H12 Spinnaker Rigging

H-12 Spinnaker Work – Notes by George Moffat

Setting the Spinnaker

1)      Before each set, look up the mast and check that the spinnaker halyard is able to run freely (sometimes it gets caught in the gaff jaws).  You don’t want to wait to find out that something’s tangled when you are trying to get the spinnaker up!

2)      Pre-set the topping lift line to the approximate desired height.  You can change it later if you need to, but at least it will be closer to perfect right away than if you didn’t pre-set.

3)      Make sure the windward twing is tightly pulled in.  The leeward twing should be completely loosened.

4)      Attach the pole (jaws up!) to the fore-guy.  You can do this ahead of time and just leave the pole on the seat.

5)      Attach the topping lift to the pole.

6)      Attach the pole to the mast (jaws up!) – remind the Skipper to be ready to help give you slack on the guy so that you can maneuver the pole.

7)      Pre-sheet the Guy

8)      Adjust the peak halyard (DOWN!).

9)      Hoist the sail when the skipper gives the order, not before.

10)      The skipper will immediately need to be sure that the pole is correctly situated.


Gybing the Spinnaker

1)      Adjust the twings – the new windward twing will need to be tightly pulled in, and the new leeward one loosened.

2)      Help the Skipper gybe the mainsail first.

3)      Detach the pole from the mast and attach it to what will be the new fore-guy.

4)      Detach the pole from the old guy and attach it to the mast. (You should be able to do all of this while staying in the same spot.)


Dousing the Spinnaker

??)      Detach the pole from the guy and the mast.  You can let it hang there on the topping lift.

2)      Adjust peak halyard (UP!).

3)      Grab the spinnaker sheet and pull it toward you so that you can grab the bottom of the sail, gathering toward the middle so you can get it in quickly.

4)      Let loose the spinnaker halyard and pull the sail in as quickly as you can.

5)      Get the pole off the topping lift hook and store it.



1)      Make sure that the Skipper pulls the spinnaker sheet in (on the windward side) quickly as the sail is being set so that the sheet doesn’t fall under the boat.

2)      Make sure the spinnaker halyard is securely cleated once it’s up!

3)      You may want to loosen the jib sheets a bit before gybing – sometimes the jib club can  hamper your ability to maneuver the spinnaker pole, and the topping lift will get caught.

4)      Cleat the spinnaker sheet about where you think it will need to be when the sail’s up – it’s one less thing you have to adjust immediately, especially good since you will be attending to other things (peak) just after the sail is set.