How Do I Use Jib Fairleads? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-12-2006
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How Do I Use Jib Fairleads?

Hey Guys,

I've basically been intuiting the adjustments of fairleads...

Can you tell me how and when to properly adjust the jib Fairleads for best sail shape?

My guess is you move them closer to the bow on a run and reaching, and towards the stern when you are closehauled.

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Old 11-12-2006
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With your jib fully unfurled, the line from the fairlead to the clew if extended in an imaginary line should form a right angle with the luff of the sail.
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Old 11-12-2006
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Moving the fairlead aft from that position will flatten the belly of the sail and depower it when the wind speed increases. Conversely, moving the leads forward from that position adds belly to the sail when wind speed drops.

All that being said, start w/ Camarads' example and you can experiment later.
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As background to Camaradie's statement, the objective of setting the lead is to see that the luff of the jib has a consistent angle to the wind, top to bottom. This esnures the entire sail is working effectively. Basically for a small jib you move the lead forward, for a larger jib, aft.

You test for proper lead setting by slowly luffing towards the wind. If the leeward upper telltails (you need a set of tell tails at the top , middle and bottom of the luff...) lift or break first, you need to move the lead forward. If the lower break first, move the lead aft. You have the correct lead location when all the luff telltails break simultantously. See for a more thorough explanation.

Also note that when you are not closehauled, maintaining an even luff can reguire moving the lead out to the rail and forward, usually accomplished by a using a short sheet and a block on the toerail. Same rule as above for determining the jib lead location.
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