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Thread: Gybe question

  1. #1
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    Gybe question

    3rd season sailing coming up and probably advanced too fast equipment-wise. I find the boom swings quite violently when gybing and really slams to opposite side. I’ve read about accidental gybe protection lines running forward to a block. Is this something that can also be used to control the swing power? Feels like something is going to break at times

    thx
    Doug Wornell
    ”Island Bird”
    1985 E38 Hull#121
    Fox Island, Wa

  2. #2
    Principal Partner Afrakes's Avatar
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    Gybe Control

    Are you sheeting in your boom to centerline as you're gybing and then easing it?
    Al Frakes
    1987 E-28 Reba Gee
    Hull #663
    Port Kent, NY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrakes View Post
    Are you sheeting in your boom to centerline as you're gybing and then easing it?
    No and maybe that’s what I’m missing —- managing the boom with the main sheet as it passes —rather than just letting the whole thing go.
    Doug Wornell
    ”Island Bird”
    1985 E38 Hull#121
    Fox Island, Wa

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    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
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    What Al said!

    My first step for a gybe: center traveller on main track and lock in place. Second step: sheet in main to centerline. Reverse steps after headsail is across.
    If a dedicated person is on the main, this can be done in parallel with gybing the headsail.

    You will break something doing the uncontrolled flying gybe, especially when it’s windy.

    Mark
    Mark & Ronnie Vinette
    E36RH #21 GLIDE
    Annapolis, MD

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    Principal Partner Afrakes's Avatar
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    Follow

    Mark's more complete advice. Doing otherwise is definitely going to break something important and may bring down the entire rig.
    Al Frakes
    1987 E-28 Reba Gee
    Hull #663
    Port Kent, NY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrakes View Post
    Mark's more complete advice. Doing otherwise is definitely going to break something important and may bring down the entire rig.
    Thank you all. Fortunately I’ve not been in big winds but as you know, as you get better the wind velocity follows. Towards end of last season there was a couple times where ——hmmm.

    Im glad I asked about this and will definitely be added to my procedures
    Doug Wornell
    ”Island Bird”
    1985 E38 Hull#121
    Fox Island, Wa

  7. #7
    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
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    Doug,

    Any time you come across an event or procedure while sailing that seems too violent or requires too much force there is probably another easier and safer method or tip that can help. Sometimes a piece of gear is worn out or undersized. Somethings are specific to your particular boat design or setup.

    For example, when my 150 Genoa starts to get overpowered at 12 knots true wind, if I let it flog, it can not be furled without putting the furling line on a winch. I try to bear off downwind (if I have sea room) and unload the sail to furl it by hand. I have upgraded my furling line to Dyneema. I also need to re-run the line through a high load cheek block on deck (not the normal small block and cam) to the winch if I have to winch furl. Harken furler directions say no winching but reality over rules occasionally. The sail is by far the most valuable part in this system so the furler may have to be sacrificed.
    Mark
    Mark & Ronnie Vinette
    E36RH #21 GLIDE
    Annapolis, MD

  8. #8
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    Are you gybing just with a headsail up front, or with a spinnaker? I would recommend getting very comfortable gybing in all sorts of condition with just a genoa first.
    The other posters are right - you need to quickly sheet in the main as much as possible right before committing to the gybe.

    Here's a little trick to tell when to start hauling in the mainsheet:
    ... as the helm is turned (slow and steady) into the gybe, observe when the forward about 1/3 of the genoa starts to flop. That's when to start hauling in the main (fast).
    If you wait for the boat's next 'I'm-about-to-gype' signal (i.e., when the the leech of the main begins to curl back), you won't have time to haul enough of the main in to avoid a crash gybe.
    Also, the main should be hauled in with at least one wrap of the sheet around a winch (cabin-top?), but it should not be pulled though a closed jam cleat. This is because, immediately after the main goes across, the mainsheet has to be eased out on the new side fairly quickly to help the boat complete the turn - or else, in boisterous conditions, a bad wave or gust from an unexpected direction could send you back through another gybe the other way.
    But, with practice, all your gybes can be done with good safety for the crew and minimal strain on the boat.
    Last edited by nquigley; 04-18-2019 at 08:33 AM.
    E32-3 #655
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    Quote Originally Posted by llenrow View Post
    /// I’ve read about accidental gybe protection lines running forward to a block. Is this something that can also be used to control the swing power? ///
    If you're cruising short-handed or solo, and you are doing long downwind stretches and don't want to be a the helm all the time (e.g., under autohelm or windvane), then you would consider rigging either a Preventer (lot's of on-line resources, opinions and methods) or a Boom-Brake.
    The latter allow the boat to do an uncontrolled gybe without the 'crash' while no one is on deck. There are also a lot of choices here too - and a fairly good You Tube video comparing the main types (but the wind was very light in that comparison). Boom Brakes range from very expensive (hundreds of $) to simple ones based essentially on a figure-8 belay device. I bought this one: https://dreamgreen.org/boom-brake
    I've rigged it and played with it, but haven't used it in anger yet. ;-)
    E32-3 #655
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    Knoxville, TN

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    Or consider tacking over and then falling off to the new course. Loads safer in higher winds. On the RH you have to reset the running backstays also. They are what keep the mast from pumping when it loads and unloads on those blustery days. If your boat has forward and aft lowers, you don't have this problem. Of course, you can't bend the mast as much for sail control.
    Bob Morrison
    1987 E-34 Hull #15
    "Terra Nova"

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Consider Friction, also

    If your boat is still rigged out with mid-80's solid axle blocks, consider replacing the main sheet blocks with ball bearing types. Garhauer would be a reasonable price choice. Your main sheet system involves a LOT of sheet direction changes and the friction really adds up.
    This is one more situation where the easier it is to use the system, the more likely you are to use it and be comfortable using it regularly.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
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  12. #12
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Anything that feels right works, and I don't wish to detract from others' technique.

    I jibe full mainsail in 20 knots without touching the main sheet, and certainly without trimming in. I jibe in 30+ knots--have done it a dozen times--the same way (In heavy air, you're deep reefed. The mainsail forces are actually trivial, its dodging breaking seas that's important).

    It is technique, and the technique is easy to use. It is mandatory for singlehanders, but available to all.

    Pick a spot among the waves. Steer the yacht by the lee. Initiate the jibe with a radical turn of the wheel. Continue the radical turn until the wind is abeam.

    What happens is: the turn beats the swing of the mainsail. BY the time the sail completes its violent transit across the deck, it luffs, rather than "bangs". If that seems unlikely, consider the momentary hesitation as a mainsail finally folds its roach and decides to come crashing over. During that period the yacht is spin-turning and gaining the advantage.

    It is then necessary to resume downwind course by a hard spin of the wheel the other way, and alert timing is necessary to avoid momentum carrying the yacht head to wind in breaking seas.

    There's a downside to trimming a main sheet before a jibe, and that is that the sail trim is momentarily all wrong, and any broach becomes dramatic--and the sail must be paid out very quickly after the sail crosses over--which is a handful, and a foul always threatens.

    In the days of long booms, booms could rise up and take out the backstay. Our booms can't and won't. Boats with running backstays complicate things. Our boats don't usually have them. We have fin keels and spade rudders that turn us on a dime, making this technique possible. A full-keeler can't do it.

    Try the technique in ten knots, see if it works. You should feel and hear no "bang" at all.

    [Not a technique for use when overlapped by four boats at a race turning mark, or when jibing under spinnaker.]
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 04-18-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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    Principal Partner Alan Gomes's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why, but I'd never heard of Christian's technique. But it makes perfect sense and the advantages are obvious, especially for one who single hands most of the time. I'm looking forward to trying it out.
    Alan Gomes
    1984 E26-2
    Yanmar 1GM
    San Pedro, CA

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    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Awesome tips....can't wait to try Christain's technique. And then, there's my $10 Amazon solution to try out as well...Click image for larger version. 

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    Of course, one teqnique is for active helmsmanship, the other for those times you need to leave the wheel unattended on a long downwind run. Both are new to me.

    I used a forward-led preventer line last season and it even made a big save for me once. I don't like that the forward-led line has to be led between the lifelines however, which end up taking a big shock of force when the line springs tight.
    Last edited by Kenneth K; 04-18-2019 at 11:17 AM.
    Ken
    '85 E32-3 "Mariah" #641
    Universal M-25

    "Saltwater is the cure; sweat, tears, or the sea......"

  15. #15
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    Interesting to read Christian's technique which reflect his time at sea and racing experience.
    Two weeks ago we were in 28 kt winds gusting well over 30 on a Beneteau 37, double reefed on both sails. We definitely had the main sheet tight to center before coming across on the gybes and the boat remained plenty fast enough to keep us happy.

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