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Anatomy of a Spinnaker Set: Part 2 – The Jibe Set

Anatomy of a Spinnaker Set: Part 2 – The Jibe Set

The jibe set is a potent weapon when executed properly. We will typically use it in a large right hand shift or when rounding in traffic as it allows us to sail away from the windward mark on port jibe. The set-up is the reverse of a bear-away set. The spinnaker is set on the starboard side and the pole is set up to port. The boat is jibed around the mark before the pole is raised.

1. Approach to Layline

  • Tactician – decide what spinnaker we will be using and what type of set we will do. Call for the sail on deck. Hopefully the tactician will recognize the need for a jibe set at this point. This almost never happens.
  • Runners – Go below and get the proper sail. Pass forward to the rail.
  • Bow – Get started as soon as possible as you have a lot of work to do. Trip the pole so the jaws are open. Clip the spin gear together (if you have the halyard on the rail already, clip that on too) and help it around the forestay as the jib and main trimmers drag the gear around from the port side to the starboard side. Raise the inboard end of the pole enough to get it inside the forestay and move the tip to the port side. Put the port guy in the pole and close the jaws. Get help from the mast man only if you need it to get set up in time. It is better to have an extra person hiking.
  • Everyone else – hike hard. It should only take one person off the rail to set up the spinnaker.

2. On Layline

(no more than five boatlengths from the mark)

  • Tactician – Assure the foredeck that you are indeed on layline and will not need to tack again
  • Bow – Hook up the spinnaker on the starboard rail just aft of the bow pulpit. Clip bag to lifelines. Attach port and starboard spin gear making sure that it is clear of everything. Bring halyard to the rail and hook it up (it may have to be walked around the forestay—consider using starboard halyard).
  • Mast – Open snap shackle at base of mast to free topping lift. Make sure to keep topping lift inboard of jib sheets. Raise inboard end of the pole a few feet.
  • Everyone else – Hike really hard. There should only be two people off the rail at this point.

3. Two Boatlengths to the Mark

  • Bow –Open the spinnaker bag fully and remove any Velcro strips from the clews. Double check that everything is clear.
  • Spin Sheet Trimmer – Remove runners and load starboard spinnaker sheet onto starboard cabin top winch. Adjust jib trim as necessary.
  • Pit – Take any slack out of spinnaker halyard.
  • Everyone else – Hike harder

4. At the Mark

  • Helmsman – turn boat smoothly down around the mark and into a jibe right away.
  • Main Trimmer – Ease the main sheet a lot to allow the boat to turn down, then jibe the main. Then ease outhaul, cunningham, and backstay. Adjust vang as necessary.
  • Tactician – Call the hoist when the boat turns down and begins to flatten. Then help grind the guy.
  • Guy trimmer – Ease the jib as the boat turns down, then release as the boat jibes. Load the guy onto the primary winch (3 turns) and pull like mad until the sail reaches the end of the pole and then square the pole back about one quarter to one half the distance between the forestay and shrouds depending on wind strength (further back in more breeze). Make sure to adjust foreguy while you do this.
  • Jib trimmer – Trim the jib out of the jibe. Adjust trim for max speed until spin is up and drawing.
  • Floater – Immediately after the jibe pull guy and lazy sheet together to assist in getting the spinnaker tack to the end of the pole and the pole back one quarter of the way.
  • Spin Sheet Trimmer – Trim spin sheet just enough to separate the clews. Do not trim to fill the sail until the kite is aloft and the guy is trimmed. Once it is up, trim in and start talking to the helmsman about pressure.
  • Bow – Help the jib across the foredeck and over the pole through the jibe. Once the jib is across, lift the pole up into position. Once the spinnaker is up, pull the jib down keeping it inside the lifelines.
  • Mast – Jump the spinnaker halyard until it is at full hoist. The hoist should start as the boat turns down around the mark and finish after the jibe. Call out “Kite’s aloft!” Raise the inboard end of the pole so it is level, then help bowman get the jib down by grabbing the leech of the sail and pulling it down and towards the center of the boat.
  • Pit – Tail spinnaker halyard until it is at full hoist. If the mast man doesn’t quite get it all the way up (6 feet or less to go), worry about it after the jib is down. Tail the topping lift to raise the outboard end of the pole (an extra floater can take care of this if one is available). Ease the jib halyard down (make sure you have a turn on the winch before you open the clutch—the turn can be on top of the winch fully loaded with the spin halyard). Once the jib is down, grind the spinnaker halyard up to full hoist. Flake the jib halyard in figure eights using the winch drum and your hand.

5. After the Rounding

  • Main Trimmer (and others) - Make sure the sail and rig controls are eased.
  • Mast – detach jib sheets, toss port one over the inboard end of the pole and clip them together. Bring lazy guy forward to bowman to prepare for jibe.
  • Bow – Once boatspeed is up, detach jib halyard from sail and clip it to the bow. Pull the luff all the way down and out of the sail track. Detach tack of jib and pull the sail aft of the foreguy.
  • Everyone Else – Get as much weight as possible near the shrouds and down low. Look back to find the next puff.
  • Guy Trimmer (or someone else in the cockpit) – Unwind jib sheet off leeward primary. Load lazy guy onto the winch leaving plenty of slack for the bowman to take it all the way forward for the next jibe. Load the lazy spin sheet on the windward cabin top winch.
Source: J/44