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Anatomy of a Spinnaker Set: Part 3 – The Poleless Jibe Set

Anatomy of a Spinnaker Set: Part 3 – The Poleless Jibe Set

So the tactician decided to jibe set too late to get everything set up (figures). No problem, we’ll just set the spinnaker without a pole and sort it out later! This is strictly a light to moderate air maneuver and we’re gonna need to practice this one. The idea is the same as a jibe set, but the setup is the same as the bear-away set. We hoist the spinnaker without the pole as the boat turns down and rotate it around the front of the boat through the jibe, then set up the pole on the new windward side. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

1. Approach to Layline

  • Tactician – boned it. Who needs tacticians anyway?
  • Everyone else – set up is the same as a bear-away set. If we knew we wanted to jibe by this point, we would have set up for a jibe set.
  • Bow – You’ve probably hooked up the sail on the port side already. This is fine and will sort itself out. Get started as soon as possible as you have a lot of work to do.

2. On Layline(probably pretty damn close to the mark)

  • Tactician – Start apologizing and figure out how you are going to make it up to the crew downwind. Assure the foredeck that you are indeed buying drinks later if they pull this off.
  • Bow – Trip the pole so the jaws are open. If you have time, move the sail bag forward so it is just aft of the bow pulpit. Also, if you have time raise the inboard end of the pole a few feet and move the tip to the port side.
  • 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 and nothing is in the pole jaws. Gather enough slack in the port guy to reach the bow.
  • Spin Sheet Trimmer – Remove runners and load both spinnaker sheets onto cabin top winches. Start pre-feeding the starboard spin sheet.
  • 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. Hold a near dead downwind course until the pole is hooked up.
  • 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. Help the spin sheet trimmer with the port sheet if necessary.
  • Spin Sheet Trimmer – Trim starboard spin sheet in fast to pull the sail around the forestay. Once kite is aloft trim both sheets to fill the sail and keep it in front of the boat. Once it is up and drawing start talking to the helmsman about pressure.
  • Guy trimmer – Ease the jib as the boat turns down, then release as the boat jibes. Leave plenty of slack in the guy (so the bowman can get it to the bow) and load it onto the primary winch (3 turns). When the bowman yells “made” 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 grab the port spin SHEET and stand at the shrouds acting as a ‘human pole” holding the sheet as far out to weather as possible.
  • Bow – Help the jib across the foredeck and over the pole through the jibe. Once the jib is across, put the port guy in the pole jaws, lift the pole up into position, and yell “Made!” (Make sure that the kite is up all the way and rotated far enough around in front of the boat that nothing gets tangled.) Once the pole is hooked 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. When the bowman says “made” pull 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.
Source: J/44