CA Districts 1,2,4
Lake Erie Districts
Dixie Districts
New England Districts
Southeast Districts
Spring Championship
Southern Circuit
Winter Champs
Winter Champs - Masters
SCYA Midwinters
St Pete NOOD


North Americans
Masters Worlds
NAs - Juniors
NAs - Women
NAs - Masters
PanAm Games
Atlantic Coasts
Canadian Open
Great Lakes Champs
Bluenose Regatta 1,3,5
Wild Oyster
CT Governor's Cup
Frigid Digit
Bruin Regatta 1,2,3,4,5
Augusta Invitational
Brotz Regatta
CAD Districts
CT/RI Districts
Central NY Districts
Lake Erie Districts
Michigan Districts 1,2,3
Ohio Districs
Indiana Districts
Dixie Districts
Nyack Magnus Pederson
Lighthouse Regatta
Fleet 301 Spring Regatta
Bayview Detroit OD
Canadian PanAm Trials
Southern Districts
SE Districts
Potomak Spring
Nigerian Nationals
Pymatuning Spring
Cedar Point OD
No Gas Regatta
Moonshine Regatta
Long John Regatta
Winter Champs
SCYA Midwinters
St. Pete NOOD
Brazilian Nationals 1,2,3


North Americans
South Americans
Colombian Nationals
Chilean Nationals
Atlantic Coasts
Wild Oyster
California Districts
Bayview One Design
Deep South
Winter Champs
Winter Masters


Worlds 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
North Americans 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Atlantic Coasts 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Wild Oyster 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Winter Champs 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10
Canadian Open 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10
Deep South 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10


North Americans 1
Junior Worlds 1
So. Circuit Overall 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
So. Circuit St. Pete
So. Circuit Miami
So. Circuit Savannah
Atlantic Coasts
Pymatuning Independence Day 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Lake Erie Districts 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Ohio Districts
CAD Districts
Dixie Districts
CT/RI Metropolitan Districts
Spring Classic
Juby Wynne
CPYC Early Bird


Pan Am Gold,Silver,Bronze
North Americans  1,2,3,4,6,7
Central Atlantics  1,2,3,4,5,6
Great Lakes  1,2,3,4
Wild Oyster  1,2,3,4,5
Bluenose  1
Copa Salinas  1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Juby Wynne 1,2,3,6,8,10
Cedar Point 1,2,3
Long John 1,2,3,4,5
So. Circuit Overall 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10
So. St.Pete 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10
So. Circuit Miami 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
So. Circuit Savannah 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

"It was great to get to spend more time with you before and during the NAs this year. It was a lot of fun off the water and boy, oh boy, was it great to use fast North Sails M-5 and 5A+ and a runner. You guys make the best sails for the widest range of conditions. They are just great products! ".
Matt Burridge, North American Champion

"We just finished up the Lightning NAs at the Buffalo Canoe Club. I was again impressed with North One Design's service and professionalism. Their representation in the Lightning's is first class! I've traveled in plenty of sailing circles and watched sailmakers in action. I think your success in the Lightning class is due to your team's dedication and understanding of the class and it's members!". Jody Swanson, North American Champion

"Very light wind, not my kind of weather, but it worked out. You know, since I received this set of sails from you I have only used them twice and won both regatta’s. Higgins Lake last year which was blowing like stink and Tawas this year where the wind never hit 6 kts."
Matt Princing

" I got my new sails and they look great. What I really wanted to compliment you on was the new Tuning Guide, it's great. With the pictures and everything I think that even I could tune a boat. See you on the water."
Frank Hanson

2015 World Champions. Photo by


We offer two mainsail designs at North Sails One Design for the Lightning. Both designs are proven winners with many regional, National and World titles between them. All you have to do is choose the design that best suits your sailing style. Then bend them on and go sailing!! If you aren’t certain what the right fit is for you then call or email any of our Lightning experts so we can help you find the right “fit” for you and your team.

M-5 Mainsail

2015 World Champion!

The M-5 Mainsail was designed as an all-around performer and has proven to be just that over the years. It has been updated to feature a custom “North-blue” headboard and custom shaped clew and head patches to achieve an optimal smooth shape.

The M-5 is built out 3.8 oz. yarn temper cloth. It is the ideal mainsail and tuning system for the sailor who enjoys “tweaking” his sails to fit his or her individual sailing style.

Mainsail standard features:

  • Vision window
  • Epoxy battens
  • Spreader window
  • Long roll sail bag
  • Class insignia
  • Sail numbers

"The sail is great! We won the regatta (1,2,2). We had speed and point off of the starting line in all breeze and also had the ability to keep the boat going when the breeze got really light with minimal adjustments to the sheet and cloth/wire. I am very pleased with the jib and will be ordering a main!"
Scott Anderson, Texas District Champion

MF-2 Fisher Mainsail

The MF-2 Mainsail was designed  to be a forgiving yet true all-around performer that would offer consistent speed in all conditions for all talent levels. The MF-2 Mainsail  is constructed with a "fanned" panel layout to help increase durability and shape control in a breeze.  We include custom shaped clew and head patches to help achieve an optimal smooth shape, and again, increased durability.

The philosophy behind the design of the MF-2 is that a pre set block and shroud set up will simplify the boat tuning and gear changing all-around the race course. With the Fisher style of tuning, the blocks and lower shrouds are never adjusted so the focus can remain of sails trim, steering and tactics.  

The MF-2 is built out from imported 3.8 oz. coated low stretch fabric.

Mainsail standard features:

  • Vision window
  • Epoxy battens
  • Spreader window
  • Long roll sail bag
  • Class insignia
  • Sail numbers

Once you have decided on a tuning preference and main, choose from our 3 options in jibs. It is interesting that many Lightning sailors mix and match the jibs with tremendous results. The best choice depends on your "style".

5-A+ Jib

2015 Worlds Champion!

The 5A+ jib may be the "winningest" jib design in ILCA history. It's designed with plenty of power for lighter conditions but can still be flattened quickly for lighter teams and heavier air.

The 5A+ can be trimmed up to 5" inside the tip of the spreader for short periods of time but prefers to be trimmed 2-3” inside the spreader tip when you are “in the groove”.

The 5A+ jib is most successful with the M5 tuning system.

R75 All-Purpose Radial Jib

2013 Masters Worlds Champion!

After many months of development and testing, North is proud to announce the new R75 RADIAL Jib in time for the 2013 North Americans!

JF-2 Jib

The JF-2 features our most powerful design with a relatively full entry.

The JF-2 likes to be trimmed about 2” inside the spreader in most conditions for optimal pointing and speed. It has wide-groove that makes it easier to steer and, therefore, more forgiving.

The JF-2 has been successful and victorious with both the M5 and MF2 tuning systems.

R-2 Radial Spinnaker

2015 World Champion!

The R-2 Spinnaker is, without question, the fastest spinnaker in the class. The radial design makes it a durable sail that will hold it’s designed shape on both reaches and runs.

While the R-2 is designed to excel in running and broad reaching it is also outstanding on the occasional tight reach we sometimes come across on the Lightning circuit. This combination makes this sail the number one choice for nearly every Lightning sailors downwind inventory.

Made out of AirX 600 cloth.

>> What's the differences between the R-2 and the Bruin Spinnakers?


NEW! DSD SuperMax Spinnaker

The DSD SuperMax is a radial design made out of AirX spinnaker cloth which is ideal for radial spinnakers - Durable and easy to trim and care for. It is a true downwind performer and works great in all wind ranges. The vertical profile makes the sail very smooth and powerful.  The horizontal profile allows the sail to project when running deep, but with it’s open leeches, allows for good VMG/Reaching as well. This sail serves as a great complement to any existing spinnaker you currently enjoy.


>> Contact the Lightning Experts for additional information and questions about our products.

Tuning your Lightning for Speed

>> Download the North Lightning Tuning Guide

Have a Question? Ask the Lightning Experts

Tuning Numbers/Suggestions on the Fisher Lightning system with the Nickels Boat:

1) Mast butt back one hole of maximum.

2) Tension uppers to 250 and the lowers to 80 at the same time.

3) Block all the forward until there is just a 1/2" block in front of the mast..this may get changed later.

4) Check that lowers are close to 250 and the uppers drop down to around 190.

5) Prebend should be close to 1 3/4" at the spreaders.

6) Hoist a tape on the halyard and check the rake at the top of the transom when the tape is fully hoisted. That number should be close to 26' 6" to 26' 7".

7) Grab the backstay and pull on it until the headstay just goes taught (not tight)- that number should be 3-4" less than the rake (ie: if the rake is 26'6" the number with the headstay taught should be 26'2.5" ideally (or close to it)).

8) If this number change is more than 4" pull a little block from behind the mast and put it in front. Retension the lowers to 250 and recheck the number.

9) If the number is less than 3" put a little block behind the mast and block it slightly farther forward...ease lowers off to 250 and recheck number change on rake.

10) Once sailing always just pull the jib halyard so the jib luff wore is slightly tighter than the forestay.

11) Put on your crash helmet 'cause your gonna fly!!!

Good luck!

Tuning the Older Lippincott Lightning for MF-2 Main and JF-2 Jib:

The following suggested tuning numbers are based on the shroud chainplate position on the standard Lippincott Lightnings as they were produced in the 1960's and '70's. The upper chainpiates on these boats were approximately 7'5" to 7'5 1/2" aft of the bow and the lower chainpiates were 12" further aft. On my present Lippincott, #10860, I moved the chainpiates forward to the "standard" position used on newer boats of approximately 71 3/4" aft of the bow. Moving the chainplates forward allowed me to use our present tuning guide for either the Nickels or the Allen boats. However, the boat will certainly perform quite well with the chainplates in the standard older Lippincott position and the numbers that follow will help you get there. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me.

First, the butt of the mast needs to be moved aft at least 3/4" from maximum forward position (should be close to 20 3/4" forward of the centerboard pin).

Second, the upper shrouds should be tensioned to the class maximum of 250 lb. with the lowers set up at close to 70 lb.

Third, the mast should be blocked forward so the front of the mast is nearly 80" from the bow (nearly all the way forward with a rubber protector block in front of the mast). The lower shrouds should then be checked and re-tensioned to nearly 250 lb.

Do not attach the jibstay.

At this point you should have approximately 1 3/4" of positive pre-bend in the mast. Attach a 50' tape measure on the main halyard and hoist it to the top of the mast. Measure to the back deck where it meets the transom. This measurement should be very close to 26'3" to 26'4". Do not pull tight on the tape or backstay to check this rake measurement. You can loosely attach the spinnaker halyard to the bow fitting to monitor backstay tension. If you do not have this rake you will have to reposition the mast butt location.

Remove the spinnaker halyard. Tension the backstay. The rake of 26' 3" to 26' 4" should change about 3 1/2" (i.e. to between 25' 11 1/2 " and 26' 1/2").

Attach the jibstay and adjust the turnbuckle until the jibstay is just taut.

The other area that should be adjusted is the lateral position of the jib leads. The older Lippincotts had the leads approximately 17 1/2" or 18" off of centerline. It has been found that it helps to move the leads inboard to the new class legal minimum position.

The rest of the numbers for the jib lead position, amount of backstay tension, jib cloth, cunningham, etc. are covered in North's current updated tuning suggestions.

Lightning FAQs

What's the differences between the R-2 and the Bruin Spinnakers?

The R-2 spinnaker is more expensive due to the Airx fabric. This is the latest in spinnaker cloth and is plenty light (very close to the class minimum) but also a better, stronger fabric. Couple this with the fancy radial layout and it is a durable sail indeed.

The other advantage of a Radial layout is that because of the more controlled stretch we can build the spinnaker fuller for downwind sailing knowing that when stuck on a reach in breeze, the sail won't grow and become much fuller. The R-2 is a decent reaching spinnaker where the Bruin, while it performs ok on a reach, certainly wasn't designed to be our fastest reacher. The R-2 is the spinnaker that was 1,3,4,5 at the 2005 NAS.

Having said all this I still believe that there is a place for the Bruin spinnaker. It has proven to still be a quick spinnaker, especially downwind. It is a great choice especially where pricing is a consideration. For many years it was the sail "of choice" and it won its share of NAS. However, if all else was equal I would obviously suggest the R-2 for all the reasons above.

How can I know the proper location and installation of Barber Haul hardware, and proper routing of jib sheet plus the principles for adjusting the Barber Haul for various sailing tack and wind conditions?

The "Barberhaulers" were named after the Barber twins who sailed in San Diego in the 50's and 60's. In Mission Bay there was a lot of reaching from mark to mark which was too tight for carrying a spinnaker.
They "invented" a block and line system that, in effect, widened the lead angle of the jib so that, when reaching, the top of the jib would stay trimmed and not just twist open and luff.

Barberhaulers are still standard on today's boats, although they are used very rarely (sailing in Savannah is one place where they are used). Barberhaulers can be very fancy (two-leads through the deck with double cleats and small snatch blocks) or very simple (a line with a snap hook around the jib sheet which is then led to the guy hook and cleated).

Now, to the point. Do you need them? Barberhaulers are not essential to sailing the boat at a top level nor, obviously, required for daysailing or cruising. Some people will use them to help de-power the boat in heavy breezes but moving the jib car back will generally be effective enough. Our advise is as follows: Don't worry about the Barberhaulers right now.

I am trying to setup an old Lightning (Allen) for Fisher sails. In order to get the 1 3/4" prebend I had to move the mast butt back about 2" from full forward. I would guess the back of the mast is about 19" from the centerboard pin. When I go through the setup and block the mast for 1 3/4" at the spreaders the lowers go up to 34 on the loos gauge and the uppers drop to 25. The measurement to the sheer of the deck at the transom is 26' 10" well off from the 26' 5" to 26' 6" in the instructions. When I drop the lowers to 29 the measurement increases an inch or so. I also have about 7" of backstay to get the forestay just tight but that is most likely the forestay adjustment which I am sure is off.

Being a 27 year old Allen I am wondering how this should be setup. I assume the most important measurement is the prebend, but having the rake off by 4 to 5" bothers me. Any suggestions.

We know this stuff, especially when tuning older boats can be frustrating...and like aiming at a moving target.

Is the mast all the way forward at the deck? If not  we would move the mast butt forward 1/4- 3/8" ( actually I would do this for sure.

We would tension the uppers to 250 and the lowers around 80. Block the mast forward until the lowers hit 250 and look at the prebend. If its not enough ( sounds like the issue) we would trying blocking more ( if room at the deck) or tighten the lowers more ( if there isn't room at the deck). Once you get the preebnd right check the back number ( make sure the forestay isn't restricting anything) and with the rig relaxed the rake number hopefully will fall in "the range". If too far forward pull a little block from behind and put it forward and retension the lowers. If too far back do the opposite if there's room at the deck. ( if there's no room forward at the deck maybe go back and move the butt back 1/4" or so).

At this point, assuming we were able to get the rake close and the prebend aok, set the headstay for the 3-4" change when pulling the backstay until the forestay just goes taught...

The uppers will drop down substantially which is normal and correct. The lowers usually are close to 250 BUT sometimes it may be necessary to have them at 300 or so too.

Hope this helps!

Have a Question?
Ask the Lightning Experts

Ligthning Cover Set

North Sails is proud to present our full line of Lightning Boat & Spar covers, all handmade to the highest quality standards. Constructed using rugged 12 oz premium polyester 900D fabric, North One design boat covers will give you piece of mind when storing your Lightning or taking it on the road.


Sturdy hand grabs aid in pulling bottom cover under boat andover trailer. Note mesh ventilation ports located over transom flaps.


Dual purpose deck cover can be used alone with mast in place as shown above as well as when trailering (top).


Installing covers is a snap with quality straps, buckles and fasteners.


Foam lined rudder cover features balanced handle and contoured fit.

Contact the Lightning experts:

Skip Dieball
(419) 392-4411 Work 
Brian Hayes
(203) 783-4238 Work
(203) 877-6942 Fax 
Tim Healy
(401) 683-7997 Work 
Zeke Horowitz
(941) 232-3984 Work 
Ched Proctor
(203) 783-4239 Work
(203) 877-6942 Fax 
Recent News
Lightning Bluenose Regatta

Geoff Becker wins the 50th edition of this historic regatta!

Lightning North Americans

Congratulations Jody Starck. North 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10!

Lightning Augusta Invitational

Congratulations Lenny Krawcheck!

Lightning NAs - Women, Junior & Masters

Congratulations Tanner Probst (Jr), Maghan Dieball(Women's) and Don Barret (Masters)!!

Lightning Worlds

North 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10!

Lightning Gallery
2015 Lightning North Americans
1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10 powered by North!
© Lightning Class Assciation
2015 Lightning Worlds
Congratulations Geoff Becker!
2015 Lightning Masters Clinic
July 16 - Tuning, practices and one the water coaching with the North experts!
2015 Lightning Central NY Districs
Winners Logan McReynolds, Kira Munger, Kirk Reynolds
Lightning Pymatuning Spring Classic
Winners Matt Fisher, Skip Dieball and his 9 year old Mallory.