Navy 44 Sailing Guides


Safety Considerations:

(1) Ensure all lines are clear to run and not tangled.

(2) DO NOT stand in any bights.

(3) Remain inboard of any lines leading to the spinnaker.

(4) Communication is the key to safe, smooth spinnaker flying.

(5) It is highly recommended to first set a spinnaker in light conditions before attempting moderate to heavy conditions.


General Situation:

Assume sailing in moderate conditions.  This sequence assumes a port gybe set.


Required Positions:

(1) Helmsman.

(2) Genoa Sheet.  This may be covered by Spinnaker Sheet.

(3) Mainsheet.

(4) Spinnaker Sheet.

(6) Spinnaker Guy.

(7) Bow.

(8) Mast.

(9) Foreguy.  This may be covered by Spinnaker Guy.

(10) Grinder.


Sequence of Events:

(1) Helmsman calls out "Standby to set the spinnaker, port (or starboard) gybe" and lets the crew know what point of sail they should prepare for.

(2) Bow goes forward to the pulpit and lifts the outboard end of the pole while Spinnaker Guy tails the topping lift.  Mast can help jump topping lift.  Bow ensures the lazy sheet is on top of the pole and that the sheets are clear.  Report "Ready" to Helmsman.

(3) Mast lays out working jib halyard and ensures it is clear to run.  Presets the inboard end of the pole at a best guess height for the conditions.  Report "Ready" to Helmsman.

(4) Spinnaker Guy places several turns on the primary winch and presets the guy to the approximate position based on anticipated apparent wind.  Presetting means trimming the guy until the clew of the spinnaker is at the outboard end of the pole and the pole is set for anticipated apparent wind directions.  Take the slack out of the foreguy.  Report "Ready" to Helmsman.

(5) Spinnaker Sheet places several turns on the secondary winch; ensure the lazy guy is clear .  If also tending the genoa sheet, be prepared to ease it slightly as the spinnaker is hoisted and then cleat it so you can tend the spinnaker sheet.  Report "Ready" to Helmsman.

(6) Grinders may be required for the spinnaker sheet and guy depending of conditions.

(7) Mainsheet ensures sheet is removed from self tailer and clear.  Report "Ready" to Helmsman.

(8) After receiving "Ready" reports from crew, Helmsman calls out "Set the spinnaker" and bears off to the appropriate course.

(9) Bow jumps spinnaker halyard while Mast tails and calls "High".  Mast secures spinnaker halyard and lowers genoa while Bow goes forward and gathers the sail on deck.  Mast may lower as quickly as Bow can handle, but does not remove all turns from the winch.

(10) Mainsheet eases main appropriately and assists with topping lift, foreguy, and preventer if possible.

(11) Spinnaker Guy brings pole aft so that it is perpendicular to the apparent wind and waits further instructions from Spinnaker Sheet.

(12) Spinnaker Sheet trims and eases until spinnaker is full.

(13) Rig the preventer if apparent wind is abaft 120.

(14) Bow retrieves turtle from bow and sends it below.

(15) Decision of whether to leave genoa hanked on, secured to the deck or taken below depends on conditions and length of time spinnaker is expected to be set.


Basic Tenets of spinnaker trim:

(1) Pole perpendicular to apparent wind.

(2) Pole parallel to the water.  Clew heights equal.

(3) Spinnaker Sheet should be easing until windward edge begins to curl and then retrim continuously.

(4) If wind shifts dramatically, decision must be made whether course or apparent wind direction is more important.

(5) Spinnaker Sheet controls all elements of trim and directs changes in pole position and height.

- This page last updated 05/04/2005 -