Basic diffeences between a cruising chute and a Geenaker ?
As the terms are usually used a genacker is usually a close reaching sail intended to be used between 60 to 90 degrees apparent. The term ''genacker'' referred to the precursers to a "code zero". These sails gained popularity in the Whitbread/Volvo 60''s. These boats use fractional non-overlapping jibs with masthead spinackers. The Code Zero (or Genacker) is a spinacker that is cut as a genoa which makes for improved light air close reaching for a fractionally rigged boat. They are heavily penalized under most handicapping measurment rules because the spinacker halyard is exiting the mast above the jib halyard. Adding a pole that would extend in front of the forestay to fly it from also adds considerably to your rating. Between the two rating penalties it would be hard to make a genacker make sense as a racing sail since it makes more sense to use an overlapping genoa and not take the penalty.
A cruising spinacker is really a pretty inefficient assymetrical spinacker intended to be used for broad reaching 90 degrees to 135 degrees true. While cruising chutes can be used wing and wing for cruising they are not terribly effective in that mode. They are most effective on heavier displacement cruiser in moderate breezes. Generally it is assumed that a cruising spinacker will not be used in either lighter or heavier conditions as they are too small and shape is wrong and fabric too heavy for light air conditions, and they are not as efficient for reaching as a genoa on a heavier boat in heavier conditions.
I don''t find either easier to set, fly, or strike than a conventional spinacker on masthead rigged boats less than 38 or so feet or fractional rigged boats under about 42 feet, where you can still end for end jibe.