code zero headsail

A code zero is a versatile headsail designed for reaching angles between a genoa and an asymmetric spinnaker. It combines the upwind performance of a genoa with the downwind power of a spinnaker, making it an excellent sail for light to moderate wind conditions.

Key Features of a Code Zero

  • Mid-girth measurement of around 75% of the foot length, classifying it as a spinnaker under racing rules
  • Straight or slightly curved luff tensioned by a torsion cable or anti-torsion rope
  • Flatter shape compared to a spinnaker, with a straighter leech exit
  • Optimal wind angle range of around 45-140 degrees apparent wind angle
  • Effective wind speed range of approximately 3-18 knots true wind speed

Advantages of a Code Zero

  • Provides extra power and speed when sailing at reaching angles where genoas become underpowered
  • Easier to handle and tack than a spinnaker, especially on cruising boats
  • Can be furled and deployed using a top-down furler or sock system
  • Versatile sail for both cruising and racing applications
The design and dimensions of a code zero can vary depending on the boat's rig configuration (overlapping or non-overlapping headsails) and intended use (cruising or racing). Cruising code zeros are often designed with a narrower mid-girth for easier handling, while racing code zeros are optimized for maximum performance within rating rules.
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