I'd point out that if you have an autopilot, you can leave the helm, since most autopilots will auto-tack if you enter the right command. This means you can deal with the mainsheet and jib without worrying about the helm. The helm will "tack" the boat 100˚ or so... so if you're sailing with the apparent wind at 130˚, it will bring you to where the wind is 130˚*on the opposite tack.
Right--that's why I was talking about single or short handled gybes. That is, what's the best procedure when you can only do one thing at a time. So, doing all that single handed (and ignoring the jib for a moment), we're talking about bearing off, sheeting in the main, gybing, then running up and easing the main, running back to the wheel to arrest the turn, etc.
Chicken gybes are sounding better and better, at least when there's too much wind to just throw the boom over by hand.
I do have an autopilot, but I don't think I can trust it to steer to a new course and hold it under gybing conditions. (It does a pretty good job of autotacking, but it seems to get confused by the boat response during a gybe)
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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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