A self-tending jib is a jib that will tack itself, and has a single sheet, rather than double sheets, which are traditionally used on jibs.
One common design is to have the jib sheet running to a block on a traveler mounted on the foredeck, just forward of the mast. This design is often seen on boats, like the Sonar, but not as common on larger boats, as it prevents the use of a genoa. However, because the jib is sheeted to a traveller, it can be sheeted in tighter than a traditional setup, and may allow you to point a bit higher than a traditional rig.
Another common setup is to have the jib on a small boom, and have the boom rigged with boom-end sheeting, similar to the mainsail setup on a sailing dinghy.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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