Spinnaker Rigging

I am looking for detailed instructions on rigging the spinnaker. This is our second year owning our Scot and we are anxious to sail with the spinnaker up. I ahve a pole and there are turning blocks and cleats aft of the cockpit. I am not sure how to rig the Halyard, Uphaul, Downhaul, Sheet and Guy. For example; are the sheet and guy run through the metal rings, on the shroud chainplate adjusters, than aft? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Where are you located? I am sure there are many readers of this forum in your immediate area that could show you their boats w/ spinnaker gear and well a picture is worth a thousand words. Good Luck

Good idea, thanks. I am located in Cleveland, Ohio

A awesome source of FS inforamation can be found at the unofficial flying scot website


It should answer most if not all of your questions!

Bob Klein

You might be interested in this e-mail exchange on the FS mailing list. Note that the e-mails are top posted so the flow is from bottom to top.
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 14:29:25 -0600
To: Flying Scot Sailboat Sailing & Racing

From: Claus Niesen
Subject: Spinnaker Instructions

Hello sailors

I thought my wife/crew did a good job of explaining how to fly the spinnaker. So I felt free to share it with you. Feel free to give your corrections and inputs.

Below her instructions are also my humble attempt to give rigging instructions for the spinnaker. These have already been posted before under a different subject line but I thought it might be of benefit to include them again.

In case you're wondering why I let my crew write the instructions, well simply put I suck in flying the spinnaker. ;)

Best wishes, Claus from Iowa, FS 5074

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Fwd: RE: In search of good Flying Scot Tips]
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 14:01:27 -0600
From: Melissa Niesen
To: Claus Niesen, Boyd


Claus asked me to give you directions for spinnaker sailing. I'll give it a shot :) Claus, feel free to correct me if you see anything! I'm no expert, but we've had lessons on this and we've done it many times since then.

First off you need to make sure you will have plenty of room on the water without obstacles in the direction you will be heading. You can fly the spinnaker at points of sail from a run to a beam reach. It's easiest to shoot for the middle, so a broad reach (leaning in the direction of a run if needed) is a good place to start. (This keeps you away from jibing and also lets you see the spinnaker without it being hidden behind the mainsail.) You want to make sure that the spinnaker is on the correct side of the boat with respect to the wind. If the wind will be coming over the rear-port side, the spinnaker should be rigged on the port side. (You can get around this, but it will be much easier to start off with the spinnaker on the same side as the wind.)

Now, we'll pretend the spinnaker is on the port side for these instructions. Since the spinnaker can be flown on either side, it's parts function differently depending on what side you are on. In this case, the port side line (red) will be functioning as the spinnaker guy line and the starboard line (green) will be the spinnaker sheet. (and the port side of the sail is the luff while the starboard side is the leech.)

First, make sure the guy line is clipped into the guy hook. On our boat this is attached to the shroud chainplate. As Claus said, we tape a tongue-depressor type thing to the hook so that the guy line stays under the hook. This is especially useful in light winds, when the sail might not always be full.

During rigging, you will have the guy line coming from the block in the rear port side and into the port-side cockpit, after going outside of the shroud. (Of course it has to be outside the shroud if you are going to clip it into the guy clip as I said.) The sheet will be coming from the block on the rear starboard side, around the forestay and into the port-side cockpit. These are attached to the bottom of the spinnaker, matching the line colors to the sail corner colors. (I assume most sails are made this way. It's very helpful.) IMPORTANT: you will store the spinnaker in the front cockpit on the port side, so you have to make sure the spinnaker lines go *under* the jib sheets, otherwise you will have a mess of lines when you try tacking or jibing later on. You will have to pay attention to this whenever raising or lowering the spinnaker.

So, you have the spinnaker in the portside cockpit. (We use a small laundry basket to hold it, but you might be able to use a sail bag or something else to contain it.) The lines are attached to their proper sides of the sail, after running under the jib sheet. When you are ready to raise the spinnaker, unclip the spinnaker halyard from the ring on the port-side shroud. Bring it from the front down under the jib sheet and attach to the top of the spinnaker.

Now, the crew has a lot to do with the spinnaker in the standard rigging. To start off, have the helmsman hold the tiller between his legs to steer. Give him both spinnaker lines to hold while the crew is raising the spinnaker.

If the winds are light enough, you may be able to take the spinnaker out of the bag or basket and set it on the hull to make it easier to raise.

Again, make sure you bring the sail under the jib sheet, otherwise it will wrap around. Raise the spinnaker quickly with the spinnaker halyard as the helmsman pulls on the spinnaker sheet (green line) to bring the starboard side of the sail around the forestay. Sometimes the sail will get hung up on the forestay, which is annoying. Just play around with it until it goes free. If the wind is strong enough, the spinnaker should fly some at this point. (The helmsman can play around a bit with the lines and get a little of the spinnaker-flying-joy.)

Grab the spinnaker pole. Attach the topping lift to the middle of the pole. Open one end of the pole and connect it to the guy line between the guy clip on the shroud and the sail. Connect the other end to the ring on the mast. Adjust the topping lift until the spinnaker pole is horizontal.

Now, take the lines from the helmsman and let him get back to steering the boat with his hands :). Here is how to adjust the sail. It's easiest with a constant point of sail and a constant wind. Hopefully you have a masthead fly. Use the guy line (red) to set the spinnaker pole so that it is perpendicular to the wind indicator on the masthead fly and cleat it. Now, if the wind doesn't shift, you can use spinnaker sheet to adjust the sail. The bottom of the sail should be adjusted so it's pretty much horizontal. If the sail starts to collapse, jerk on the sheet.

Also, if you have a hard time keeping the sail full, you can let the guy line out a bit, allowing the luff to go downwind a bit. Sometimes, if the wind is too light or shifty, it might be hard to keep the sail full no matter what you do.

Dousing the sail is the reverse of raising. Again, make sure you bring the sail under the jib sheet when you bring it into the cockpit. (Can you tell that is a common problem?!? Our instructor had the crew put the jib sheet behind his/her head before doing anything raising or lowering, but that always interferred with my life jacket and hat, so I don't like that way.) When you bring in the sail, it's nice to hold the three corners of the sail in one hand while pulling in the rest with the other. It makes it easier to keep the orientation of the sail and keep the lines from getting tangled in the sail. Make sure you start dousing the sail when you have *plenty* of room ahead of you. It takes a lot of time until you get used to it.

It sounds really complicated. And, it was the first few times we did this. (And we even were taking lessons with someone there to point out the problems!!) So, don't get discouraged. After some practice, you'll get it. It's so fun to fly the spinnaker!!

Good luck and fair winds, Melissa Niesen

Quoting Claus Niesen:

Hi Mel,

Can you write this as you are better with it?

Thanks, Claus

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: In search of good Flying Scot Tips
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 10:46:45 -0500
From: Safrit, Boyd
To: 'Claus Niesen'

Thanks for the info. I've never flown the spinnaker on my FS as I am a relatively new FS owner and beginner sailor.

Can you give a quick guide as to how to actually raise, sail, and lower the spinnaker based on the rigging info you gave below? Going sailing this weekend and the wind is going to be 5 mph or so. Figured that would be a good time to try to learn how to sail the spinnaker.

Thanks again.
Boyd Safrit FS 4042

-----Original Message-----
From: Claus Niesen
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 6:31 PM
Subject: Re: In search of good Flying Scot Tips

Hello Paul

I'll give it a try to describe the rigging. Since I'm far from being an expert others can chime in and correct me. I'm talking about a fairly basic rigging without any enhancements.

Let me know if that helps at all or if I just confused you more.

Spinnaker hailyard:
My spinnaker sheet (rope) is yellow. Feed the spinnaker sheet through the block that is just above where the forestay and jib halyard meet the mast. When not in use clip the clip (brass in my case) to the ring by the shrout plate (where the shrout meets the hull). The other end feed through one of the blocks which are held upright with a spring parallel to the mast base and then through a cleat on the front edge of the cockpit. Don't forget the figure-8 knot on the bitter end.

Topping Lift:
In may case black. Your mast will have two metal rings on the front and a little above the boom. These rings are used to clip on one side of the spinnaker pole. Between that and where the forestay and jib hailyard meet the mast there is a block that hangs on the front. Feed the toping lift (rope) through that block. Clip the clip on one of the rings and feed the other end through the block on the other side of the mast. That block matches the block you used for the Spinnaker hailyard.

Again go through the corresponding cleat and put a figure-8 knot at the end.

Spinnaker sheet/guy:
The sheets (rope) normally are red and green. Red goes on the port left) side and green goes on the starboard (right) side.

On the shrout plates tape tonge depressors so that it becomes a clip and the spinnaker guy can be clipped to it. The shrout plate has a hook with originally was designed to hold the spinnaker guy down. A common improvement is to tape a tounge depressor to the shrout plate to make sure the guy doesn't get unhooked accidentally. Tape it in such a way that the top of the depressor can be pushed away from the shrout plate and the guy can be hooked and unhooked. Do this to both sides.[ed. plastic guys clips are available from Flying Scot Inc.]

Behind the cockpit on the deck you'll see a single block mounted to the bullseye fairlead on the outer edge of both sides. [picture http://home.att.net/~unofficial-flyingscot-page/images/ts_spin2.jpg ]
The spinnaker sheet/guy are feed throug it so that the end with the small little metal ring with notch goes on the outside. That end goes up to the front past the shrouts and outside around the forestay and jib and comes either on the port or starboard side into the cockpit from the front. There it's attached to the outside corner of the spinnaker. Red sheet to red corner and green sheet to green corner. The other end is feed through the spinnaker ratchet block on the side of the seat and then through the cleats. [picture http://home.att.net/~unofficial-flyingscot-page/spin5.jpg ]
Don't forget the figure-8 knots at the ends.

pdemenok@### wrote:

Just wanted to learn how to do it---I understand that this isn't what Dan wanted
Thanks Paul


Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Thank you for the suggestion. We are almost directly north of berlin.quote:[i]Originally posted by jfssail[/i]
[br]If you are located in Cleveland, I suggest a one hour drive south to Berlin Yacht Club some weekend...
Jack F. Stewart FS 1342 "Hot Pink"

Thanks for the directions. I think I can picture what is described.quote:[i]Originally posted by Claus[/i]
[br]You might be interested in this e-mail exchange on the FS mailing list. Note that the e-mails are top posted so the flow is from bottom to top.

Thank you for the link. quote:[i]Originally posted by FS4049[/i]
[br]A awesome source of FS inforamation can be found at the unofficial flying scot website


It should answer most if not all of your questions!

Bob Klein