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What type of Asymmetrical Spinnaker? Code Zero vs Code D.

Decisions – Decisions --- Code Zero or Code D?

What will be a better down-wind sail for our new Elba45 for our initial adventure coming down the coast of France-Spain-Portugal on the Atlantic side and then cruising in Mediterranean Sea next summer (2022)? What would be a better Asymmetrical Spinnaker, the Code Zero or Code D?

Both kites are on a roller furler which makes it much easier to douse, especially when a squall comes out of no-where. I do not think we will need a full Symmetrical Spinnaker until we do the Atlantic crossing. Looking forward to your comments and opinions on this one.

The Code Zero

The Code Zero is a cross between a genoa and an asymmetrical spinnaker that is used for sailing close to the wind in light air. Code Zero was initially an attempt to circumvent a rating rule by making a large genoa for close reaching on boats that were measured with non-overlapping genoas. The Code Zero got around the rule by measuring in as a very narrow-flat spinnaker with shape similar to a reaching genoa. Cruising sailors have a lot more options on the size and shape of a "code" sail.

The code zero is very flat and is designed for close reaching. It has a nearly straight luff, a mid girth about 60-65% of the sail's foot length. This sail is closer in shape to a traditional drifter than a spinnaker.

Cruising Code Zero (left) and a Cruising Spinnaker (right). The Code Zero is a much flatter "triangular" shaped sail that is designed for close reaching. The Cruising Spinnaker is bigger and rounder and designed for broad reaching.

The Code zero runs wind angles from 50-110 degrees.

The Code D

The Code D is a cruising spinnaker with a nearly straight luff that furls from the bottom up, just like a genoa. ... Most Sailmakers has succeeded in developing an asymmetrical spinnaker that performs well from 80-degrees apparent wind angle to nearly dead downwind. With a regular, continuous line furler, it’s easier to use than a Stasher system and less expensive than top-down furlers. The Code D gets its name because its shape, a straight luff and round leech, makes it look like the letter "D."

It’s polar range is wide and can sail from 60 degrees to 140 degrees. If you have a spinnaker pole on the down-wind clew it can be pushed out to accommodate full dead down-wind angles of 180 degrees.

The comparison

Code Zero

-Upwind to apparent wind of 50 degrees

-Reaching to apparent wind of 110

-Apparent wind speed: 1-16 knots

-Approximately 60% of the sail area of a full-size spinnaker and about twice the size of a non-overlapping genoa.

Code D

-Upwind to apparent wind of 60 degrees

-Reaching to apparent wind of 140 degrees

-Apparent wind speeds: 1-16 knots

- Approximately 70% of the sail area of a full-size symmetrical spinnaker

After reviewing all the details we have decided to order a Code D and will let you know next year what we think. Note that on our J30 in Canada we have a APR 70 Asymmetrical Spinnaker in addition to a full Symmetrical spinnaker.

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