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Discussion Starter #1
Total newbie question, but what better place to ask...? I may regret this.

Yesterday was my second time sailing...ever, and I have a question about the proper technique for adjusting my genoa/foresail. When tacking I would release the sheet on the leeward side as the boat tacked and began trimming on the opposite side so the sail would be full when the boat was in proper position. (I know there are a lot of terms I should have just used)

My question is this; as I'm tacking, releasing and trimming the sheet on the opposite side the sheet is getting hung up on the mast rigging until the wind blows it off. I trimmed the sheet until it hung up and then it would not budge without serious effort. I feel this is not correct as the friction would deteriorate the sheet very quickly. Not to mention this doens't look like it is great for the health of the rigging over time.

If I'm wrong and this is correct please let me know, otherwise, if you have any suggestions I'm all eyes and ears.

Regards,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Additional insight;

I just watched a video online about "tacking a sailboat" and this boat (similar in size to my Catalina 27) had the foresail lines on the inside of the rigging-mine is on the outside. Which is the correct way? My lines were already there when I bought the boat so I did not mess with it.

This would make sense, but is it correct?

Thanks,

Chris
 

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There are many answers to your question, but let me give you my opinion. This is not an uncommon scenario, and you will need to try some minor modifications of your tacking technique to see what works best.

When tacking, I do not release the original sheet until the sail just starts to backwind. On my boat, this is not only a more efficient tack, but it also lets the bulk of the sail pull the knot in the clew past the shrouds, and across the foredeck, and I do not begin trimming in the new sheet until the clew passes the mast. With small bowline knots at the clew, this is usually sufficient to allow the wind to pull the sale around, instead of the new sheet.

However, sometimes the "knots" at the clew get hung up on a baby fore stay. In that case, I usually have to wait for an additional second or so to let the clew pass the baby fore stay.

It also depends on the size of headsail, and location of your shrouds, since I have been on some boats where a little early tension on the new sheet will actually help the clew past the standing rigging., particularly with a large headsail (150% or more).

I suggest experimenting on the best time to haul in the new sheet, but try to allow the headsail to backwind just a little before releasing old sheet.

Also, try different knot sizes and types. You didn't say what type of boat, but some on this site prefer a hitch in a continuous line at the clew instead of the common way (my preference) of two bowlines (one for each side). Similarly, sometimes a rather long/loose bowline may pass the shrouds better than the small, short loop I try to tie.

Don't worry about the sheets damaging the standing rigging. Unless your rigging is already defective, the sheets are unlikely to "wear" on the stainless steel rigging significantly.

Hope this gives you some options to try. Have fun experimenting to see what works best on your boat.
 

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When tacking my boat, I usually don't release the jib sheet until the main starts to swing. That way, it backwinds a little, meaning the wind fills it from the other side and then when I release it, it pops over very quickly and that usually keeps the sheet from hanging up on the shrouds.
 

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