Where it can go Wrong...

Yachting Monthly - - EXPERT ON BOARD -

It’s vi­tal that the crew in the cock­pit know what the per­son on the fore­deck is try­ing to do. Ev­ery­one needs to con­cen­trate and it helps to have some­one in charge other than the helm, even if there are only a few crew.

The ropes are of­ten led the wrong way or twisted around an­other rope or wire. Prepa­ra­tion is the best way to avoid this. The wind has to be very light to al­low you to de­tach a sheet or guy from a hoisted spin­naker while you undo a tan­gle. Nor­mally you have to drop and start again.

Some­times the head of the sail fills with wind and there is a twist in the mid­dle cre­at­ing a wine­glass ef­fect. To re­move this you have to un­ravel it up­wards. The helm has to steer down­wind to blan­ket the spin­naker, be­ing care­ful not to gybe. Pull on the sheet, ei­ther from the cock­pit or side deck, and try and per­suade the twist to move up­wards. This isn’t go­ing to work if the spin­naker is fill­ing at the top. If it’s re­ally jammed it will have to come down.

If the spin­naker fills on the way up it’s go­ing to be hard work winch­ing the hal­yard. The helm can help by steer­ing down­wind.

There are other prob­lems, such as hoist­ing it the wrong way up, which means drop­ping it again and hop­ing no one no­tices.

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