Ask SAIL: Types of Asymmetrical Spinnakers - Sail Magazine

Ask SAIL: Types of Asymmetrical Spinnakers

Author:
Publish date:
windRangeGuide_1

REACHING SAIL NOMENCLATURE

Q: I keep hearing about different kinds of headsails, like Code 0s, gennakers, A-sails, etc., and for the life of me can’t figure out how they differ from one another, either in terms of cut or the way they’re used. Could you help me out?

Robert Walters, Evanston, IL

BRIAN HANCOCK REPLIES

I understand why you might be confused. A Code 0, for example, is a gennaker, but a Code 0 is a racing sail, while a gennaker is usually considered a cruising sail. Ultimately, there are four or five different types of asymmetrical spinnakers, with each sail designed for a specific wind angle range. A Code 0 is almost like a large genoa, but it is not set on the headstay. Typically set on its own furler, it is basically a flat spinnaker that can be carried fairly close to the wind, say around 45 degrees apparent. Many Code 0’s are made from nylon, but some are made from a light laminate.

Now imagine the wind coming aft. At this point you will want to start thinking about switching to a Code 1 that has slightly more shape, or curvature, as well as a little more sail area than the Code 0. As such it will also be similar to a reaching gennaker. Beyond that, a Code 3 is an even larger sail with more depth to it, making it similar to an all-purpose asymmetrical spinnaker. Finally, a Code 4 is a deep, powerful sail that is used with the wind aft of the beam, like a running spinnaker.

Most cruisers can get away with a single all-purpose sail, but there are some racers who want a very specific sail for a very narrow wind range and will therefore go with multi “Code” sails.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

March 2016

Related

Thoreau

A Thoreau Approach to Sailing

I know someone who spent two years, two months and two days staring at the water, living in a space 150ft square, and paying keen attention to the weather. This sounds like a happy circumnavigation, and in a sense, it was, because the person I’m referring to is Henry David ...read more

shutterstock_1886572

Cruising: Won Over by Lake Michigan

Like many, I often spend my sailing holidays far away from home, assuming that real adventure requires some kind of international flight. More and more, though, I’m learning that some of the best sailing vacations can be found right in my own backyard.In this spirit, I skipped my ...read more

00WindGenerator700x

How-to: Installing a Wind Generator

Solar panels or wind generator? There’s little doubt that for Stateside cruising, especially down South where the amount of sunshine outstrips the strength of the wind for much of the year, solar is top of the list for liveaboard and long-term cruisers. Having seen what even a ...read more

01-Ursus-Maritimus-31081

The Figawi Race: A New England Classic

When I was 15, some of my sailing classmates kicked off the summer by sailing the Figawi, New England’s legendary season-opening race held every Memorial Day weekend. A winding course between Hyannis and Nantucket, it was a seemingly epic voyage to a bunch of kids who had never ...read more

03-Panama-Posse-honduras

Panama Posse Enters Its Second Year

The Panama Posse is back this month after a successful inaugural rally in 2017-2018. This year it includes visits to seven Central American countries—Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama.Over the course of the rally, organizers provide ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comLetting go the sheetTaking a loaded-up sheet off a winch when the boat tacks can be a just cause for nervousness. On a boat up to 40ft or so, the safest way is to first ease off a few inches, keeping the ...read more

USCGReadyForRescue_Identifier_FullColor

USCG Ready for Rescue Challenge

The U.S. Coast Guard is now collaborating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on something it calls the “Ready for Rescue,” a $255,000 prize competition that is looking for ways that will make it easier to locate people, MOB victims in particular, in the water.The ...read more

04-CLR1718md1085-jpg

A Historic Win for Wendy Tuck

This past summer Australian sailor, Wendy Tuck (inset), became the first woman to win a round-the-world yacht race when she and her crew aboard Sanya Serenity Coast claimed the overall victory in the 2017-18 Clipper Race. “I am just so happy,” Tuck said at the finish in ...read more