Originally Posted by jarcher
On my 30 foot sloop I recently replaced the mast. I went from four halyards (main, port jib, starboard jib, spinnaker) to just three (main, port ib and starboard jib).
The two forward halyards each can hoist a head sail or spinnaker. They are used interchangeably for head sail hoisting and the spinnaker.
Oh, they all go to the top.
Spinnakers are meant to fly outside the fore triangle, so the halyard should fly from a point above the forestay, whereas a genoa halyard exits below the forestay. Also, spinnaker halyards fly from a floating block to allow for the multi directional loads they see. A genoa halyard runs on a fixed sheave that only works on the fore-aft axis, and side loads can result in excessive friction, chaffing and even halyard jams. You may get away with it in light winds, but it could be problematic when the wind pipes up and you really want to get the chute down! You can use a spin halyard for a genoa, but you should NOT use a geny halyard for a chute.