Names Of Sails: What Are The Most Common Types Of Sails?

In this article, you are going to see more about the world of sailing.

There are different types of sails used in  specific boats.

Check out some of the names of sails listed below to find out the most common sails names

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Common types of sails.


This is the largest piece of the mast in a sailing vessel.

However, on a square vessel, it is the lowest on the main-mast.

The mast is responsible for the navigation of the boats from one end to the next.

Perhaps, it is safe to say that the speed of the bat will be determined by this piece of sail.


This type of sail is always triangular although, some of them always have four corners.

The triangular staysails that are used at the foremost position on the boat are called jibs.

In boats, these rigs help in tacking which will further help in preventing the lumbering up of the windward side.


Genoa is the largest jib that overlaps the mainsail.

It extends past the mast when you have a different view from the side.

The jib was originally given the name overlapping jib, which further changed to what you know it for today.

However, it is only fair to know in what types of boats the jib is well fitted to work.

You can find them in boats such as yawls and ketches.


Spinnaker is a different type of sail due to the functions it performs on the movement of the boat.

It is designed for sailing off the wind from reaching the downwind.

As the boat is in motion, the spinnaker is filled up with wind creating a balloon like shape.

It has a construction that is purely made out of lightweight fabric like the nylon.


The Genmaker has recently been developed in the 90’s which a design showing that it is majorly, a crossover between Genoa and the spinmaker. Genmaker is rigged as the spinmaker but it’s tack is fastened to the hull.

The best thing about it is that it can obtain the optimum generation of lift within a short period of time.

6.Drifter/reacher sail

The drifter is a full draft lightweight made of nylon.

Drifters are designed with the ultimate purpose of cruising the sailors.

A drifter can make the work of a spinner much easier when cruising a spinmaker.

The best thing about drifters is that they come in different choices of colours and so you have the choice to mix and match.

Names of Sails

The most common types of sails are as follows…

  1. Mainsail
  2. Staysail
  3. Genoa
  4. Spinmaker
  5. Genmaker
  6. Drifter / Reacher

These are what you’ll find most commonly on boats.