 or similar means as discussed above, allowing the retrieval line 21 to slide through the release device 25.

When pulling the retrieval line 21, the locking sleeve 17, which is locked to the re- trieval line 21, will eventually reach the release device 25. Continued pulling in the retrieval line 21 results in that the first end 18 of the flexible sleeve 17 is now pushed towards the opposite end of the sleeve 17 as shown with arrow C in fig. 3a. This loos- ens the plaited/braided or knitted structure of the filaments 23 in the sleeve and in creases the diameter (C’, fig 3a) of the sleeve 17 and the lumen 20, which results in the remote release locking device 16 automatically loosening the grip on the retrieval line 21.

Thus the remote release locking device 16 is deactivated when the lower portion of the spinnaker 5 is well recovered into the boat 1.

This allows the retrieval line 21 to be pulled further and allow it to be pulled through the locking sleeve 17. Thereby the recovery line 21 will engage the higher patch of the spinnaker recovering the next part of the spinnaker, e.g. up to the next lower patch 29 in a similar way as just described if more than one lower patches 29 are applied to the spinnaker. Continued pulling of the retrieval line 21 will finally engage the upper patch of the spinnaker, recovering the upper part of the spinnaker 5 because the retrieval line 21 is attached to the upper patch 28 on the spinnaker 5.

Fig. 5 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat with a launched asymmetrical spinna- ker and a first embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system which may be used in large and very large sailboats where the retrieval line is recovered by means of a fast and very powerful motorized winch.

On the sailboats deck 2a a winch 15, which may be in the cockpit, by the mast, below deck, within the hull or elsewhere on the boat as preferred, a storage sleeve 14 de- signed to receive and contain the spinnaker 5, and a remote release device 15 is mounted. The sailboat is shown with an asymmetrical spinnaker 5 fitted with an upper patch 28 and with at least one lower patch 29 (only one lower patch is shown in fig. 6). The retrieval line 21 is anchored at the upper patch 28, and pass from here through the lumen of the tubular locking sleeve 17 attached to the spinnakers lower patch 29, and on wards to the deck 2a of the sailboat 1. On deck 2a, the retrieval line 21 passes through a deck mounted receiving and storage sleeve 14 designed to receive and con tain the spinnaker 5. Then the line passes through the remote release device 25 and finally engages the motorized winch 15.

This version of the spinnaker recovering system is advantageous to use in large and very large sailboats 1 where the retrieval line 21 is pulled in by means of a fast and powerful motorized winch 15.

The high pulling speed of the retrieval line 21 which can be obtained using a the mo- torized winch 15 results in that it becomes possible to bring the foot 30 of the spinna- ker into the boat first, largely without any risk that the foot 30 of the spinnaker is dropped in the water with the risk of the boat sailing over it.

Pulling the retrieval line 21 in fast thus bring the spinnakers foot 30 into the boat 1 and further into a deck mounted receiving and storage sleeve 14 designed to receive and contain the spinnaker 5 or through a hatch into the boat’s hull, where it may be pulled into a receiving and storage sleeve (not shown here). When the first tubular locking sleeve 17 attached to the spinnakers lower patch 29 reach the remote release device 25, which is preferably arranged at the aft end of the receiving and storage sleeve 14, the first tubular flexible locking sleeve 17 is deactivated, and the next patch, e.g. the upper patch 28 bringing the higher portion of the spinnaker 5 into the boat is engaged, because the firm grip from the remote releasable locking device 16 on the retrieval line is loosened as described above, and the retrieval line continues to run through it.

When the upper patch 28 is brought into the boat, and meets the release device 25 at the end of the receiving and storage sleeve 14, the fast recovery of the large or very large spinnaker 5 is complete.

It is understood that pulling the retrieval line fast by use of the powerful motorized winch will bring the spinnaker safely into the boat in the following order: Foot first, mid portion next, higher portion last, thus preventing that the lower parts of the spin naker and its lines land in the water and are sailed over by the boat.

Fig. 6 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat having an asymmetrical spinnaker launched as known in the art, and a second embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system which may be used in small sailboats where the retrieval line 21 is pulled by hand by one or more crew members.

On the sailboats deck 2a a non-motorized pit winch 15, a storage sleeve 14 designed to receive and contain the spinnaker 5, and a remote release device 25 is mounted at the aft end of the receiving and storage sleeve 14. The spinnaker 5 is fitted with an upper patch 28 and with one or more lower patches 29 (only one lower patch is shown in fig. 6).

As described above in relation to fig. 5, the retrieval line 21 is anchored at the upper patch 28. From here the retrieval line passes through the lumen 20 of a tubular flexible locking sleeve 17 attached to the spinnaker’s lower patch 29, and onwards to a second tubular locking sleeve 16’ attached to the spinnaker’s tack corner 11 and on wards to the deck 2a of the sailboat 1, where it pass through a deck mounted storage sleeve 14 designed to receive and contain the spinnaker 5, a remote release device 25 at its aft end and finally may engage a non-motorized pit winch 15.

This version of the spinnaker recovering system is advantageous to use in small sail- boats where the retrieval line 21 is pulled by the power of a crew member either pull- ing by hand of by a non-motorized pit winch 15.

The limited speed of the retrieval line 21 which can be obtained using the power of a crew member makes it necessary to bring tack corner and the foot 19 of the spinnaker into the boat first, or it will be dropped in the water with the risk of the boat sailing over it.

When the retrieval line 21 is pulled, the spinnakers tack corner 11 is engaged first. Pulling the retrieval line 21 thus bring the spinnaker’s tack comer 11 into the boat first, and subsequently the spinnakers foot 30 into the boat. When the second tubular locking sleeve 16’ attached to the spinnaker’s tack corner 11 reaches the remote re- lease device 25, the second tubular locking sleeve 16’ is deactivated, as discussed above, allowing the retrieval line to travel there through, and the first (still locked) tubular locking sleeve 16 attached to the spinnakers lower patch 29 is engaged bring ing the mid portion of the spinnaker 5 into the boat 1.

When the first tubular locking sleeve 16’ attached to the spinnakers lower patch 16 reaches the remote release device 25, the first tubular locking sleeve 16 is deactivat ed/loosened, and the recovery line 21 attached to the upper patch 28 is engaged and then brings the upper portion of the spinnaker 5 into the boat.

When the upper patch 28 is brought into the boat, the slow recovery of the spinnaker is complete.

It is understood that pulling the retrieval line 21 by a crew member will bring the spinnaker safely into the boat and into the receiving and storage sleeve 14: Tack cor ner and foot first, mid portion next, higher portion last, thus preventing that the spin naker foot and lower parts and lines land in the water and are sailed over by the boat. Fig. 7 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat running an asymmetrical spinnaker as known in the art, and a third embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system which may be used in medium sized and large sailboats where the retrieval line 21 is pulled by a motorized winch 15 or pulled manually via a non-motorized winch 15 by several crew members. On the sailboats deck 2a a non-motorized pit winch 5 or a motorized winch 15 is arranged in the cockpit end or elsewhere on the boat, a receiving and stor age sleeve 14 designed to receive and contain the spinnaker 14 is arranged on the deck, or below deck (not shown here) and a remote release device 25 is mounted at the aft end of the receiving and storage sleeve 14. The sailboat is equipped with an asymmetrical spinnaker 5 fitted with an upper patch 28 and with one or more lower patches 29 (only one lower patch is shown in fig. 7). The retrieval line 21 is anchored to the upper patch 28, and passes from here through the lumen of the tubular locking sleeve 17 attached to the spinnaker’s lower patch 28, and on wards to a ring member 30 attached to the spinnaker’s tack corner 11 and on wards to the deck 2a of the sail boat 1, where it passes through the front of a deck mounted receiving and storage sleeve 14 designed to receive and contain the spinnaker 5, through a release device 25 at the aft end of the receiving and storage sleeve 14 and finally the recovery line 21 may engage a non-motorized pit winch 15.

This version of the spinnaker recovering system is advantageous to use in medium sized and large sailboats where the retrieval line 21 is pulled by the power of crew members pulling by hand, or by a non-motorized pit winch 15, or by a slow motorized winch 15.

In medium sized and large sailboats the length of the spinnakers foot 30 itself is a problem. Slow pulling speed of the retrieval line will often cause the spinnakers foot and/or tack corner to land in the water and be sailed over during the recovery of the spinnaker.

The limited speed of the retrieval line 21 which can be obtained using the manual power of crew members or the power of a slow motorized winch thus makes it neces sary to“shorten” the foot of the spinnaker 5 and to bring the spinnaker’s foot 30 into the boat first to prevent the spinnaker from being dropped in the water with the risk of the boat sailing over it. When the retrieval line 21 is pulled, the tubular locking sleeve 17 attached to the spin nakers lower patch 29 is engaged first. Pulling the retrieval line 21 thus first brings the spinnaker’s lower patch 29 forward to the spinnakers tack corner 11. This“shortens” the spinnakers foot 30 before the spinnaker is recovered into the boat and the receiv- ing and storage sleeve 14.

Pulling the retrieval line 1 lthus brings the spinnaker’s tack corner 11, and subsequent ly the spinnaker’s shortened foot 30 into the boat. When the first tubular locking sleeve 16 attached to the spinnaker’s lower patch 29 reaches the remote release device 25 at the aft end of the receiving and storage sleeve 14, the first tubular locking sleeve 17 is deactivated/loosened, and the continued pulling of the recovery line 21 then brings the upper patch 28 and the higher portion of the spinnaker 5 into the boat and the receiving and storage sleeve 14.

When the upper patch 28 is brought into the boat, the slow recovery of the spinnaker 5 is complete.

It is understood that pulling the retrieval line 21 by the power of crew members either pulling by hand or by a non-motorized pit winch, or by a slow motorized winch will bring the spinnaker safely into the boat: Shortening of foot first, spinnaker’s tack cor ner and foot brought into the boat next, higher portion recovered last, thus preventing that the spinnaker lands in the water and is sailed over by the boat.

Fig. 8 shows in principle the same situation as in fig. 4. In fig. 8 reinforcing members are shown on the flexible locking flexible sleeve 17. In order to reinforce the first end 18, the flexible sleeve may comprise a sleeve, a bushing 32 (as discussed above) or the like to surround the first end 18. Further, fig. 8 shows a possible position of a sec ond reinforcement member 33 applied to the second end 19 of the sleeve and possibly a third reinforcement 34 member attached to the connection member 24 so as to se cure the loose ends of the filaments to each other in the connection member and thus in the flexible sleeve as such.

The reinforcement member sleeves, bushings or similar tube like reinforcements 32, 33 are provided to reinforce the front end against wear due to contact with the release device 25 and/or prevent damage or wear to the sleeve caused by friction action and/or friction heat when pulling the retrieval line 21 fast through the flexible sleeve 17.

Figs. 9-15 show variants of the line locking device and/or the method according to the present invention. These variants do in principle function as described above and will not be repeated. Additional features introduced in addition to the features mentioned above are thus described below while features already discussed above are not dis- cussed again.

Fig 9 shows the release action of the remote releasable line locking device 16 attached to a lower patch 29 in the lower portion of the spinnaker 5 deactivated/opened by a remote release device 25 secured to the boat.

The spinnaker's retrieval or recovery line 21 comprises a tapered section 2la in a transit area 2 la between a first part 21 of the retrieval or recovery line having a larger diameter Dl than a second part 2 lb of the retrieval or recovery line having a second diameter D2.

The spinnaker's retrieval or recovery line 21 is tapered from just above where the re- mote releasable locking device 16 normally locks on to the spinnaker's retrieval or recovery line 21. Tapering of the spinnaker's retrieval or recovery line reduces friction between the tapered upper section of the spinnaker's retrieval or recovery line 2la and the remote releasable locking device 16 when the tapered section of the spinnaker's retrieval or recovery line or the second part 2 lb of the retrieval or recovery line travels through it during the retrieval of the spinnaker 5.

Fig 10 shows the remote releasable line lock device 16 according to the present inven tion, attached to the lower patch of the spinnaker 29 activated/locked by pulling the retrieval line 21 of the running spinnaker 5, locking said line to it.

A protective cover 35 in a“free flying” position, that is flying with the spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21, is mounted to surround the remote releasable locking device 16 itself and the spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21 that passes inside it. The protective cover 35 is in principle a rigid pipe-like member made in a suitable material such as polymer or metal or combinations thereof.

Preferred polymeric material is e.g. polyethylene terephthalate (PET- also known as polyester), polyvinylchloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), Polyoxy (POM), polytetrafluoroetylene (PTFE; also known as Teflon®) or epoxy based resins, and/or mixtures thereof.

The polymeric material may be reinforced with fibres, such as glass fibres or carbon fibres and/or mixtures thereof.

Preferred metals are aluminium or stainless steel alloys as these metals are relatively insensitive to corrosion when in contact with sea water.

A protective cover 35 may be coated e.g. by providing a polymeric coating on inside and/or outside surface. Providing a coating on a metallic protective cover 35 will re- duce corrosion of a metallic protective cover. A coating on the inside surface of the protective cover 35, e.g. with PTFE/Teflon®, will reduce friction between the inner surface of the protective cover 35 and the line release locking device 16 and/or the spinnaker recovery line 21.

The protective cover 35 has a lumen 35a, and is of a design, diameter and length that suits its purpose to protect the remote releasable locking device 16 and the spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21 that passes inside it, against unintended release of the spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21 by the remote releasable locking device 16 while running and retrieving the spinnaker 5.

ETnintended release of the spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21 by opening of the remote releasable locking device 16 may occur while running and retrieving the spin naker 5, when the flexible locking sleeves first end 18 hits an item on the boat. This may happen e.g. when the remote releasable locking device 16 hits a structure or a surface, on the boat, e.g. the rig or the jib, the spinnaker itself or a wire arranged on the boat. Random movements made by the wind or the boat, relative to the random movements of the spinnaker, the jib, the rig of the boat or structures on the boat itself, may then cause the remote line locking device to release the grip on the retrieval line uninten tionally.

In such events the flexible locking sleeve’s first end 18 may be pushed towards the opposite end of itself as shown with arrow C in fig. 3a. This loosens the plait- ed/braided or knitted structure of the filaments 23 in the sleeve and increases the di- ameter (C’, fig 3a) of the sleeve 17 and the lumen 20, which results in the remote re- lease locking device 16 automatically loosening the grip on the retrieval line 21.

The protective covers first end 36 is therefore overlapping the sleeve’s 17 first end 18.

The overlapping position of the protective cover’s first end 36 relative to the sleeves first end 18 is guaranteed by the attachment body 37 of the protective cover 35 that is located near the second end 38 of the protective cover 35. The attachment body of the protective cover 37 is secured to the flexible locking sleeves second end 19 or its con nection member 24.

Thus the flexible locking sleeve’s first end 18 is always kept inside the lumen 35a of protective cover 35, where it is protected against random impacts that may push it towards the opposite end of itself, opening the remote releasable locking device 16.

Random impacts will hit the protective cover 35 or its first end 36 and not the flexible locking sleeve’s first end 18.

Random impacts may occur when running or retrieving the spinnaker 5: When the first end of the flexible locking sleeve 18 hits the spinnaker 5, the forestay 4, the jib, structures on the boat 1 or even the storage sleeve for the spinnaker 14 on the boats deck.

Fig. 11 shows the protective cover 35 mounted in a fixed position to the lower patch 29. It shelters the remote releasable locking device 16 and the spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21 that passes inside it. The protective cover 35 may preferably comprise attachment bodies 39 suited to at- tach it or mount it to the spinnaker 5, e.g. by gluing, by stitching, bolting or fastening it to the spinnaker 5 in any meaning full way as known in the art.

The attachment bodies 39 are e.g. flanges arranged on opposing sides of the along at least a part of the length of the protective cover. The attachment bodies may comprise a single flange on each side extending along the sides of the protective cover or a number of shorter flanges may be arranged along each side of the protective cover 35.

The protective cover 35 is attached to the spinnaker 5 or the patch 29, e.g. by sewing, riveting or screwing or combinations thereof.

Alternatively, the protective cover 35 is attached to the spinnaker 5 or the patch 29 by wires/ropes tying the protective cover 35 to the spinnaker 5 or the patch 29. Alterna- tively, straps or brackets are attached to the spinnaker 5 or the patch 29 across the pro- tective cover 35, e.g. by sewing, riveting or screwing or combinations thereof to attach the protective cover 35 to the patch 29 and/or the spinnaker 5.

The attachment bodies 39 may attach the protective cover 35 to a patch 29 sitting on the foot 30 of the spinnaker 5 (Fig. 13) or to one or more lower patch(es) 29 placed on the spinnaker itself (Fig. 14) or to the spinnakers tack corner 11 (Fig. 15).

Fig. 12 shows the release action of the remote releasable line locking device 16 within the protective cover 35 mounted in a fixed position to a lower patch 29 on the spinna- ker 5. The protective cover 35 is attached to the patch by the attachment bodies 39.

The remote releasable line locking device 16 is deactivated/released by a remote re- lease device 40. The remote release device 40 is secured to the boat at a suited posi- tion, such as the deck, the storage sleeve of the spinnaker 14 or e.g. a railing or below deck or within the hull) by an attachment line 41.

The remote release device 40 is in principle one or several tube-like or ball-like mem bers, here shown in an embodiment comprising a number of balls. The remote release device 40 may also be cone-shaped with the pointed end towards the flexible sleeve. Alternatively, the release member 40 may be cone shaped or comprise a number of truncated cone shaped members 40 that are able to extend into the lumen 35a of the protective cover 35.

The remote release device 40 must be suitable to travel on the retrieval line 21, which passes through a bore in the remote release device(s). The first end part of the remote release device 40 has a diameter allowing it to travel into the lumen 35a of the protec- tive cover’s first end 36. The retrieval line 21 is drawn through the lumen/bore of the remote release device 40 member(s), similar means as discussed above, allowing it to slide freely through the release device(s) 40.

When pulling the retrieval line 21, the first end 18 of the flexible locking sleeve 17, which is locked to the retrieval line 21, will eventually reach the release device mem bers) 40 that will travel into the lumen 35a of the protective cover 35 and meet the first end of the flexible locking sleeve 18.

Continued pulling in the retrieval line 21 results in that the first end 18 of the flexible locking sleeve 17 is now pushed by the remote release locking member(s) 40 towards the opposite end of the flexible sleeve as shown with arrow C in fig. 3a. This loosens the plaited/braided or knitted structure of the filaments 23 in the flexible sleeve and increases the diameter (C’, fig 3a) of the flexible sleeve 17 and the lumen 20 therein. Thereby, the remote release locking device 16 automatically loosens the grip on the retrieval line 21.

Thus, when the lower portion of the spinnaker 5 is well recovered into the boat 1, the remote release locking device 16 is deactivated inside the protective cover 35.

This allows the retrieval line 21 to be pulled even further, and will allow its tapered section 2la and the following second section 2 lb with reduced diameter to be pulled through the locking sleeve 17 with minimal friction.

Thereby the tapered section 2la and the following second section 2 lb with reduced diameter of the recovery line 21 that engages the upper patch of the spinnaker 28 will then ensure recovering the upper part of the spinnaker, e.g. up to a level in the spinna- ker 5 corresponding to the length of the storage sleeve 14 above the upper patch 28 of the spinnaker 5.

Thus, continued pulling of the same retrieval line 21 will first engage the spinnaker’s foot and the tack corner (Fig 13), or a lower patch 29 in the spinnaker (Fig 14), or its tack corner (Fig 15). Thereafter, continued pulling will engage the upper patch 28 of the spinnaker, whereby continued pulling in the retrieval line will recover the upper part of the spinnaker 5 because the tapered upper part 21 and the subsequent reduced diameter part 2 lb of the retrieval line 21 is attached to the upper patch 28 of the spin naker 5.

Fig. 13 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat running an asymmetrical spinnaker 5 as known in the art, and a spinnaker recovering system much like that shown in fig 7, but where a protective cover 35 for the remote releasable locking device 16 (as shown in figs 11, 12 12) is mounted in a fixed position to the foot of the spinnaker 5, e.g. on a patch 29.

It is noted that the spinnaker recovering system as such is equally applicable for use with symmetrical spinnakers 5 as well. In that case, one of the symmetrical spinnakers two identical comers is appointed as the tack comer 11 and used as such: The sym metrical spinnaker is hoisted, jibed and retrieved like an asymmetrical spinnaker. When using a symmetrical spinnaker, as well as running an asymmetrical spinnaker, the spinnakers tack comer may be taken windward by a spinnaker pole 13 (Fig 2), i.e. as when running an asymmetrical spinnaker. It is also noted that an asymmetrical spinnaker may also be used together with a spinnaker pole. The remote releasing sys tem with the retrieval line as discussed above/below will apply equally well on such systems.

The discussion of fig. 7 above also largely applies to fig 13.

Fig. 14 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat running a symmetrical spinnaker 5 as known in the art. An embodiment of the spinnaker recovering system much like that shown in fig. 5, but where a protective cover 35 for the remote releasable locking de- vice 16, as discussed above, see also figs. 11-12, is mounted in a fixed position to the lover patch 29 of the spinnaker 5.

One of the symmetrical spinnakers two identical corners has been appointed tack cor ner 11 and is used as such: The symmetrical spinnaker is hoisted, jibed and retrieved like an asymmetrical spinnaker. Running a symmetrical spinnaker (as well as running an asymmetrical spinnaker), the spinnakers tack comer may be taken windward by a spinnaker pole 13 (see also fig. 2). While running/sailing with the spinnaker set, the lazy tack line 12 (tack line slacked) is left in place for next gybe or retrieval of the spinnaker. Except for hard reaching, it is a big advantage to bring spinnakers of any kind windward by a spinnaker pole, allowing you to maintain pressure while pointing deeper downwind.

Steering deeper brings you faster down wind, give you a better angle to the waves, give you less heeling, give you a less“jumpy” spinnaker, and apparent wind from behind - in all a faster and more comfortable sailing experience.

The discussion of fig. 5 above also largely applies to fig. 14.

Fig. 15 shows a detailed side view of a sailboat running an asymmetrical spinnaker 5 as known in the art. The spinnaker is equipped with a recovery system and remote releasable line locking device much like that shown in fig. 6 and as discussed above. In this variant, the protective cover 35 for the remote releasable locking device 16, (as shown in details in figs. 11, 12) is mounted in a fixed position to the tack comer 11 of the spinnaker 5. The spinnakers retrieval or recovery line 21 passes through the re mote release device 40, as discussed above.

The discussion of fig. 6 also largely applies to fig. 15.

It is noted that the spinnaker recovery system may comprise more than one remote releasable locking member 16 with or without protective cover 35, such as 2, 3, 4, 5 or more. The remote releasable locking members 16, with or without protective cover 35, are then attached to patches arranged along the height of the spinnaker on asymmet rical spinnakers as well as on symmetrical spinnakers. The remote releasable locking members 16 are then attached to the spinnaker 5 at a selected distance, e.g. similar to the length of the storage sleeve. This ensures that the entire spinnaker is pulled safely into the storage sleeve during retrieval and without ending up at the sea, e.g. in front of the boat. It is noted that there is no need to attach the remote releasable locking members 16 with or without protective cover 35 to the head of the spinnaker 5.

Reference numbers

1 Boat/yacht

2 Hull

2a Deck

3 Mast

4 Fore stay

5 Spinnaker

6 Bowsprit

7 Spinnaker head

8 Spinnaker’ s halyard

9 Clew corner

10 Sheet (a: load carrying sheet; lazy sheet not shown)

11 Tack comer

12 Tack line

13 Spinnaker pole

14 Storage sleeve for spinnaker

15 Winch

16 Remote releasable locking device

17 Flexible (locking) sleeve

18 Sleeve first end

19 Sleeve second end

20 Lumen

21 (Spinnaker’s ) retrieval or recovery line

22 Attachment lines

23 Filaments

24 Connection member (of filament ends) 25 Release device;

26 Ring member of release device

27 Connection member of release device

28 Upper patch on spinnaker

29 Lower patch on spinnaker

30 Spinnaker’s foot or lower edge

31 Tack corner ring member

32 Reinforcing bushing(s) on first end of tubular locking sleeve

33 Reinforcing bushing(s) on second end of tubular locking sleeve

34 Reinforcing bushing(s) on connection member end of tubular locking sleeve

35 Protective cover

35a Lumen of protective cover

36 Protective covers first end

37 Attachment body of protective cover

38 Protective covers second end

39 Attachment bodies of protective cover

40 Pointed remote release device

41 Attachment line of pointed remote release device