North Sails LOFT NEWS

April 3, 2020


A Look Into Code Zeros

Fall Sailing

Local North Sails expert Hugh Beaton shares advice on building your sail inventory when it comes to Code Zero’s. 

It all starts in a consultation with lots of open questions to fully understand how the sail will be used and where it fits into the rest of the boat’s inventory of sails so that good crossovers can be achieved. This past year I had the pleasure of working on a new project where the inventory of sails needed to be simple and easy to handle by a small crew when sailing offshore, and yet high performance to compete in the premier races on the Great Lakes.  Suspect was launched just days before the Susan Hood Race, and completed her sea trials during the race. Well done to all that worked on her beautiful refit.

Our task in designing the sail wardrobe was to cover as much of the wind speed and wind angle chart as possible with just four sails;  Mainsail with three reefs, 135% furling genoa, A2 spinnaker, and a versatile Code Zero. Later in the summer I was able to join the boat for the Lake Ontario 300 and use the sails in a wide range of challenging conditions.

“This experience allowed me to came away with a new appreciation of what Code Zero‘s can offer for all of us, regardless of the speed of the boat or the size of the budget”, commented Hugh.

In the case of Suspect, the design of the sail is much more full to give the sail a clean and easy-to-use reaching shape that works really well in the 55-90 awa range (apparent wind angle). In light winds the A2 crossover is at 75 AWA, compared to 90-100 AWA for winds above 12 TWS.    

For modern sailplans with non overlapping jibs, the Code Zero can be a very different sail, targeted to tight wind angles and light winds, offering the performance of a huge genoa. Our new Helix family of Code Zero’s is ideal for these applications offering a flatter shape while maintaining a clean leech exit. For any type of distance racing, a modern Code Zero that has been custom designed  for the application is a very valuable weapon – a must have for most.

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