Dealing with a riding turn
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 from www.pbo.co.uk/sketchbook 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: email@example.com