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This course requires Basic Cruising

Sailing can be fun and exciting using only the main and jib, but when you add a spinnaker into the mix, sailing can take on a whole new dimension. Sailing with a spinnaker is exhilarating, thrilling, technical and simply beautiful. You can learn the skills to take your sailing to a whole new level!

Performance Week at OCSC introduces you to all of the skills involved in using a spinnaker on any keelboat from 15 to 30 feet. You’ll have the opportunity to sail in each and every position on the boat, so your skill set will be complete from stem to stern. Whether you sail on tried and true classic yachts, state-of-the art racing machines or anything in between, you’ll end the week with the knowledge and confidence to “fly the chute” on anything afloat!!

Days 1 & 2 are on the venerable J/24; one of the most popular 24 foot keelboats in the world. The J/24 uses a symmetrical spinnaker which is found on most traditional boats and even many modern down-wind specific racing yachts.

On days 3 & 4, you move to the J/80; the asymmetrical sport boat that brought high speed sailing to the masses. The J/80 uses an asymmetrical spinnaker flown off of an extendable bow sprit which is ubiquitous on all modern sport boats. This design allows keelboats of any size to plane and reach speeds that can match the wind speed. The J/80 is capable of doing 12-15 knots of boat speed in 15 knots of true wind! Day 5 is open to revisit and improve on skills on either boat, or to experience sailing on a bigger boat with the spinnaker.

  • Charter J/24s, Olson 25s or J/80s with the spinnaker (if you are an OCSC Member) and fly the spinnaker in true wind speeds up to 18 knots. *
  • Serve as a competent member of a crew in casual racing with spinnakers on mid-sized keelboats like J/24s, Olson 25s, Moore 24s, Express 27s, J/70s & 80s, Melges 20/24s, etc.
  • Sail faster upwind, and with the spinnaker achieve speeds downwind that you have never experienced before.
  • Safely and confidently handle boat speeds up to 12 knots and beyond.

* If your spinnaker skills on either boat need more work in order to certify, then additional instruction is available through private lessons. You may be certified to sail the J/80 with white sails only until you certify to fly the spinnaker.

  • Basic spinnaker flying theory

  • Proper boat setup and rigging techniques

  • Packing a spinnaker in a turtle

  • Safe spinnaker pole management and bowsprit deployment

  • Crew coordination for all positions for all maneuvers (communication, commands and timing)

  • See All
  • Hoisting, gybing, and dousing both types of spinnakers

  • Proper trimming techniques for each type of spinnaker

  • Trimming for maximum speed or maximum downwind VMG

  • Driving techniques for symmetrical spinnakers – “Keeping the boat under the chute.”

  • Driving techniques for asymmetrical spinnakers – “Achieving and staying on a plane.”

  • Maintaining visibility around the asymmetrical spinnaker

  • Exploiting waves sailing downwind and managing waves sailing upwind

  • Broad prevention and recovery

  • Advanced upwind sailing skills

  • Heavy weather sail trim

  • 4
    4 Day

    Two full weekends or Mon-Thurs. 9am–4pm each day. Call for availability.

  • Use of Spray Gear & Flotation Device

    OCSC is the only school in the Bay Area providing you with waterproof gear to make sure you stay dry and comfortable while learning without having to add a few hundred dollars in gear to the expense of learning to sail. In any course you take here, we loan you waterproof pants and jacket along with a comfortable, Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.