Built his own spanker sail!


Here is Se Khong in Indonesia. He contacted me about the spanker sail a couple of months ago, and now he has built his own spanker on his 8-meter boat! What a great effort and challenge!!! Gotta respect that spirit.


I have success to make spanker sail on my own, like totosan advised to me. It works great, and I can stay vertical always even in the most windy. Thanks a lot mr totosan. You are my teacher of slow pitch jigging. And this is my catch.


I used pslj 603-4, spunky jig 250gr, PE2 berkley super fireline coloured, leader seaguar fxr 12, reel shimano oj 2001nrhg. I was fishing in 80 meter deep, with drifting with my spanker sail, current condition slow. I had the contact at 10 meter from the bottom.


Here’s the information I gave him. From Yamaha boat spanker sail.
Yamaha Spanker Sail




Good to be of your help Se Khong.
Hope your effort will be paid off more and more in the future.


  1. Khairul Hazadin Amri
    Khairul Hazadin Amri08-28-2016

    wow………..what an effort…………

    • Totos

      I know. Amazing. But just think if you are the only boat with the spanker sail… You will be devastating. For sure.

      And 10 years later every boats will have spankers. That was what has happened here in Japan.

      • Igor

        Hi, Totos san!
        Whats your opinion?
        Is it easy, hard or unpossebly to be captain & fisherman in one face on 26 feet closed bridge boat under spanker sail?!
        Thanks for your answer..

        • Totos

          Hi Igor.
          There’s a remote control for the engine. Have you seen it?

  2. Amro

    how spanker works?

    • Totos

      Spanker catches winds and keeps the bow upwind. Without spanker, the wind always pushes the boat and turns it to one side, keep the side toward the wind.
      While spanker sail keeps the bow toward the wind, you can give a little and occasional forward drive to control your drift. You want to stay static with the current. You don’t want to be static in GPS (bottom anchored). You don’t want to be pushed by the wind (free-drifting). You want to stay with the current so that your line goes down vertically, and you are in vertical alignment with your jig.

  3. Ray

    What do you think about trolling motors for controlled drifting or spot lock?

    • Totos

      Hi Ray.
      Yes, idea is the same. The wind pushes the boat, and you want to cancel the wind influence and just stay with the current.
      If your boat is small enough to maneuver with trolling motor, theoretically it’s possible. It should be difficult, though. Or you will be really busy controlling with the motor.

      The wind always tries to turn the bow to a side and push the body sideways. Trolling motor at the bow can work against that to keep the bow toward the wind and push forward as much as the wind pushes, even though you’ll be really busy with it. Spot lock doesn’t serve the purpose. Your jig is moving with the current, and you want to move with the current too. That has to be done manually, right? I don’t know much about trolling motors but there’s no automatic control to move with the current, I assume.
      And I don’t know how long continuously they can run, but you should worry not to burn the electric motor.

  4. Ray

    Thanks for that explanation. I think I understand what you are saying about moving with the current. There is no option to do this 100% but with trolling motors we are able to map a waypoint on GPS and set a speed to drift – which I think will achieve the effect… I will try next time and let you know.

    The troll motor last around 7 hours pushing my boat.

    • Totos

      I don’t know how your troll motor works, but if you feel the jig movements when you make actions, you’ll know you are pretty vertical. If you feel like you are pulling up a rubber band, the line slack in the water is absorbing all your actions. You need to change your jig to heavier, or your line to lighter, or how you maneuver your boat.
      The ocean will give you an answer.
      Good luck!

  5. Boeds

    Dear Totos,
    I understand that the boat need to catch the wind properly by using spanker so that the bow always upwind.
    But how if the current move different direction relatively to the boat drift ? Will it still on vertical alignment ? And if it wont, what should we do ?

    • Totos

      Hi Boeds.
      If you cancel the wind influence, the boat will drift mostly to the direction of the current, no matter which way the current is moving to. The boat will not drift to a different direction of the current. I don’t think you are talking about a complex condition like multi-layered currents.
      Even if the boat is pointing upwind, the wind still pushes the boat. You need to give a little throttle from time to time. It takes skills and experience of the captain.

  6. Rania

    Hi Totos,
    I want to make aspanker sail for my Boston whaler 16 sl boat, it’s (6 feet ) around 5 meter.

    But I don’t know if I should apply the dimensions you mentioned for Se Khong’ spanker or I have to adjust it to fit with my boat

    And if it needs to adjust would you tell me about the appropriate dimensions to my boat

    thank you

    • Totos

      Hi Rania.
      Great to hear you are taking the challenge to transform your boat to a vertical fishing boat.
      The dimensions I posted on this article is the smallest one Yamaha sells. It’s for 20 to 26 footer. Of course you can adjust to your boat.
      But the reality is that some boats are easy to point to the wind and some don’t, depending on the keel shape, how deep-draft the boat is and how the body is balanced and influenced by the wind. You never know what works for your boat, and you will probably have to keep adding and adjusting until you get it right in different conditions.

      Spanker sail is one great factor but it’s not the only thing you can do.

      Along with the spanker, you may have to install fin keel.
      Fin keel is the supplemental keel at the bow.

      Or, maybe some boats stay vertical more easily with the front keel.


      You put this front keel in when you are fishing, and lift it up when you move. Don’t forget to lift it out of the water when you move, or you will break it in no time. This guy built an electric wrench, but certainly you can do it manually.

      There’s autopilot system.
      But unless you can maintain it by yourself, it will be very costy.

      I don’t know what works best for your boat. I’m just sharing what I know people do.
      Good luck.

  7. Daniel


    is there any vídeo that shows the use/funcionality of an spanker sail? I couldnt find any one …

Leave a Reply