When you imagine a sailboat, you imagine a sloop-rigged sailboat, with only one mast and two sails. This is the most used sailboat rigging, used all over the world to rig sailboats.
There are some advantages to this type of rigging. Firstly, it is more simple and cheaper than a ketch rigging or a cutter rigging, Secondly, one mast is better than two to maintain and repair, so the costs of maintenance are lower.
There are many types of sloop rigging, the first one changes the mainsail shape: with a sail higher but shorter (high aspect ratio) the boat will be faster windward, with a less high and longer mainsail (low aspect ratio) the boat will be faster downwind.
In this sloop rigging the genoa is attached to the top of the mast and is the most common type.
Usually, the foresail of this rigging is called a jib, but we have to remember that a jib covers maximum the distance between the mast and the base attachment, and a genoa covers between the 105% and the 130% of this distance.
Usually on the new sailboats the genoa has a roll up system.
Also known as Solent Rig this rigging mustn’t be confused with the cutter rig: on a cutter sailboat, you can use the sailboat’s sails at the same time, but with the double-head masthead rig isn’t possible. The sails that are usually mounted on those boats are a 130% genoa and a jib (on the new boats self-tacking). Before tacking the bow sail (the larger) must be rolled up. A lot of boats (generally the big ones can be transformed into a double-head masthead rig with a quite simple operation.
In this rig, the jib or the genoa isn’t attached on the top of the mast, but a meter/half meter down. The jib or the genoa is smaller so it is compensated by a large mainsail which provides more speed downwind and can be flattened by tensioning the backstay easier than on a masthead sloop rigging