UK Sailmakers’ Encyclopedia of Sails

7.2 – Trimming the Cruising Spinnaker

The Flasher ® can be flown just as you would a spinnaker, with the wind anywhere from about 75 degrees off the bow to dead-downwind.


Tightening the tack pendant moves the draft of the sail forward creating a stable and fast reaching shape. Conversely, easing the tack pendant and raising the tack creates a better shape for sailing at broader angles. The tack should always be set somewhat lower than the clew.

The sheet should be eased as much as possible without letting the sail collapse. This will insure that the sail is at the optimum angle to the wind, and that the sails is as free as possible from the mainsail’s blanket zone.

Once on course, ease the sheet until a curl appears along the luff of the sail. Then adjust the tack pendant so that the clew is higher than the tack. 

As the wind moves aft, the sheet and tack pendant are eased to keep maximum sail area projected and to keep the sail in the most efficient shape. 


In winds under 15 knots, sailing dead downwind is slower than sailing at broad reaching angles — regardless of sailing with a Flasher ® or normal spinnaker. You will sail more comfortably, have better control, and get to your destination sooner if you jibe downwind.

Setting the Flasher ® with a pole is possible if you want to bother. Either a spinnaker pole or, a lighter, longer, whisker pole will work. The easiest way to set up your Flasher ® wing-and-wing is to attach the outboard end of the pole to the clew of the sail while it is still on the same side as the mainsail, then jibe the main. 

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