Join Date: Jul 2007
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I single hand alot and have got some pretty reliable routines. Number one, keep the cockpit neat, no spaghetti on the deck. When tacking, I preset the stops on my traveler, get the main sheet in hand, straddle the tiller, get 3 wraps on the windward winch and take the leeward sheet off the cleat. Using my legs, take the tiller to lee and hold back the jib sheet to let the wind assist in bringing the bow around. As the bow comes about and the traveler shifts, I release the now windward jib sheet and unwrap it from the winch with a lariet kind of action, then I quickly pull in on the now leeward sheet. Notice there is no mention of a winch handle. With practice you should be able to get the jib in really close. I generally sheet in very tight and then trim the sheet out.
To gybe, it's pretty close to the same routine, just more main sheet action. Again, I preset the traveler stops and get my sheets in hand. As I start the gybe,using my legs, I'll haul in the main and ease it through the cockpit, holding back the jib and letting the wind push the sail to the lee side. Release the windward and haul in the lee, trim and return to your refreshments.
Practice this is fun and actually gives some purpose to that otherwise lazy day on the lake.