Setting a spinnaker just got easier thanks to the introduction of a totally new approach – a top-down roller furling mechanism from Pro-Furl. This impressive product helps tame one of the most frustrating, and sometimes dangerous jobs in sailing, setting and retrieving a spinnaker. Traditionally this has meant some monkey-like fore deck work and some awkward retrieving sail hardware from a little-used storage bag, then reversing the process and trying to stuff a large and sometimes wet sail into a bag that seems too small, and doing all this with poor footing on a heaving deck with no hand-holds for steadying. It’s terrific fun and photogenic to fly a spinnaker, yes but getting one up and then down again takes a lot of effort.

The Spinex Top-Down system makes this whole process a lot easier. Using an improved design with easier moving components and better-designed torque cables and patented Sail Bearings, the spinnaker is easily rolled out and subsequently re-furled. Available in four different sizes for boats between 27 and 60 feet in length, the entire system can be DIY installed. Retail prices range from about $2000 to about $5200.