Deal­ing with a rid­ing turn

Practical Boat Owner - - Con­tents -

Tips from the PBO Sketch­book

A. ‘A rid­ing turn’ is the term used when the ten­sioned bit of the line jams the winch by wrap­ping it­self over the other lines. B. This prob­lem can be caused by a poor lead into the winch. The line should rise by 5-10°, so it might need an ex­tra fair­lead block, or the jam­mer an­gled up slightly.

C. An ar­row helps novice crews wrap the line the right way around the winch – es­pe­cially on the port side. D. When eas­ing the line out, keep it tight against the drum with just the heel of your hand. E. When tack­ing, the lazy sheet can be whipped off quickly by pulling it straight up above the winch. Make sure all the ‘tails’ can’t get snagged in the winch. Some rac­ing boats toss them down the com­pan­ion­way, but small stowage bags, or cleats, are neater. F. On big boats, where lines are di­verted around man­ual winches to pow­ered ones, make sure you un­der­stand their op­er­a­tion and what to do if the ‘off’ con­trol fails!

G. If you can’t tug the jam free, luff up or drop the sail to get the ten­sion off. You’ll have to tie an­other line on with a stop­per knot: a rolling hitch is fine, but don’t worry about the cor­rect knot, just wind enough turns on to give you some grip. H. To move lines un­der ten­sion on old race boats, Eric Tabarly used a stop­per like this, made from the sleeve of a braided rope, that flat­tened and gripped nicely. I. The sim­plest ‘no-think’ stop­per is a loop of line wrapped sev­eral times around the ten­sioned line. Prac­tise a few times be­fore it’s needed! J. Take the load off with an­other line led to a winch, or use a tackle like this, called a ‘handy billy’. If the boat’s in real dan­ger, cut the sheet quickly. Ideally do it up by the sail to save the most line, but take great care the ends don’t fly back and hurt some­one.

Orig­i­nal Boat Owner’s Sketch­book vol­umes 1 to 5 are now avail­able to down­load from­book priced at £4.95 each. A lim­ited num­ber of printed vol­umes 3, 4 and 5 of the orig­i­nal Sketch­book se­ries are still avail­able from the PBO Ed­i­to­rial of­fice priced at £3.75 each, or all three for £10. Order yours by call­ing tel: 01202 440830 or email:

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