Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 131 Times in 124 Posts
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With all due respect, if one is using the spinnaker halyard one can do an inside gybe or outside gybe depending upon how the sheets are led. If one is using a jib halyard, one can only do an inside gybe as an outside gybe would result in the jib halyard leading over and across the headstay. Given the foregoing, we only use spinnaker halyards for our Assym.
With the spinnaker halyard, in relatively light air (i.e. <=10-12 knts), inside gybes are somewhat easier. Accordingly, prepatory to hoisting the sail, one leads what will be the lazy sheet when the sail is first hoisted, foward of the headstay but behind the tack line of the sail. With this arrangement, once hoisted, the lazy sheet is behind the "luff line", the line between the tack block forward of the headstay at deck level and the masthead. To gybe, one bears off to a run, brings the main across, eases the working sheet until the clue is just forward of the headstay and then hauls in the formerly lazy sheet pulling the clue through the gap between the luff and the headstay. When the clue passes through the gap one heads up and continues to haul in the new working sheet smartly, at which point the sail will begin to fill away from the clue up on the new gybe and will pull its upper portions through the gap and fill away nicely.
In "heavy air" (i.e. >12-15 knts), we lead the lazy sheet outside of the tack-luff line so that, when we gybe, the clue blows forward of the tack/luff line as the working sheet is eased and is hauled in on the new gybe by the formerly lazy sheet (with which the head of the sail "rotates" at the masthead). The difficulty with this is method is that the former working sheet must be kept taunt at all times to prevent the sheet falling down forward of the bow when the yacht is dead-down-wind and being swept under the hull, potentially fouling the prop, or rudder, or both. (Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt!). Frankly, once the wind gets upwards of 15 knts or more, I prefer to simply "snuff" the sail in the lee of the mainsail with our ATN sock, gybe the main, and rehoist the sail on the new gybe. Of course, I'm in my 60's now so the younger "hot shots" may disagree with such a conservative approach but I like returning from our cruises quickly but with all our gear undamaged.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."