New Moves

Joanne Rideout of Astoria, Oregon, asks: "I’m a new crewmember racing on an Olson 30 and one of the jobs I’ve been assigned is going on the foredeck to skirt the genoa when we tack. I’ve nearly fallen overboard a couple of times trying to get the sail inside the lifeline after it gets caught outside. What’s the best way to skirt a genoa when it gets stuck? Also, how do I
Author:
Publish date:
NewMovesPhoto1

Joanne Rideout of Astoria, Oregon, asks:

"I’m a new crewmember racing on an Olson 30 and one of the jobs I’ve been assigned is going on the foredeck to skirt the genoa when we tack. I’ve nearly fallen overboard a couple of times trying to get the sail inside the lifeline after it gets caught outside. What’s the best way to skirt a genoa when it gets stuck? Also, how do I keep from falling in—the boat has no toerail, so slipping over the side is a real possibility, even with good deck shoes. My crewmates haven’t been able to give me much help, but I’m doing the best I can."

Win Fowler replies:

I’ve got three suggestions. First, tell the helmsman and genoa trimmer that if they would just do their jobs properly you wouldn’t have to skirt the genoa. That means the helmsman should stop turning through the tack as soon as the clew gets past the new leeward shrouds and then wait until the trimmer has pulled enough slack out of the sheet so the foot stays inside the lifelines. The trimmer, in turn, needs to tail the sheet quickly, so the helmsman won’t lose patience and continue turning before the sail is in. I’m sure neither of your teammates is going to be thrilled to hear this, but it’s true. And remember, if the helmsman does turn the boat too far too fast, it is going to be just as hard for the trimmer to crank in that last bit of sheet as it is for you to get the genoa skirt over the lifeline!

Sometimes this kind of tack isn’t possible: a quick tack and duck after the start, for example, or an unexpected starboard tacker coming at you. But your team still needs to practice tacking until this no-skirt routine becomes the norm.

I’d also ask the owner to install jib rollers on the lifelines next to the offending stanchions. Forespar (forespar.com) makes some nice rollers, and once they are installed the sail often skirts itself when the sheet is trimmed, even if the trimmer does make a slow tack.

Finally, have your sailmaker put a small reinforcing patch and grommet or webbing loop in the foot of the genoa near the point where it meets the lifeline stanchion and tie a long sail tie, or a piece of light webbing, to that point. Secure the other end of the tie to a point on the boat’s centerline where you can reach it from the windward side. If the sail needs to be skirted, you can grab the tie and pull on it without going to leeward. Make sure the tie is long enough so it won’t put a lot of strain on the sail when the sheet is eased, but not so long that it drags in the water or gets caught up in the spinnaker gear.

Related

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

For the first half of Ed and Sue’s adventure, The European Great Loop, Click here...  After completing the European Great Loop (see Multihull Sailor, Summer 2018) on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more