Rigging an Asymmetrical

I’m purchasing an asymmetrical spinnaker and had a look at the bowsprit and realized the only way to rig the sail is to add a shackle for the pennant to one side or other of the iron at the end of the bowsprit. Holes are cut in the port and starboard shroud tangs, but wouldn’t using these put undue stress and twist on the iron and thus the bowsprit?

Any asymmetrical rigging tips would be appreciated.

I have also pondered how to fly a drifter or asymmetric spinnaker from the end of the bowsprit.

Following are possible solutions I have considered:

  1. Loop a Dacron webbing strop around the bowsprit in front of the cranse iron. Attached a swivel block to the strop and lead a tack pendent through the block. It a simple solution but does require one to go out to the end of the widowmaker.

  2. Bolt a split band, similar to a mast band around the bowsprit in front of the cranse iron. The tack block would be attached to the band.

I do not see why placing a tack bloc to either side of the cranse iron would cause the cranse iron to rotate. The jib stay and bobstay forces on the cranse iron would prevent it from twisting. Further, you will probably only fly the spinnaker in let’s say 10 knots of wind or less. At these wind speeds the forces on the tack pendant are low.

I have also considered a continuous line furling system for a spinnaker or drifter but believe a spinnaker sock is a simpler solution to set and take down the chute.

Fair Winds,


Thanks, Rod. I was thinking my concerns may be irrelevant because of the stays, but thought I’d ask just the same.

I like the Dacron strop/swivel block arrangement idea for its non-reliance on the cranse iron and rigged permanently it would allow prepping the sail and sock for hoisting and dousing to be done on the foredeck.

Thanks again,

We flew an asym for many miles by mounting a shackle directly forward of the forestay on the cranse iron. A block was attached to this and a pennant was run through and back to the foredeck making the tack adjustable, a handy feature. if you mount your attach point to either side of the forestay, you will not be able to tack it without a lot of chafe resulting. The block is left on the pennant when taken down. We also flew a huge symmetrical for many miles with the same system. A sock was used for both, a must unless you are a glutton for punishment or a much better sailor than we were.


I like the idea. Did the jibstay interfer with or chafe the spinnaker? That would be my concern.


HI Rod, When we had the big symmetrical the wind was usually well aft and the chafe was less of a problem. With the asym, we tended to sail closer to the wind to raise the apparent and gain ground speed. this led to a need to use Spectra for the tack pendant, allowing a higher tack and avoiding chafe.

I know the pic doesn’t exactly show much detail but I couldn’t help it, I like the pic. Cheers to all, Ray


Thanks for the photo. From the photo it is apparent chafe is not a problem. I like the solution because one does not have to go out on the widowmaker.

Although there is very little wind, based on the slick in the photo, I imagine the boat was making perhaps 1/2 kt. That’s better than zero knots.

Nice shot of the WHISPER under spinnaker.



Hi Ray,

Ditto on the thanks for the pic. Great shot. I will be rigging mine similarly, when the time comes. I also like the tower you’ve erected for the solar panel and wind generator. Very simple. The PO of my boat had a full-on radar arch mounted that sort of ruined the lines of the BCC. I quickly took it down and am looking at options.

Thanks again for the info.