Sailing School

Look ma, no pole!

By August 4, 2016 No Comments

Who wants a quick sailing lesson?

When you are sailing dead down wind it can be a little bit of a hassle (even though this is what you wish for each other 🙂 ). The reason is because the wind can get behind the sail very easily and collapse it.

For this reason you should always tie a preventer to the end of the boom and secure it to the leeward side of the boat. If the main get back winded it will not fly across the boat taking out people and breaking equipment. Trust me when I say this is a major safety thing you can do.

But this particular blog is about the head sail instead. You see if the jib get back winded it will flop around and not be much use. On a monohull you could use a spinnaker pole to hold the jib out further to help prevent the wind from getting on the back side of it.

The cool part about a catamaran is the width of the boat, which means you do not need a pole to hold the end of the sail out. What I do is tie a line to the clew of the jib and run it through a block I have attached to the toe rail on the edge of the boat so it is below where the sail will be (my toe rail is metal and has holes in it for this purpose, but you could also use one of your cleats). From here I pull the line back to the winch and tighten it up.

I can use this set up with the wind dead behind me or up to 30 degrees on either side of my stern. In fact this can help me run with the main and go wing-on wing (main sail on the leeward side and jib on the windward). I can do this as long as the wind is with in 30 degrees of the stern otherwise the main blankets the jib and you are using only one sail. That is why a lot of the time I just put out the jib and let it push me where I want to go with the “spinnaker pole” helping keep the jib filled and working.

I hope this little lesson has helped and maybe given you an idea or tow to try on your boat.

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