Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Skilled helmsman steering downwind in 30-40 knots...
...When the main starts to blanket the jib, the clew and working sheet start to relax/drop. That is a signal to head up slightly and avoid the gybe. Even with a preventer a gybe can get you into a lot of difficulty.
I agree that the jib is a very nice "alarm" for an impending gybe. When the river is wide enough that I don't have to do DDW, I always take the wind over the s stern quarter and keep both sails on the same side of the boat, for this very reason.
But what several of us are trying to say is that taking the main down and securing the boom completely eliminates the risk of a gybe. Sailing with a partial genoa is far more relaxing and forgiving. So why not? Those of us who have never been out in such severe conditions wonder if there are issues with control of the boat, or danger to the rigging (severe pumping, perhaps?), under genoa alone.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)