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Hello,

I am a new sailor trying to learn how to sail and I have had three instructors over the past several months, but all three have given different instructions on the maneuver or point of sail when it is best to do things on the boat, such as raise & lower the jib (or, more generally, just to do things around the boat that need to get done). Specifically, this is what I was taught:

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1) instructor #1, ASA101 certification on a J/24, crew of 4: irons
e.g. bring the boat into irons to raise & lower jib, reef the main

2) instructor #2, Sonar, single-hand: close reach
e.g. close reach to raise & lower the jib (but heave-to in order to reef)

3) instructor #3, Sonar, single-hand: poor man's heave-to aka "safe zone"
e.g. safe zone to raise & lower the jib (but heave-to in order to reef)

["safe zone": go into irons, uncleat the mainsheet, fall off and push the boom out as far as it will go, stop when hit a beam reach - with uncleated mainsheet and boom all the way out now free to walk about the cockpit without boom in the way and boat not moving (does anyone know the proper term for this maneuver? I can't seem to find any information on it!)]
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All of these boats had hank jibs. So one big difference was #1 was not instructing us to single-hand while #2 and #3 were specifically teaching me to single-hand a Sonar.

So I'm confused...does anybody have some insight into all of this? I realize everyone has different preferences on how to do things, but I thought there would be a little more agreement. Maybe there is even a better option out there? What do people suggest?

Thanks,
Andrew
 

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Wow. I am confused too. Think instead of WHY and it will make more sense. Do things when it is easy to do so.

1. Main sail. On my boat I want to head up into the wind (into irons per se) to raise or lower the main with any ease. If the sail is filled with wind the slides will jam. So, when lowering or raising the main, always into the wind. But get it up and whatever done as quick as is safely reasonable for the longevity of your sail.

2. Headsails: Do what works, for example in most winds when I am by myself (or with anyone for that matter) I raise the main, fall off a bit and trim the main (usually somewhat close hauled) and bring up the jib while sailing. It doesn't jam on the hanks you see, it just goes where the sheets tell it and slides nicely up (and down) the stay. To come down, again I usually do it close to the wind but have done it otherwise as well especially in light wind. But I can bring it down myself generally by pinching into the wind pretty close, letting go they jib halyard and pulling both sheets. Falls right to the deck and is pinned to both sides with the sheets until I can go up and secure it.

3. Reefing. Heaved to? Hmmm. That sounds like a pain with the main all full. Why not pinch into the wind, open main halyard jammer (secure topping lift or whatever first so you don't get knocked on the head with the boom) and lower to reef point and jam halyard again, secure tack and clew as per your reefing system, tighten halyard and loosen topping lift. This is my boat. Others had 1 or 2 line systems but I was always shown to head up. Can't imagine heaving to unless I needed to go rescue and MOB, take a break, or flip a burger.

My point on just sailing is that your gear will work well and easy when things are done right and will feel forced otherwise. Pay attention to what your boat is telling you vs trying to remember specific steps in a process.

As far as that odd "safe zone" thing maybe it is a Sonar thing but I have never heard of it and it doesn't sound right to me. It sounds like a confused version of heaving to which should be easy (depending on the boat it may or may not fully "stop"). Practice that the way your ASA teacher should have taught it. At least both my wife and I (different classes and instructors both ASA) learned how to heave to the same way. This is my favorite video on the subject. (On that note, watch all of these videos)


These have been my experiences. Practice while the wind is low and do it over and over. Have fun!
 

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I always raised the main directly into wind (slugs get stuck otherwise), then turned off onto a very close haul on starboard tack. Tighten the port sheet up a bit (not too much) and hoist the jib. It would then be up and mostly trimmed, plus I was the stand-on vessel during the whole thing.
For bringing it back down again, I would head close to wind on a port tack, sheet the jib in pretty tight, get *just* onto a starboard tack but not release the sheet so it backwinds the jib slightly and let go the halyard, drops right down on the deck inside the lifelines with no fuss, and the sheet keeps it all under control, and again the stand-on vessel during the process. Then head to wind to drop the main so the slugs don't catch.
A downhaul on the jib is your friend.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Me single handed, on my last 2 boats what I do?

into the wind/irons, raise main...
Shut off motor...
Start sailing on main alone... trim for close reach/close haul
release genoa sheets
raise genoa... it'll flap out as the sail goes up, which is actually good in this instance, because it frees up the luff to keep it from binding.

Once about halfway up, you can lock a sheet in some, it'll still flap, but you want to keep it from tangling your sheets... make sure your genoa sheets have stop knots or this can get ugly.

If its REALLY windy (you should do your best to raise in light air areas (not always possible of course). You may want to do both sails in irons.

The boat shouldn't really matter.

Many owners here have roller furlers, so they have a bit more leeway as to when they can deploy their jib/genoa.
 

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I certainly dont hove to to reef. Just bring it up to close hauled and reef underway. :)

Can't offer much on a hank on jib, except to wonder there are still some around? With roller furling genao you unfurl anytime and furl when you can get the wind out of it by easing sheets, or shadowed by the main.
 

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When I'm singlehanded, I find it very difficult to reef while underway since I need to leave the helm and go to the mast to reef. Heaving to allows sufficient time to put that reef in. I supose if I had a functioning auto pilot or lines led back to the cockpit that reefing underway could be done without any drama.
 

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I have done alot of singlehanding on a 25' saiboat. If you're going to singlehand, you need a device to aid in steering briefly, while you tend to other duties. There are lots of such devices, but the simple ones that hold the position of the tiller securely without stretchy bungee cords or springs work best.

Raise the mainsail first. Then steer the boat onto a close reach that is about 35-40 degrees off the apparent wind and lock the tiller to hold that course. In most instances, the boat will continue sailing on that heading reliably while you raise the jib. In very light winds, the boat might not hold that course, but when the wind is that light, it doesn't matter much which direction the boat is pointing or moving, because it won't be going anywhere very fast, and with almost no pressure on the sails, you can raise them fairly easily regardless of the wind direction. If the water is choppy or the wind is gusty, you might need to steer with your knees while you raise the jib. Obviously, it helps a great deal if the lines are run to the cockpit so that you can easily reach them all.

When lowering the jib, steer the boat straight into the wind and then drop the jib on the foredeck.
 

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Surprised no one has mentioned up and down haul lines for the Jib

Jib should be in attached bag or on deck, already hanked on and the downhaul holding it down.

The jib halyard and down haul need a to a turning block at the base and at the bow for the down haul. (just under the hook area) , make it long enough to reach the tiller area, put a cleat or cam on the cabin top.

raise the jib from the safety of the cockpit while head to wind/irons. during this, make sure the jib sheets are in place and not letting the down haul go slack. (easier then it looks in text.

Usually dropping (head to wind/irons) the jib in reverse of the above works and it can lay on deck or get stuffed when it's safe to go forward.
Never let halyards or haul lines go slack in the wind! you will be sorry!

Web Page

Jib Downhauls - San Juan 21 Fleet 1

Jib "Jackline" System
 

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I think in general, we raise the main first, then jib. And lower the jib first, then main.

Why? Basically a safety thing. the main with no jib, will tend to head you up into the wind, which is in theory (and usually in practice) more "safe" since it stops your momentum. Plus, there's that sailslide jamming thing if you don't

Jib with no main will tend to head you away from the wind.

So main goes up first and comes down last. Many exceptions to this "rule" best to know the rule first, exceptions later.
 

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Andrew,

As a singlehander (most of the time), I have set up Sea Dragon for shorthand sailing this includes furling head sails, lazy jacks, and most importantly an autopilot.

As everyone has pointed out, into the wind for raising and lower the main including reefing.

Main up first, down last - the boat is more stable with a sail up. This is important as you move around on deck. When working near the main please make sure the boom is secure. It is vey easy to be knocked off the cabin top and over the lifelines by slow moving boom. It only takes the wake of a passing boat to shift the boom from the center line to one side or the other.

Keep the deck clear lines and other tripping hazards.


The video below is a time lapse sequence of stowing the main singlehanded on Sea Dragon. The process for me is: a) close haul and furl the jib (a little tension makes furling easier), b) center the boom and tighten the main sheet, c) set the autopilot to windvane mode & 0 degrees off the wind. Everything that follow can be seen in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMJuO8IeyCo

Garner
 

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Surprised no one has mentioned up and down haul lines for the Jib
Yeah, someone did already. I tried the "line going through the clew", far too much line hanging out there to get hung up on stuff during tacks/gybes, I just had it rigged from the head to the tack, weaving in and out of the hanks. Tie to the hank one below the top one, if you pull on the top one it can twist and bind.
 

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On my 26' foot boat I often raise my main at the mooring--reefing if I feel it will be needed--and the genoa is on a furler. I unfurl that as soon as I am underway, sometimes under motor power, sometimes just sailing away from the mooring on the main.

Growing up sailing a large variety of daysailers (16-22') without motors, we typically raised the sails at the mooring or dock. Winds over 20 knots or so called for different methods depending on the orientation of the dock and the boat, but otherwise we'd just raise both sails, untie, and off we'd go.
 

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For safety sake, spend the money on a roller furling system for the jib. The main is easy, just nose into the wind and raise the sail, but the jib presents it's own problems of safety.

Play it safe,

Gary :cool:
 

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I certainly dont hove to to reef. Just bring it up to close hauled and reef underway. :)

Can't offer much on a hank on jib, except to wonder there are still some around? With roller furling genao you unfurl anytime and furl when you can get the wind out of it by easing sheets, or shadowed by the main.
Mark, the Sonar is a 23' day sailor, possibly kept on a trailer, so a bit different than our boats. It seems to be a common boat for use in sailing schools. Huge cockpit and a tiny cuddy cabin.
 

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What's unsafe about a hank-on jib on a 22 or 23 foot sailboat?
Nothing. Its fine. On a old 22 footer (I don't know if this is an old boat or not) a new furler may cost 10% of the value of the boat... and then you need to change the bolt rope... FOFTAM
 

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Watching threads go off the rails is always fun. Especially when you can see exactly where it happens. :D

On the other hand, reefing while hove to? Again, how do you get the main down while filled and the slides jammed? Seems VERY rough on the main sail at the slides.
 

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Well, back on track then :)

On my little 22' boat for raising/lowering the main I point head-to-wind, either by tying the bow to a buoy or the leeward side of the dock, or by motoring into the wind.

I will raise the jib on pretty much any point of sail. A close reach feels good. I tie the tiller so I'm going in a reasonably straight line. I leave both jib sheets loose. Then I pop up to the mast an pull up the jib. It flogs a little, but not much, and I'm quickly back in the cockpit to pull in a sheet and start sailing again.

To drop the jib I let both sheets loose and point as close to the wind as I can with just the main, then I tie off the tiller and pop up the mast and when the jib comes down it lies nicely on deck. Then back to the cockpit and I sail up the dock or buoy on main alone.
 

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Watching threads go off the rails is always fun. Especially when you can see exactly where it happens. :D

On the other hand, reefing while hove to? Again, how do you get the main down while filled and the slides jammed? Seems VERY rough on the main sail at the slides.
Set the traveler down, and or ease the main a little to remove the load.
 
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