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Discussion Starter #1
On my 30 foot boat, we have a very, very small cockpit and a tiller. I hate to have people aft of the end of the tiller, for obvious reasons. With a crew of 4 (sailing a non-spinnaker club series) we're trying to work out the best crew assignments.

One kid is small and light, so he got the foredeck. I'm the skipper. One guy should handle head sail trimming and the other the main. The winches are self tailing, so there is no need for a crew member to do that.

The thing is, who should release the jib sheet from the winch when tacking? It does not work out well when I do it, but there is barely room for anyone else to do it.

How do you guys handle this?
 

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What boat do you have, Make model year?
Any dogers, Bimini's etc in the way?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Its a Scampi 30 MK-IV, and there are no dogers or anything else at all in the way. Here are some pictures:

Jims Scampi 30 MK IV

The first several give you an idea of the cockpit arrangement.

EDIT: Forgot, its a 1977.
 

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Your right the driver should only drive.
Boats I've been on have all been wheel but can't you sit aft of the tiller and the pit crew forward of the tiller.

I'm sure I've seen the tiller guys do that.

When you sail alone I'm sure you sit forward of the tiller but with crew you may have to give up this seat so they have room to do their jobs.
 

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Multi-Tasking

From the picture of your boat. Three bodies in/near cockpit.

Main, Helmsman (you), Jib Trim. Jobs:

You - Steer on and take mainsheet if main guy needs to help do something else. But, this should not happen if every does there job well. Sit with one leg so that the handle end of the tiller is in between your knes with you back parallel to the tiller handle.



Main - Sheet and Traveler. Sits with legs between stranding traveler track on brdige deck or slightly behind, but in front of you. His job is to trim main, work traveler, and release jib during tacks. Sequence: Helm says ready to tack, Main trimmer moves traveler to middle. Helm says tacking and Main releases active jib sheet. As soon as released, jib trimmer pulls in new active jib and trims it while main moves to windward side, moves traveler up to new side and and touch trims the main if necessary.

Jib Trimmer - Sits to windward just in front of main trimmer. When command for ready to tack is given, wraps lazy sheet on winch, but not in self-tailer. During tack, main trimmer moves to windward side, jib trimmer stays low and hauls in now active sheet on jib and trim until sails trimmed. Once the sail is trimmed, moves back to windward side. Drops back down if sail adjust is needed.

DrB
 

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J, you may have to sing "jack jumps over the candle stick" in order to move over your tiller when tacking, and just stay aft of the other two guys, leaving one on the main and the other to handle both jib sheets all by his lonesome.

Your cockpit looks set up very nicely for shorthanded/solo sailing, and that just makes it a real game of Twister if you're trying to race with crew. No real solution to that, aside from owning more boats. (G)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, a few comments and questions.

First, I could probably squeeze three people in the cockpit all on the same side, but I would be all the way aft, grabbing the tiller about at the rudder post. I don't think that would work, although next time I am down there I'll have a look.

Since those pictures were taken, I have added a Battlestick tiller extension, because its impossible to see anything from the cockpit. I have to sit up where the winches are mounted.

The traveler is just a few inches aft of the companion way. In fact the main sheet trimmer could do his job from inside the companion way, and I have considered that. If I run the outhaul and cunningham lines aft then everything that controls the main would actually be completely accessible from inside the companion way. The main is also completely visible too. Not that this is a great idea, as the footing there is not great (standing on narrow steps) and then he could not reach the jib sheets.

I was surprised to see it suggested that the job trimmer sit to windward. I know we want weight to windward to flatten the boat, but its a half ton boat. I was thinking the jib trimmer should stay to leeward, where the entire sail is visible and he can reach the winch, to keep it in trim constantly. Then the skipper and main trimmer could fit on the windward side.

As I type this, it occurs to me that perhaps the two cockpit crew members should just stay put, and change jobs? Whoever is on the lee side can be the job trimmer, the windward guy the main trimmer. Then they switch on a tack. Any reason that would not work (other then they both need to know both jobs)?

Also, someone mentioned that the lazy winch is loaded when we prepare to tack. I was in the habit of loading the windward winch as soon as the tack is complete, so we could quickly put about if necessary. Is that bad?

Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also, I'm beginning to see a disadvantage of the self tailing winches. As soon as the trimmer starts to haul the sheet in, the clutch on the ST winch just slows him down. If he does not use it then when he needs to crank, he needs to take time to load the clutch and put the handle in place.

In a tailed winch, the handle can just be in place while the sheet is pulled, then cranking can start. I can't imagine where to station a crew member to tail though.
 

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"Any reason that would not work (other then they both need to know both jobs)?" Yeah, mainly that. And switching between two jobs means loss of focus. And if one crew is out--now you need a replacement with dual skills. So it is possible, it just isn't always an optimum way to go.

"the clutch on the ST winch just slows him down." A lot of folks don't throw the final bit of line up into the clutch until after they've hauled in all the slack. Then they take up the last turn, slap in the handle, and bring in the rest. That is, assuming they need the handle. Sometimes by tacking a bit slower, you give the crew time to haul in tighter--by hand--and there's less need for the winch handle and the final trim.
If the off or extra crew can be the one to slap in the handle FOR the job trimmer, that also speeds up the operation.
 

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In your cockpit, have them switch jobs. It'll go like this:

Everyone is on the rail, lets say starboard tack, and you're about to tack.
1. The first guy, who is sitting the most aft on the rail, is the one who will blow the sheet and trim the main.
2. The second guy on the rail is hot on the first one's heels as he will grab the (already wrapped) sheet on the primary winch, NOT IN THE JAWS.
3. You start to turn as the second enters the cockpit, keep it smooth, and don’t do it during large waves or a wake. Give the trimmer enough time to sheet the sail in by hand. You read right, he or she should be able to get almost the entire thing in before the sail loads up. Only exception is if you’re flying a 150-155, you may need to fall off 3-5* while they grind in the last bit. ANYTHING smaller than a 150% and you shouldn’t need winch handles going upwind. Grinding is painfully slow and it tires out your crew.
4. as the jib trimmer pulls like a monkey on meth, the other trimmer who blew the old sheet will do final trim on the main, from the high side.
5. the main trimmer goes to hike, and the jib trimmer follows him up out of the cockpit but now the order of your rail meat has been swapped, and so will their jobs on the next tack.

Short version: The aft most crew on the rail, will be the one to blow the jib sheet, and trim the main. The second guy in, will trim jib. Then they reverse.
 

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Loading the Lazy Sheet

The reason why you don't want to load the lazy sheets up before you actual get ready to tack is if you need to quickly blow the jib for say a duck or to spill off wind in case of a super gust. Having the lazy sheet loaded up may not let jib/genny blow out. I know people do it all the time and I do it often in very light wind conditions, but if there is any breeze, I don't.

If you must load up the lazy sheet, put only one wrap on it, and not in the ST jaws.

As far as the jib trimmer sitting to windward, if you're close hauled, the jib is trimmed for close hauled sailing and the helm drives the boat to the tell tells. The trimmer shouldn't be trimming the jib too much. It's better to have the weight high, than have the weight low waiting for the possible occasional tweak trim. When I trim the main on a J105, the jib trimmer leans windward of the cockpit centerline against the companionway or just sits foward of me towards the windward rail depending on the heel angle. The primaries on the J-105 are on the cabin top.

DrB
 

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The jib trimmer should be able to handle both winches if he's practiced. Tacking takes a couple of seconds. The lazy winch should already have one wrap on it with plenty of slack in the standing end.

At "ready about", the jib trimmer takes the sheet off the cleat and gets ready to throw it off the winches (I'm only assuming this is possible on a self-tailing winch; no experience there).

In mid-tack when the jib luffs, the jib trimmer throws it off the winch and switches to the other side. He doesn't get in your way; you go under the tiller when switching sides, not over it. The main sheet trimmer stays forward of the traveler during the tack and preferably moves up to sit on the windward gunwale.

As the boat comes head to wind, the jib trimmer switches sides with everybody else and does the initial trim, then briefly goes up to put the first turn on the new weather winch (or asks the main guy to do this).

This is how we've done it on my boat, and how we did it on other boats I've crewed on when we only had one jib trimmer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The jib trimmer should be able to handle both winches if he's practiced.

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At "ready about", the jib trimmer takes the sheet off the cleat and gets ready to throw it off the winches (I'm only assuming this is possible on a self-tailing winch; no experience there).

In mid-tack when the jib luffs, the jib trimmer throws it off the winch and switches to the other side. He doesn't get in your way; you go under the tiller when switching sides, not over it. The main sheet trimmer stays forward of the traveler during the tack and preferably moves up to sit on the windward gunwale.
A variant of this might work best. I think the common theme here (and someone said this) is that I need to move my butt aft to get out of their way. No one can sit forward of the traveler unless they go up on deck or down the companion way, so we're going to have to work that out. If the helm was a wheel there would not be an issue, so if I can learn to swing the tiller up out of my way through a tack we might be fine.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, I'll show them to everyone and see what we come up with.
 
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