APC Flying Instructions

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Setting up your APC

Setting up an APC is basic. There are three attachment points for the APC and only two get adjusted while sailing. The only hardware that you might require are spinnaker sheets and three blocks.


Lead the tackline through a block attached to the stem-head and back to the bow cleat. Many APC owners are attaching the tackline to the bow anchor roller if they have one. This is very effective because the bow roller is a few inches outside of the pulpit and keeps the sail free from the pulpit. Before attaching the tack to the anchor roller, make sure that the roller is reinforced enough to take the load of the tackline.


Attach the spinnaker sheets to the clew of the APC and lead them through a block on the port and starboard quarter and back to your cockpit winches. You can rig only one sheet if you are sure that you will not be jibing. If you are using two sheets, lead the lazy (windward) sheet around the headstay and back to the cockpit so that the APC will jibe outside of the head stay not through the fore triangle. (Please see the section on Jibing your APC.)


Attach the spinnaker halyard to the head of the APC or the top of the sock, whichever is applicable. Hoist the halyard to the top. You do not need to adjust halyard tension while sailing.


After you have attached the tackline to the bow, run a sheet to the stern and attached the halyard, turn your boat down wind so that the sail will be in the shadow of the mainsail and hoist. When the sail is fully hoisted, trim the sail and head up to course.

Sailing with your APC

The sheet is the major control for your APC. You want to trim the sheet much like a symmetrical spinnaker. As the luff on the APC folds in, trim the sheet. If the luff of the APC never begins to fold in, then you probably need to ease the sheet. As you sail with your APC you will learn how much trimming is necessary.

Besides the sheet, you may want to adjust the tackline to optimize sail shape. When tight reaching, the APC will be more efficient with the tackline tight. When broad reaching, the tackline should be eased to allow the luff of the APC to project out in front of the boat.

Close Reaching

In less than 5 knots of breeze, the APC provides a sail which fills in very light air with an apparent wind as close as 45 degrees. On reaches, the tack is pulled to the bow with the supplied tack pennant. This makes the sail look and perform more like a genoa. In heavier air, the APC is set the same and powers up the boat.


Reaching from 85 to 45 degrees, the tack pennant can be eased to make the APC fuller and more powerful. In this configuration the APC performs more like a spinnaker.


Running, the tack pennant is eased even farther, and the sheet is eased more. This allows the APC to lift and perform like a powerful spinnaker. For dead down wind conditions, the APC can be flown wing on wing without a pole.

Easy to take down

To take the APC down, sail down wind so the APC is in the backwind of the mainsail. Gather the APC from the tack and bring it to the deck. If it is light, you can pack if right into the bag; if it is heavy, just get it on the deck and pack it later.

Using your ATN Spinnaker Sock

The ATN Spinnaker Sock is designed to be easy and efficient to use. The control line is channeled through its own sock compartment to prevent twists. Setting the APC with a sock makes sail handling much easier, especially on boat 25 feet and over. Generally, the sock is installed over the APC at the sail loft, although you can install is yourself.

Pull the sock to the top and either attach or remove the head from the head pennant inside the sock. Before hoisting the sock, the tack and clew must be pulled out of the sock to below the scoop. Then pull the sock back down. To pull the sock up or down just pull on the continuous line that attaches to the scoop at the bottom and goes into the slot in the sleeve.

When sailing the sock should be easy to pull up and down. If you have trouble dousing the spinnaker with the sock, try heading the boat down wind. As you head down wind, the APC will begin to be less effective and easier to douse.

Learn more about the ATN Spinnaker Sock.

Jibing your APC

There are two ways to jibe your APC.

With a Sock

Before you jibe, douse the APC. With the sail safely in the sock, take the sock and walk it around the forestay. You can bring the sail around the forestay before or after the actual jibe. If you are only using one spinnaker sheet, you will have to re-lead the sheet for the new jibe. Once you are set up on your new jibe, check to ensure that the sail is properly set up and pull up the sock. This method takes more time than jibing without a sock, but it is the safest. There is very little chance that you will rip your APC when using this method.

Without a Sock

This method can be used if you have a sock and want to jibe quickly. This jibing method requires that both sheets be rigged to the asymmetrical. Rig the lazy sheet in front of the forestay and in front of the luff of the APC. It takes practice to perfect this method so you should be sure to try it slowly for the first few jibes. As you head down wind, ease the sheet of the APC all the way out. The sail will flow out in front of the boat. When the boat is directly down wind (it might help to have the main at centerline) begin to take in the new sheet.

The clew of the APC should pass in front of the luff of the APC. As you bring in the sheet steer through the jibe and begin sailing on your new jibe.

Note: Be sure that you do not have any sharp objects attaching the sheets to the sail. These could rip the sail during a jibe.


Caring for your APC is easy but very important. Although Doyle uses the finest nylon available, if stored wet, the colors can sometimes run. In the unlikely event that your APC gets wet, be sure to dry the sail before storing it for long periods. Drying will also prevent mildew. You should have your APC cleaned by a Doyle service loft every one to three years, depending on usage.


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