The spinnaker is essentially a sail that is both lightweight in material and also rather large. Often, the sail is somewhat balloon shaped, and is easily stored away when not in use. The underlying purpose for the spinnaker is for making the most use of any downwind air currents when the vessel is running in that direction. Here is more about the function of the spinnaker, as well as the proper care and maintenance of the sail.
As an important component of the equipment included with most sailboats and yachts, the spinnaker is an example of a sail that can be attached in a very short period of time, with very little effort. Sails of this type are usually attached to the front of the main mast of the sailboat, or in the case of as yacht, may be attached to the front side of the vessel. While it is not uncommon for a spinnaker to be more or less permanently in use on any type of sailing vessel, it is also easily folded and kept in storage on the boat. As with all sails, it only takes a few moments to unfold the sale and secure it into place.
There is not a clear-cut answer about the origin of the name for sails of this type. One urban legend has it that the spinnaker received its name after being used for the first time on a yacht. The unusual design of the spinnaker inspired the name. In another legend, the movement generated by the spinnaker was the source of the appellation. Purportedly, a sailor, in seeing the spinnaker in use, remarked that the spinnaker had all the qualities to really make the boat spin. From here, the spin maker of a sail gradually became known as the spinnaker.
Whatever the origin of the name, there is no doubt that spinnakers are in common usage today. As with all lightweight sails, it is important to check the spinnaker from time to time for any small tears in the fabric, as well as to ensure the sail does not suffer from mildew and other forms of decay that could weaken the integrity of the sail itself. Proper storage will help to increase the life span of the spinnaker, as well as regular cleanings to remove airborne contaminants that could over time cause problems. With a steady regimen of care for the spinnaker, the sail has the capacity to last for a number of years.