Alternatives to the spinnaker

If you do not wish to use a spinnaker for any reason, there are various other methods for improving downwind performance in light and medium winds. The genoa can be goosewinged. so that it is not blanketed by the mainsail and poled out to keep it set to windward (below). Another solution is to hoist two headsails. When using this technique offshore it is usual to lower the mainsail to stop it chafing on the shrouds and to prevent it from blanketing the leeward headsail. This method of increasing downwind drive is best suited to boats with headfoils. However, if your boat has a single forestay you can set two head-sails by attaching the hanks of each sail alternately to the forestay or by attaching one by the head and tack only. When carrying two headsails it is usually advisable to pole out the windward sail to keep it set. One disadvantage with this technique is that if the mainsail is lowered your maneuverability and control are limited. This could be critical in the event of a man overboard emergency. A further alternative is to use a boomless spinnaker. Unlike the conventional spinnaker, it is assymetrical. It is set from the spinnaker halyard and its tack is attached to the foredeck. As it does not require a pole or guy. it is much simpler to control than an ordinary spinnaker and is a good choice for a cruising skipper, providing plenty of extra drive on courses downwind of a broad reach.

Poling out the headsail

To pole out the headsail. clip the spinnaker pole to the mast and attach the uphaul and thedownhaul. Take a spinnaker guy through its fairlead. outside all the rigging and attach it to the downhaul fitting on the pole. Clip the lazy headsail sheet into the pole end. Raise the pole to the height of the clew and position the pole about 50° from the forestay. Goosewing the headsail by pulling in the lazy sheet.

J35 Spinnaker Pole Bridle

A cruising ketch sailing downwind in light airs has added to its sail area by hoisting two headsails set on twin forestays.

A boomless cruising spinnaker reduces the amount of equipment needed. It is set flying with its tack attached on the foredeck.

A cruising ketch sailing downwind in light airs has added to its sail area by hoisting two headsails set on twin forestays.

A boomless cruising spinnaker reduces the amount of equipment needed. It is set flying with its tack attached on the foredeck.

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