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  #1  
Old 08-09-2007
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Smile taming the Jib when solo

My son tore up our rather flimsy 153 headsail this past weekend. I wasn't there but I know from other times he most likely lost control of the jibsheets. But this time the sail was wrapped on the spreaders and shrouds, the sheets according to him were so badly tangled he had to cut them in many small pieces! Gad I wa$ Mad! amen to a the light air headsail!
Sooooooo.. not so much for my son, but more for me I'd like to hear how others handle the jib/s when solo.

My thoughts are to use the Spinnaker blocks that are way back and behind the winches. Or add a block on the tracks and put them just behind the winches? There are slides on the track that I can very easily add blocks to. Then the Jib sheets will be more contained when let fly...right? Up to now I've always left the sheet with turn or two on the winch so the jib backwinds slower and I have time to haul in the other sheet. This only works in light air.

If we put the working jib on the boat still sails very well when the winds kick up a bit the boat sails very well. But I still have a hard time with the jib sheets on my own. For everyone's information. most of our sailing in on the Tidal Delaware River so we don't have allot time for tacks and gybes. Out on the Chesapeake there was plenty of room for sloppy headsail handling

all input apreciated!

Denise

ps: changed the raw water impeller today just to see if could. it took about 10 mins
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Old 08-09-2007
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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
My thoughts are to use the Spinnaker blocks that are way back and behind the winches.
That's the way the PO of our boat rigged the foresail sheets. Don't know why he did it that way, but I had more than one person tell me he was a heckuva sailor and he won races regularly with that boat, so who'm I to argue with success?

We have little experience, so far, but I suspect it'd make single-handing her a bit easier.

Jim
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Old 08-09-2007
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Denise, it sounds like your son simply lost control over the headsail and the boat then took the opportunity to make life miserable.

I can't imagine that kind of mess with a genoa, although I've had fun with spinaker wraps (not solo, either!). There's just no way that sheets should get that badly fouled unless he simply lost all control over them.

In a sense, you don't want to tack the headsail, but rather to rotate the boat under it, paying one side out while taking the other side in. Simply throwing off the off side is fine--IF you are making a smooth and complete tack. If you get in irons or back the genoa, someone has to manage the sheets before there's a mess--and it sounds like he ran out of hands.

I'd sooner drop the genoa, or just cut the sheets at the clew, than slash up good lines. I'll cut a line instantly if I have to--but I'd rather spend an hour fighting a knot than cutting a perfectly good line.

Sounds more like he needs some more time solo (or, practicing solo while someone else is aboard but doesn't touch anything) and just some more time on the learning curve.

Sometimes no matter what you've planned for, or how practiced you are, "**** happens". But the only way to make it happen less often, if to get in more practice, analyze the failures, and try to make every one a learning experience which will NOT be repeated. (Don't ask me how I know that.)

"There are slides on the track that I can very easily add blocks to. " Normally a 150 would be sheeted through blocks on the genoa tracks, and the blocks MUST be adjusted fore-and-aft in order to trim the sail properly for the wind strength. Taking a genoa back to the aft end and the spinnaker winches is just the wrong way to do it, kinda like driving a car in second gear all the time because there's less shifting to do that way.
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Old 08-09-2007
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The way I have them rigged on my boat is the jib sheets go through a block on the genoa tracks, and then to a block on the cockpit rail, and then forward to the winches. However, this is necesssary due to the cockpit layout of the boat. The sheets are fairly manageable single-handing.

How is the cockpit laid out on your O'Day 30? It is an O'day 30, right? Also, did he have stopper knots in the jib sheets. I don't see how it could get that out of control unless the sheets ran out through the fairlead blocks.
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Old 08-09-2007
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Best way not to tangle the genoa sheets is to use lightweight slippery sheets ... even with the core removed from the fairlead blocks to the clew. Run the sheets directly from the winch to the fairleads to the clew ... less to get tangled and less 'hardware contact' to give friction.

Of course using a smaller genoa when solo-ing (120-135%) will be of benefit .... higher pointing angle, less 'hassle', etc. etc. etc. Large headsails (above 135%) are just NOT that overall-efficient anyway ... just look at whats flying on most of the racing boats nowadays.
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Old 08-10-2007
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I've always found that keeping the lazy sheet reasonably tight when tacking stops the sheets getting wrapped around each other and makes the whole thing manageable. One should then take the boat through head-to-wind before releasing the (now) windward sheet and only once the sail has backed is the sheet released and the sail taken in on the other side. If you're real quick, you can achieve most of the sail set before the sail fills and needs a winch.

Using spinny blocks way back on the boat prevents proper setting of the headsail because there can be no tension placed on the leech, all the tension comes onto the foot and the leech is then allowed to open and so on. Using a jib car on the deck even way back on the track allows one to place the car at a point where the foot and the leech can be controlled for better sail set.

I assume the sail we're discussing is a light-air sail with a 150+ overlap? Such a sail shouldn't be used in winds over 8 to 10 knots and at this level should remain manageable. Any wind speeds over this will stretch the heck out of the sail over time anyway.

Hope I'm not confused about the question.

Andre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Using spinny blocks way back on the boat prevents proper setting of the headsail because there can be no tension placed on the leech, all the tension comes onto the foot and the leech is then allowed to open and so on. Using a jib car on the deck even way back on the track allows one to place the car at a point where the foot and the leech can be controlled for better sail set.
Andre


Using the spinnaker blocks in addition to the regular fairleads would still allow the sail to be shaped properly, while giving a bit more control over the jib sheets, since the jib car can still be positioned to shape the sail.
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Old 08-10-2007
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This seems to be a case in point for the advantages of a fractional rig, since it employs a smaller headsail. Though my boat is a masthead rig, I only have a 110% headsail. Though not the optimum sail, it is, quite manageable for a singlehander.

What I do, when tacking is to have both sheets, with one turn around the winch, in my hands, spin the wheel hard about, then take care of the headsail before bringing the boat to course. Works well for me, but then, I'm not racing, or worried about losing a smidgen of way versus, controlling the jib.

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Using the spinnaker blocks in addition to the regular fairleads would still allow the sail to be shaped properly, while giving a bit more control over the jib sheets, since the jib car can still be positioned to shape the sail.
In case I wasn't clear, and perhaps I wasn't, this is the way the PO rigged the jib sheets on our boat, and the way I do it.

Jim
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I would guess this was a masthead rig with a large genny. Tacking this big sail requires a smooth quick turn through the eye of the wind, nothing to snag the sheets of course and taking up the working sheet quickly so the sail does not flog as the bow passes through the eye of the wind. If you don't take up the slack in the lazy sheet pronto a mess can ensue.

I suspect they were short handed, the wind was brisk and the crew did not know how to tack the boat quickly enough. Even bearing off on the new tack would be better than lolly gogging in the eye of the wind.

Try to keep the lazy sheet as short, tight and fair as possible and don't release the working sheet until the bow is thru the eye of the wind... and take up the lazy sheet as quickly as possible.

I single hand a fractional rig and haven't had this problem, but with a large overlapping genny this could become a mess as the sheets are even longer.

good luck

jef
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