Crosscut Radial Spinnaker

Figure 8.2

In the cross-cut radial spinnaker, a radial head on a cross-cut body addressed the problems caused by the cross-cut panels.

The tri-radial spinnaker revolutionized spinnaker design by allowing for more stable sail shapes.

ment in the head, reasoned that the clews could also benefit from being radial. This resulted in what became a true benchmark sail: the tri-radial spinnaker (Figure 8.3).

Despite the obvious advantages of a tri-radial spinnaker, sailmakers eventually became keen to create a sail that had a more uniform transition of fabric strength along load lines, which meant getting rid of the cross-cut panels in the center. Just as you would not expect to see horizontal panels on a radial headsail, sailmakers reasoned that there should not be horizontal panels on radial spinnakers and set about designing and engineering a new generation of spinnakers with panels oriented along expected load paths and the fabric making a turn at each horizontal seam (Figure 8.4). Spinnaker nylon is generally warp-oriented, meaning its strength runs the length of the fabric, so to use the fabric effectively the sailmaker needs to cut small panels and piece them together so that the warp yarns run along the load paths. The smaller the panels, the more accurate the orientation, although there is always the trade-off between the expense of making a sail with an infinite number of panels and one that has a reasonable amount of panels.

TRI-RADIAL SPINNAKER

Figure 8.3

Building on the technology of the cross-cut radial spinnakers, tri-radial spinnakers were developed.

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