by Evan Gomberg
The Term “Jibe Set” describes crew work to set the spinnaker after rounding the weather mark and jibing the main and jib.
There are two primary reasons for doing a Jibe Set as opposed to a “Bear-Away Set”
The rhumbline, or shortest path to the next mark, requires the boat to be on the opposite tack / jibe from the tack that the boat approached the weather mark from.
Race strategy / optimal boat for boat tactics dictates a Jibe Set to be the best action to get / stay ahead in the race.
Jibe Set Setup Notes
Setting up for a jibe set is a sensitive endeavor in that having personnel up on the foredeck (forward of the shrouds) hurts the boat’s up wind performance. Take the following steps to minimize the Jibe Set’s Setup on the boat’s weather leg performance:
1. Setup activities should be performed by no more than one person on the foredeck at a time, especially if laying the mark is questionable.
2. Keeping bodies on the weather rail is key to upwind performance.
3. Tactician should notify the crew as early as possible that a jibe set is required at the weather mark. This will facilitate most setup being done from the weather rail.
4. Spinnaker halyard adjustments should be made by the mast-man with their weight as far toward the weather rail as possible.
5. The most important thing is to get the boat around the weather mark and not do anything that jeopardizes the mark rounding.
Jibe Set Setup Steps
1. One cockpit person frees the sheets & ‘guys so the foredeck team can have slack as required to configure lines. The cockpit person stands-by to take up slack per foredeck direction.
2. People sitting on the rail need to make sure they are not sitting on the sheets & ‘guys
3. Foredeck-man moves sheets & ‘guys as required to facilitate a jibe set spinnaker hoist at the weather mark, i.e. shackles need to be on the weather rail of the tack that the boat will round the mark on.
Note: It can be beneficial to attach the halyard to the shackles to get a desired halyard around the head-stay if required.
4. Foredeck-man puts afterguy into the jaws of the pole and verifies that the pole and lines are not fouled and will raise clear of the bow pulpit & lifelines. -check the bow’s deck cleat as it will foul the sheets & guys.
5. Foredeck-man attaches the spinnaker to the weather rail when laying the weather mark is immanent.
One mast man helps with the spinnaker halyard, preferably from the weather rail.
6. Foredeck-man attaches halyard with a lot of slack so the jib will not push the chute out of the bag when jibed.
7. Foredeck-man makes sure there is plenty of slack in the Foreguy to ensure the pole can be swiftly raised.
Jibe Set Execution
As the yacht bears away around the weather mark:
Foredeck & Mast Team
1. Mast-man at the Spinnaker Halyard gets ready to tail with a winch handle close by, but not in the winch.
2. Mast-man jumping the spinnaker halyard gets into position.
3. Mast-man on the pole raises the inboard end of the pole.
4. Foredeck-man gets ready to pull jib through the fore-triangle to expedite the jibe. This positions the foredeck man to be stationed right next to the spinnaker to ensure it hoists cleanly on the set.
1. Cockpit “Afterguy Trimmer” trims the jib on the leeward “Primary Winch” through the jibe.
2. Cockpit “Afterguy Trimmer” Sets up the Afterguy on the leeward “Secondary Winch”
3. Cockpit “Spin Sheet Grinder” prepares to jibe the jib using the weather side “Secondary Winch”.
4. Cockpit “Spin Sheet Trimmer” sets up the spin sheet on the weather side “Primary Winch”.
5. Topping Lift Trimmer Prepares to raise pole topping lift as soon as the jib comes over the pole during the jibe.
6. Topping Lift Trimmer Prepares Jib Halyard to be lowered immediately following the spinnaker hoist.
Main Sail Trimmers / Hydraulics & Runner Trimmers
1. As soon as boat starts to bear away, Main Sail Trimmer calls for the Out Haul, Backstay, and Running Back tensions to be eased. Call out when enough has been eased.
2. Prepare to jibe the Main.
Jibe Set Execution
Jibe the Jib + Main & Hoist Spinnaker
Foredeck & Mast Team
1. Mast-man at the Spinnaker Halyard Hoists on command of tactician, usually just after Jib comes through fore-triangle.
2. Mast-man jumping the spinnaker halyard hoists / jumps spin halyard on command of tactician, usually just after Jib comes through fore-triangle.
3. Mast-man on the pole raises the inboard end of the pole and then helps jump the topping lift.
4. Foredeck-man pulls jib through the fore-triangle to expedite the jibe. Monitors spinnaker through hoist to ensure it raises clear.
1. Cockpit “Afterguy Trimmer” releases jib for the jibe.
Topping Lift Trimmer raises pole level.
2. Cockpit “Afterguy Trimmer” rapidly takes in the Afterguy on the leeward “Secondary Winch” to get the spinnaker out to the end of the pole as soon as the pole is above the bow pulpit.
3. Cockpit Afterguy Grinder helps get the spinnaker out to the end of the pole as soon as the pole is above the bow pulpit.
4. Cockpit Spin Sheet Grinder trims jib through jibe & take down. Once jib halyard is released, switch to grinding spin sheet.
5. Cockpit “Spin Sheet Trimmer” trims in spinnaker after “Made” is called by the Spinnaker Halyard hoisting team.
Main Sail Trimmers
1. Jibe the Main.
2. Call for an ease of the Vang if the boat is over powered.
Drop the Jib
1. Topping Lift Trimmer belays topping lift and lowers jib at a speed that the mast / foredeck crew can take it on deck. Facilitate them folding it if you can see they are able, or “just drop it” on their command. Watch for what they need.
2. Once foredeck-man has secured the jib halyard to the bow of the boat, tension the halyard to pull the mast forward to the direction of the foredeck-man. – Verify back stay tension and runners have been eased prior to full tension.
Clean / Organize Cockpit lines.
Discuss Jibe & Peel positions.
Foredeck & Mast Team
1. As soon as spinnaker hoist is complete, two mast-men take the leach of the jib and guide it to the deck as the jib halyard is lowered from the cockpit. A third mast-man takes the center of the jib. If possible, zig-zag fold the jib on its way down.
2. Foredeck-man pulls head of jib down, zig-zag folding if possible.
3. Foredeck-man secures the jib halyard to the bow of the boat
Determine how soon a Jibe is required.
4. At the earliest convenience:
4a. Zig-zag fold the sail.
4b. Pre feed the head of the sail into the track if it will be used on the next weather leg.
4c. Secure the sail on deck if it will be used, or bag the jib & secure on deck if a different jib will be used on the next leg.
5. Prepare for Jibe.
6. Prepare for Peel.