Hoisting a Spinnaker


Spinnaker pic
Image: sailingworld.com

An angel investor with an extensive background in entrepreneurial endeavors, Stephen Blackwell founded businesses such as Death and Taxes. Now serving as the chief executive officer of SpinMedia, Inc., and the chief strategy officer at Billboard, Stephen Blackwell enjoys sailing in his leisure time.

Sailing offers a great array of skills to master, from adjusting to the wind to handling the various pieces of tackle aboard a boat. Beginning and experienced sailors alike find the large sail known as the spinnaker to be a particular challenge. Created for sailing downwind, the spinnaker supplies an enormous area to catch the wind, but its large size presents difficulty even before its hoist.

In order to successfully raise the spinnaker on your boat, carefully lay out the sail and check that none of the lines have become twisted. Steer onto a broad reach to bring your boat level and let the mainsail protect the spinnaker from the wind while you raise it on the leeward side. Keep your jib up as well to provide further shielding.

Place the spinnaker pole on the windward side at a right angle to the mast. Then you will want to raise the spinnaker in one quick, smooth motion to get it in place before the wind fills it.