Cruising

Easy-Line Handling with a Club-Footed Jib

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I share a 1995 Beneteau 42s7 with a friend. We (and most of our other sailing friends) are getting on in years, so we’ve made some changes to help make the boat easier to sail. One of these was adapting a club-footed jib to fly in the boat’s large foretriangle to ease line-handling when sailing upwind around Narragansett Bay and the islands south of Cape Cod.

The position of the anchor well prevented us from adding a simple connector on deck to receive the forward end of the jib-boom. We solved that problem by having a welder create a custom horseshoe-shaped bracket that we mounted on deck right behind the headstay. We cut down a spinnaker pole to make our jib-boom and connected it to the bracket with a standard trailer hitch and ball. We made a simple traveler out of Dyneema line and had a new jib made to fit the rig, which we can now control with one sheet and an outhaul. Both of these lines are led forward to the front of the boom, and then aft to the cockpit.

Our new jib really works! The result is a great sailing boat that is now very easy to single- and double-hand.

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