Video Guide: Hoisting a gennaker
Downwind sails are available in many shapes and sizes - and indeed in different designs. Each of them has a different purpose - and if you want easy, singlehanded handling, you might want to know more about the gennaker.
The gennaker lends its name from the spinnaker and the genoa - and it fits right in between the two. It is handled like a genoa, but it covers wind angles that are more like the ones you would get out of a spinnaker with added low-wind performance when compared to the genoa.
We did this video with our good friends from Vind i Sejlene. They have a longer version in Danish about the gennaker and how it works. This is our quick guide to hoist it - followed by three tips on trimming and making it all work.
Heavy on the helm: If the boat gets heavy on the helm, it probably has a connection to an incorrect trim of the gennaker itself. You can re-trim it by easing the gennaker sheet until the luff starts being a little unstable. When it does so, fall off slightly and then ease the sheet and main.
Instability: If your gennaker sits unstable or starts to collapse, your course is too low. Point the boat higher to the wind, and if you then either trim or ease the sheet, it will rotate windward and set itself in a more stable manner.
Poor speed: A Gennaker is a direct way to good speed heading downwind - but it is important to make changes if it doesn't perform. This can often be related to running a course which it is too tight for - this is fixed by easing the sheet until the luff starts to become a little unstable - by then you should see your speed increasing the way it should.
Enjoy your downwind cruise!