A SPRIT OF A DIFFERENCE

Cruising spinnakers designed to fly off a sprit are larger than ones tacked to the bow. With spinnakers, bigger means faster. This video shows two people sailing an Acorna 345 fast downwind with a cruising spinnaker flown off the factory installed sprit. The sail is well behaved despite the power it delivers.

Many boat builders now realize the benefits of an asymmetrical spinnaker flown off a sprit; as a result, most of today’s new boats come with sprit as standard equipment.

UK Sailmakers’ asymmetrical pole-less Cruising Spinnaker, also known as a Cruising Gennaker, makes downwind sailing much livelier and fun. Not needing a spinnaker pole, these sails are perfect for shorthanded cruising. The Cruising Spinnaker combines the ease of handling you’d expect from a genoa with the pulling power of a spinnaker. The asymmetrical shape, with the luff longer than the leech, creates a stable sail that is easy to trim and prevents it from becoming ill-mannered as traditional spinnakers can be. The sail is so stable that you can use it with your autopilot.

At UK Sailmakers, we design cruising spinnakers with an all-purpose shape so that they can be flown on a wide range of headings from beam reaching to broad reaching, and in winds from faint zephyrs to a stiff 20-knot blow. We can also design the sail to your choice of sailhandling system. For dousing socks and top-down furlers, we can design the sail maximum sized with a positive luff. For sails flown off of direct-drive furlers, we design the sail with a straight luff, which is a sail we call the Code D. The sail gets its name from the profile shape of a straight luff and curved leech. Ask your local UK Sailmakers loft for more information as well as to get a quote for your boat.

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