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post #1 of 5 Old 10-01-2002 Thread Starter
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terminology question

When tacking, the helmsman says "hard alee" which I''m told is a corruption of "helm''s a lee," i.e. "the tiller is being put to the leeward side." When jibing, the words are "jibe ho" which I''ve always just thought of as a general exclamation attached to the action about to take place. Am I correct, or is there a more specific reason we say "jibe ho" as opposed to "jibe yeah" or "jibe woof" or whatever? (And yes, I already know that a jibe ho is just a looser winch wench.)
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-02-2002
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terminology question

You need to go back to earlier times when these terms came into use. These orders were given to large crews of men who were not standing next to the helmsmen. The terms had to be distinctive, discriptive, and audible.

The commands on a tack were quite discriptive. Historically, ''Stand by to tack'' had everyone move into place standing by thier tacking station. This became the more common ''prepare to tack''. ''Hard a lee'' or ''Helm Down'' was the captain''s order to the helmsman. That order meant to turn the helm hard in the leeward direction. That one is easy.

''Prepare to jibe'' also began as ''stand by to jibe''. ''Jibe Ho'' is less obvious except that jibes happened much more quickly than tacks and a quick loud sound ''Ho'' was probably more in character with the rapid need for action during a jibe.

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post #3 of 5 Old 10-29-2002
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terminology question

Ahoy, petith. The reason sailing language is so strange and colorful is because it developed in the olden days when ships carried men of many nationalities, many of whom could not understand each others language. If I am not mistaken, the actual instruction was Jibe ''O not Ho. The O was kind of like hut in football. It notified everyone when to act on the order and got them off together. When tacking today, most people simply say, "Ready about", which is short for get ready to come about. And then, "helm''s alee" which tells them the helm is being put over. For jibing, the usual is ''prepare to jibe" or "stand by to jibe" followed by "jibe O".
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-30-2002
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terminology question

Gee dhartdallas, we keep running into each other! I just wanted to second you on that. I call "Readyabout, Helmsalee"!! And "Standbytojibe, JibeO"!! I don''t know where this "hard" stuff comes from. I like to sail her through the tack, rounding her easy to keep way on. Putting the helm "hard" over is like slamming on the brakes! I remember this one time, in a Mayor''s Cup race. We were the lead boat and were about to round the weather mark. It was NASTY with about 30+ kts of wind and a heck of a sea running. I gave us a bit of overshoot up the course and set up for the last tack. I called "Readyabout, Helmsalee"! and put the helm down but I guess my daughter didn''t hear me... Good thing she was wearing her life jacket!
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-30-2002
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terminology question

Ahoy, pirate. Funny! So much for your lead, huh? Well, at least you got some M.O.B. practice. Ha!
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