The spinnaker [ ʃpɪnakɐ ] or short Spi is a particularly large, bulbous cut headsail made ​​of lightweight cloth that is used from the wind and to Raumschotskurs to increase the sail area.

Use and operation

What makes the spinnaker is that he is driven to two pods, unlike Schratsegeln with totally free leeches. The leeward sheet off is as spinnaker sheet, the windward sheet as afterguys called (see also: windward and leeward ).

The neck of the spinnaker, its windward side is ausgebaumt using a spinnaker pole and supported on the mast. With the afterguys the angle of the spinnaker pole can be changed to the mast. The spinnaker pole should always be at a right angle to the apparent wind. By the forestay but results in a limitation of the angle. From an angle of 70 degrees to the wind a Genoa produces more thrust.


The sail is cut in three dimensions in striking balloon-like shape. The shaping can be achieved in various ways. Previously all sections of the symmetrical structure of the sail was common. Meanwhile deliver known producer of sails and asymmetric sail for specific applications. Frequently spinnaker can be seen with intricately designed motifs. The incision and suturing of the panels determine the cost of production, but also the strength of the corresponding spinnaker. Typical forms are the Head - radial section ( easy), the tri- radial cut (better) and the Tri-Star interface ( the most expensive ).

Put the spinnaker

The easiest of the spinnaker in Lee will set the headsail. It is mounted on courses with free wind of the spinnaker on the outside of the pulpit and quickly set ( pulled up ), the headsail remains while its still standing and the Spinnaker thereby still gets no wind. Only after the headsail is retrieved and trimmed the now filled spinnaker.

A variant to the strong wind is to summarize the spinnaker with rubber bands at a distance of about one meter into a roll and put it that way. After the rubber bands with a jerk at afterguys and spinnaker sheets are brought to tearing.

Some sailboats are equipped with a spinnaker. This device in the bow allows for easier setting, mountains and stowing the spinnaker.

To jibe with the spinnaker spinnaker pole only needs to geschiftet, that is to be posted on the other side of the spinnaker. For small boats it is simply connected and latched from the afterguys in the spinnaker sheet.

For larger yachts this is not possible due to the tensile forces of the spinnaker sheet. This must be driven with double harness. On each side of both a spinnaker sheet and a afterguys was injured at Spinnaker. The line which is not required remains loose. This allows the needed new afterguys easily be latched to the spinnaker pole, while the spinnaker sheet is still in use.

The Schiften of Spibaumes must exactly done before the wind, as the spinnaker can only be driven in this course without spinnaker pole, without collapsing.

Dangers with the spinnaker

As a very large and (especially in the top ) wide sail it exerts its qualities from the wind. If the wind is more of a side, a strong shear force, which ensures heel and resistance develops in the flow profile.

Incident gusts or waves can increase the transverse forces so far in large spinnakers that the rudder forces are not sufficient to keep the boat on course. Dinghies can capsize thus, cross beat sailing yachts. The helmsman loses control of the yacht, the yacht shoots into the wind and lies down on the page ( luffing ).

Solutions exist here in the form of Parasail, which has an opening with wings at the top of the spinnaker and so gusts pressure from the sail derived.