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  #11  
Old 08-08-2014
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Re: Choreography To Walk the Jib around the Rigging

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
As for back winding the sail, there is nothing wrong with it as such, in fact it is a critical component of a good tack. Spreader damage happens when the release is late and the sail is allowed to plaster itself on the rig before releasing.
I agree, when the top 1/3 backwinds it's fine, however, a lot of people who have been sailing a long time are way to slow at releasing and end up dragging the sail over the spreaders while the sail is loaded.
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Old 08-08-2014
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Re: Choreography To Walk the Jib around the Rigging

The method described by zz4gta sounds good for a smaller boat, but it would take a very long and strong arm to sweep a #1 masthead genoa, dragging two 60 foot long jibsheets across the foredeck of a 40 footer in that manner, in light air.

If you analyze the effects that backwinding a jib have on the tailer, most of the effects are bad, for not much benefit. The tailer only has the amount of time to tail the jibsheet that it takes for the helmsman to turn the boat from closehauled on one tack to closehauled on the other tack. By delaying the release, part of the tailer's time is stolen from him, but he still has to tail in the same 60' of jibsheet. If he can't get it done in that amount of time, then the helmsman has to bear off farther, to load up the sail and get it driving. That means that, instead of resuming it's drive to windward on the new tack, the boat might be driving farther away from the intended course. To make matters worse, after the jib is loaded, the tailer can now only trim the jibsheet up to closehauled by grinding until he is armweary. I can find alot of bad things that happen when you backwind, but, when you analyze the whole process, its hard to find enough benefit to justify the bad effects.

I don't like backwinding generally, but it is made much worse by the fact that the release person often holds the sail way too long before the release, and they often backwind the jib when the wind is strong enough to blow the sail across, and you don't really need to backwind it. I know that the ultimate solution is to train the release person, but crew members often come and go, and that isn't always done, and it's hard to find skilled crew.

With all the outstanding racing crews in the world, who lay down such beautiful tacks, time-after-time, it's hard to believe that nobody has found a better way, or at least an alternate way, to bring a big jib on a big masthead sloop across the eye of the wind in light air than by backwinding it.
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Old 08-08-2014
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Re: Choreography To Walk the Jib around the Rigging

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
In asking this question, my interest is mostly in relation to boats in the 40 foot size range.
Are you talking about cutters or sloops in the 40 foot range? On a cutter it's really helpful to have someone bring the sail around, you have to backwind a huge percentage of a genoa to get it around the staysail stay. I don't like using cutters in tighter sailing grounds primarily for that reason.

This is an interesting discussion, I sometimes trim in races on boats in the 36' range and release just as the sail would start to backwind. I'm now wondering if I should release a second or two earlier, just as the sail loses power. We use the bow person to bring the leech of an asymmetric spinnaker around the rigging and mast, but don't do the same thing for the genoa (which is a #2/135 on the boat that I've been sailing on the most).
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Old 08-08-2014
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Re: Choreography To Walk the Jib around the Rigging

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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
I hate backwinding a jib. It's a great way to punch a hole in the sail or beat up the leach. Only reason to do that is on a catamaran that doesn't tack well at all, and those usually don't have overlapping headsails.
And it is a bad idea on most cats. Yes, my avitar shows a jib (sister boat) but I generally sail with a genoa.

* Foot just a little for best speed. Sheet everything hard.
* If there are 2 traveler lines, allow some slack in the traveler on the new side (1-2 feet). This will allow the boat through more easily. If single line, just remember to release and ease when the main shakes.
* Over sheet the main a bit at the last moment (helps on some boats).
* Roll-tack if a beach cat (weight back, delay going across).
* Get the jib in fast once through. Take your time on the main.
* Foot a little for the first few boat lengths, until at full speed. Do NOT try to accelerate while close hauled.

As for walking the sail around... never hurts. I really stretched a leach on the spreaders, letting it backwind when single handing. Never again.

The point is to use your speed and to NOT let the sails become brakes.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 08-08-2014 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 08-08-2014
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Re: Choreography To Walk the Jib around the Rigging

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
The method described by zz4gta sounds good for a smaller boat, but it would take a very long and strong arm to sweep a #1 masthead genoa, dragging two 60 foot long jibsheets across the foredeck of a 40 footer in that manner, in light air.
We do this on the 36.7, the J120, and the C&C 44. It also works on small boats. No is dragging the entire sail, just keeping the clew from hanging up on things.
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