Tips For Jibing A Sailboat

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,303
    Kevin Wensley, Director of Operations of the Offshore Sailing School, provides the top tips for jibing a sailboat.

    Kevin Wensley: Hello! My name is Kevin Wensley. I am Director of Operations at Offshore Sailing School and today I am at South Seas Island Resorts on beautiful Captiva Island in Florida.

    And what I want to do today is talk a little bit about the basics of jibing. So jibing a sailboat is when you change tacks going downwind, so the back of the boat goes through the wind.

    The first step is to think about how you'll setup on the tack that you're currently on and we'll be driving the boat in a way that keeps the mainsail and the jib full. What we don't want to do is turn the boat so far downwind that the jib actually collapses in the wind shadow of the mainsail. So just try and keep both the sails flying on the same side of the boat.

    The next thing we want to do is give a command of preparation to the crew, to letting the crew know that the jibe is about to happen. So traditionally the command of preparation for jibing is.

    Female Speaker: Prepare to jibe.

    Kevin Wensley: Prepare to jibe. So, on prepare to jibe, the jib trimmer is thinking about with the right time to bring the jibe across to the new side of the boat and release the existing working sheet. And the mainsail trimmer need to think about, have we made the turn getting the boom pretty close to the centerline before the wind gets behind the mainsail and pushes it all the way out on the new side.

    So on prepare to jibe, the helm's person will transition across the boat before they initiate the term, once the boom on the way and keep the course and then the command of execution for jibing is.

    Female Speaker: Jibe ho!

    Kevin Wensley: So on Jibe ho! The driver will start to very slowly turn the boat downwind, at this point the first thing you will see happen is that the jib will collapse behind the mainsail and the jib trimmer can bring the sail out onto the new side. In the meantime the mainsail trimmer has got very, very busy quickly pulling the mainsail into the center of the boat.

    And then as the wind gets behind the mainsail, then it's up to the mainsail trimmer to ease the sail out on the new side as rapidly and a controlled way as they possibly can. And that's the basics of jibing.