Under the HOOD

Sail Expert, Joe Cooper goes Under the HOOD and examines an issue important to sail owners.



Reefing: Issues, Techniques, Systems and Solutions

A White Paper, the first of four, discussing why reefing is necessary, the three most common techniques and their benefits and disadvantages.

Reefing is one of those activities on a boat that most of us like to avoid. Regrettably, not all sailing is conducted on balmy days with warm sun smiling down on us and flat water. Once in a while, we do need to get from A to B, upwind in 25 knots. Like everything else on boats, nay, in life, in fact, an understanding of ALL the aspects of the task and the odd bit of practice goes a long way to making The Task less onerous. Let me set up the discussion with some background on The Philosophy and Principles of Reefing... Contact us to learn more.

2016 Pacific Cup

In ocean racing, it is invariably the big, impressive and fast boats that get the limelight. One thinks of Comanche in the Sydney to Hobart and the Newport to Bermuda race this past year.

However, this year in the Pacific Cup, there were 65 boats and most were low-key family and friends programs. From 65 entries, only a handful might be classed as full on, win at all costs, no expense spared programs. For the other 55 or so regular sailors, preparing their family boat for a 5,000 mile round trip, durability and utility, and so value, play a significant role. One such owner is skipper and father Mike Johnson of San Francisco... Contact us to learn more.

Classic Yacht Refit

Last year, we were approached by the management of a 1930’s classic wooden yacht about building sails for the boat. This lovely old classic was about to undergo a massive restoration for the new owner.

The boat was to be rebuilt to a very high level and so all the supplementary equipment including, of course, the sails had to match the required high level of finish and detailing. HOOD won the order, and so, we started a file on the project… Contact us to learn more.

Offshore Sails

Sailing offshore in your own boat is often a theme running in the background of the minds of many sailors. The detailing and construction of sails for boats destined for offshore is a critical component for your safety and it is a discussion that your HOOD Sail Experts are extremely qualified to have… Contact us to learn more.

The Multi Purpose-Spinnaker

The MP-S is an asymmetrical spinnaker with the luff longer than the leech. The way these sails are set means the tack of the sail is attached to the boat at all times, unlike conventional spinnakers. MP-S sails are light, large, powerful, and inexpensive… Contact us to learn more.

Full-Length Battens

One of the most common discussions with potential sail customers regards full-length battens. The conversations fall into two broad categories: speed and sail handling. There are typically two main factors contributing to the faster myth: shape retention, both in the immediate and over time, and increased sail area… Contact us to learn more.


The HOOD woven vektron is a woven sailcloth comprised of high tenacity polyester fiber co-mingled with Vectran® fiber in the fill direction (i.e. up the leech)…  Vectran® Fiber is one of the 8 fibers the sail making industry uses to make fabric/sails… Contact us to learn more.

The Value of Your Sailmaker

Good sails will often outlast the engine. Great sails will definitely outlast the engine. If you want value in your sails, I recommend you take advantage of the biggest resource any sailmaker has: the person at the end of the phone… Contact us to learn more.

Durability & The Bermuda Race

For the bulk of the fleet, simply doing a Bermuda Race is the reward. For these sailors, the idea of an unlimited budget, especially for things that can wear out fast, like sails, is just not an option. Like HOOD customers in general, the ones who sail (race) to Bermuda are much more interested in value over price. The unique woven Vektron material we pioneered over 20 years ago is an ideal product for the customer who wants durability at a fair price… Contact us to learn more.


There are a number of variations on several basic types of securing the reef tack. For instance is there a pair of J hooks at the gooseneck? These are inverted J shape fittings commonly made from round stainless steel and attached to the gooseneck near the tack fitting. The idea is that the reef is pulled down and the reef cringle is fit over this hook. If you have such an arrangement and do NOT have what we call floppy rings, then you find that reefing-getting the reef cringle over this hook is a royal pain in the steering post. With the floppy rings, when the sail is down, it is much easier to fit this ring onto the J hook… Contact us to learn more.

Code Zeros

For boats using a Code Zero sail when racing, this remains the primary use. It is used functionally as a very large headsail in light air but it measures as a spinnaker. It is a sail that requires more than the usual contemplation, planning and discussions with professionals than many, perhaps most, other sails. Code Zeros are very specialized sails and for sailors thinking about opting for one, there are several questions you need to ask yourself first… Contact us to learn more.