OCSC Sailing School

Asymm. Spinnaker 101A

Description / Overview | Course Schedule

OCSC's "Sportboat Asymmetrical Spinnaker" course

OCSC's "Sportboat Asymmetrical Spinnaker" course

Sailing on a 21st century sport boat, planing in 12 knots of breeze with a rooster tail from your rudder is a spectacular experience and the essence of pure sailing excitement. Whether you are a performance sailor, or just enjoy sailing, the asymmetrical spinnaker is fast, easy-to-use once you learn it, and completely different from a regular spinnaker. The course is taught on the J/80, 2004 Sailing World Boat of the Year -- a boat that weighs 40 percent less than a J/24 and sails 150 percent faster.

Topics Covered:

  • Upwind boathandling
  • Mastering the standing rigging with adjustable headstay and no backstay
  • Proper management of the retractable bowsprit
  • Setting the asymmetrical spinnaker from the cabin basket
  • Trimming the asymmetrical spinnaker for maximum speed
  • Promoting a plane with spinnaker trim, crew position and rudder
  • Exploiting waves downwind, managing waves upwind
  • Maintaining visibility around the assymetrical spinnaker
  • Inside-out gybes
  • Dousing the asymmetrical spinnaker safely
  • Broach avoidance and prevention
  • Broach recovery
  • Heavy weather sail trim
  • Handling apparent wind fluctuations at speed

Successful completion prepares you to:

  • Properly deal with speeds under spinnaker of 10-12 knots and closing speeds with other boats in excess of 18 knots address the unique problems of sailing upwind in waves at 8-10 knots.
  • Join the crew of a variety of sport boats out on the race course today, from Ultimate 20 and 24s to J80s, to Antrim 27s to Melges 24s and be a contributing member of the crew charter OCSC J/80s with the asymmetrical spinnaker. (OCSC membership required.)
  • If your spinnaker skills need more work, you may be certified for the J/80 for sailing with working sails only.

Good to know:

  • The J/80 is quicker, more maneuverable and less stable than the J/24.
  • Expect the boat to be more complicated and require a small amount of additional agility than the J/24.
  • It will help your enjoyment of the course tremendously if you read the entire manual before coming to class. Come armed with questions for the instructor!
  • We often ask the crew to consider spending the day out on the boat and eating lunch while aboard, underway to maximize learning time. If you need/prefer to have a shoreside break, that is quite okay, just let the staff know in advance and we will advise the instructor.
  • The upper wind limit for flying the asymmetrical spinnaker at OCSC is 15 knots. If you plan to charter the boat with the spinnaker, the insurance deductible is higher. Check with the office for details.

Class Information


  • Member: $521.25
  • Retail: $695

# of students:

  • 4 maximum



  • Two Days
    Saturday & Sunday
    9 am - 4 pm


Basic Cruising or equivalent experience.

Asymmetrical Spinnaker 101A is required to become certified to charter the J/80 with the spinnaker.

(We also recommend experience flying the symmetrical spinnaker.)



June 2017

Asymmetrical Spinnaker J/80

  1. Sat, 24th 9:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 25th 9:00am Day 2

August 2017

Asymmetrical Spinnaker J/80

  1. Sat, 26th 9:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 27th 9:00am Day 2

November 2017

Asymmetrical Spinnaker J/80

  1. Sat, 11th 9:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 12th 9:00am Day 2