Parts of a Sailboat Sail

Lesson 1.3 - How to sail

Parts of a Sailboat Sails

Next lesson -> Points of Sail/Sailing Directions Index: How to sail



Lesson 1.3 - How to sail

Parts of and types oof Sailboat Sails

Next lesson -> Points of Sail/Sailing Directions Index: How to sail

  • Jib - A sail that's usually triangular in shape attached to the bow or bowsprit that unlike a Genoa sail does not overlap the mast.
  • MainSail - a tiangular or near rectangular sail that is the principal sail of modern sailboats, this is attached to the mast and boom. The trend is more to a rectangular shape with a large roach which gives more sail area higher up, this can however cause weather helm issues in stronger wind.
  • Genoa- Also refered to as a jenny, it's a sail much like a job only larger and typically fuller, overlapping the mast of a sailboat. There is a percentage attributed to a Genoa for example 110% or 103% this refers to how much the genoa overlaps the mast. This sail is used in lighter wind than a jib. You can think of it as adding more power, one step up from a jib.
  • Asymmetrical Spinnaker- A large sail typically flown from a bowsprit or poled out. unlike a spinnaker this sail is not used to sail directly down wind but at a broad reach which can be more efficient than dead downwind. In addition attaching this sail to a bowsprit is much easier to handle than a spinnaker.
  • Sail head- The head of the sail is top of the triangle this is attached to a halyard (vertical line (rope)) that is used to haul the sail up.
  • Sail Tack - This is the bottom corner of the sail triangle forward. the tack is shackled to a point of the boat. On the bow or bowsprit for a fore sail or on the mast for a mainsail.
  • Clew - Bottom corner of the sail triangle aft. This is the movable part of the sail and is held/positioned by running rigging (ropes that run horizontally)
  • Luff, leech and foot - These are terms to name the edges of the sail's forward, aft and bottom, respectively.

Next lesson -> Points of Sail Index: How to sail