Raritan Engineering Company your marine parts source professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to become a jibing master.
Your marine parts source experts know that as with tacks, there are three key elements: steering, trim, and weight.
After you’ve perfected your tack, it’s time for the next act, we need to master the jibe for both symmetrical (I know there are still some of you out there) and asymmetrical spinnakers. Fortunately, most of the principles are the same.
As you would expect, the pressure is on the helms person. There’s often a lot of focus on the efforts at the front of the boat, but if a jibe goes bad, the fault usually lies further aft.
When steering, the first issue is timing and preparation. If the team isn’t ready, or the spinnaker isn’t full and flying well with the boat at the appropriate angle, the odds are good that things will go wrong. The same “3, 2, 1, turning the boat” countdown will help with coordination.
A smooth, consistent rate of turn works best, but don’t turn any faster than the spinnaker is rotated (more on this in a moment). The helms person should use the spinnaker as a visual cue. If the bow gets ahead of the spinnaker as it is eased out, it will collapse and blow back through the foretriangle.
As with a tack, finding the right angle to build speed out of a jibe is the trick. In light-to-moderate air, as long as the spinnaker is full, you can head up to an angle a little higher than the angle you went into the jibe.
Another parallel to the tack is the release. The key is not getting the new sheet in; it’s all about the ease. The sail must be full and flying regardless of spinnaker type. For symmetricals, it’s usually easiest to have a single trimmer take both sheets, easing one side while trimming the other as the boat turns.
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Your marine parts source specialists know that for asymmetricals, ease as the boat bears away, letting the clew float away from the boat until it is at the headstay; release completely, following the sheet to make sure it runs.
What about the mainsail?
For symmetrical jibes, wait until the sail unloads as you past dead downwind; grab all the sheet parts (on a smaller boat) and throw the sail across. On a big boat, you’ll need some fast hands pulling in the slack on a winch at the critical unloading moment.
For asymmetrical jibes, treat the mainsail the same way, but with one modification. In light-to-moderate conditions, you can delay the boom crossing the boat – hold it on the wrong side until the spinnaker fills on the new side, then release.
In light air, hold the weight forward and leeward, and move smoothly to the new side to create heel out of the jibe. The only crew who might have to move are the trimmers. Remember, movement kills speed, so keep it light, then freeze. In medium air, roll the boat a bit.
Once again, there are a lot of moving pieces if you want to master the jibe, but there are boat lengths to be gained. Good techniques are a lot more reliable than hooking onto the inside of a perfect 15-degree header, and good techniques can be learned and developed, which is nice.
So don’t forget these helpful pointers on how to become a jibing master. 1) When steering, the first issue is timing and preparation; 2) in regards to the trim, the key is not getting the new sheet in; it’s all about the ease; and 3) in light air, hold the weight forward and leeward, and move smoothly to the new side to create heel out of the jibe.
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