SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Seamanship & Navigation (
-   -   Terminology question: Gybing (

zAr 07-05-2010 10:46 AM

Terminology question: Gybing
So this past weekend with the boat on a broad reach starboard tack I wanted to put the boat on a broad reach port tack.

I (as skipper and helm) explained to my crew what I intended to do, saying I wanted to put us on a broad reach port tack, so let's gybe.

One crew member went...ballistic, saying I'm not using the term correctly, that gybing does not involve a course change, only bringing the boom over to the other side without changing course.

I said yes, that's an essential step for gybing (nudging the boom over while maintaining downwind run), but gybing can also mean changing course, that if we're on a broad reach what reason could we possibly have for putting the boom over without changing course (and sailing by the lee)? Therefore, logically, when on a broad reach the instruction is given to gybe, it can only mean we will steer to at least a run and to the other tack, thus changing course.

Your thoughts? This led to quite a distracting argument. :)

2xtiger886 07-05-2010 10:50 AM


–verb (used without object)
to shift from one side to the other when running before the wind, as a fore-and-aft sail or its boom.
to alter course so that a fore-and-aft sail shifts in this manner.

sailak 07-05-2010 11:16 AM

I've always thought of a gybe as a course change in which the stern moves through the eye of the wind.

wind_magic 07-05-2010 11:33 AM

Same here, I always understood that if you change course from a broad reach with wind on one quarter and the stern went through the eye of the wind to a broad reach with the wind on the other quarter, you just gybed, no matter which side the boom is on. Of course, hopefully you gybed the boom too so that it doesn't accidentally gybe later! :)

SEMIJim 07-05-2010 11:47 AM

Your crew member was wrong. Gybing is simply moving the leach of the mainsail, rather than the luff, through the wind. You can be on a broad reach, in which case gybing will involve a course change, or you can be on a dead run, in which case it will not.


jaschrumpf 07-05-2010 11:47 AM

If you move the boom across the boat without changing course, you've now backwinded the main. Very dangerous, and prime for a crash gybe the other way. [Edit - unless, as SEMIJim said, you're on a dead run]

My thoughts on a crew member arguing a semantic point with me while I want to maneuver? "Do what I want, NOW, and we'll discuss how you're wrong later."

Because, you see, even using his definition he was wrong. You said you wanted to change course to a broad reach port tack from your broad reach starboard tack, so let's gybe. You said you wanted to change course; you said you wanted to gybe. His argument seems to be that merely saying "let's gybe" does not imply a course change -- but you said you wanted (1) a course change (2) therefore, let's gybe.

He's wrong and wrong.

puddinlegs 07-05-2010 04:33 PM


Originally Posted by jaschrumpf (Post 619594)

"Do what I want, NOW, and we'll discuss how you're wrong later."

He's wrong and wrong.

Yup. I'd offer a "look it up when we get back, but for now, we're 'gybing'. You explained what you wanted to so, so even if you said, "farfignugen", the instructions where there for the following. Arguing on a boat, if the instructions and desired results are clearly explained, just isn't good for anyone. Matter of fact, arguing on the boat just isn't done with folks who respect each others skills.

FSMike 07-05-2010 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by jaschrumpf (Post 619594)

My thoughts on a crew member arguing a semantic point with me while I want to maneuver? "Do what I want, NOW, and we'll discuss how you're wrong later." --

ROFL Well said.:laugher

Boasun 07-05-2010 04:45 PM

Encyclopedia of Nautical Knowledge; Cornell Maritime Press:
GYBE. (Du. gijben, to shift) To shift position of a fore-and-aft sail from one side to another; as, when sailing before the wind, or when altering course so that wind is brought on the opposite quarter. Also gibe; jibe.
Any questions?
Seems as if zAr is correct in his deffination.

scraph 07-05-2010 04:58 PM

The term gybe and execution of 'only a gybe' might not involve a course change. I can tell you it doesn't, like tacking, imply any minimum course change. When going from a beam reach to beam reach on opposite tacks you could either head up and perform a tack or bear off and perform a gybe.

While your manuever did not include only a gybe ... it certainly did include a gybe.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome