What you need to know about sailing a yacht
Denis Korablev
  • 05.11.2021
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What you need to know about sailing a yacht

To steer the sails means to know clearly when and which sail to set; it is equally important to remove them in time and, most importantly, to fold them correctly.

How to set the sails?

Preparatory work for setting the sails should begin with bringing them to their destinations and unloading them from the sacks. The yacht must stand with its bow against the wind, in this regard, the first thing to do is to anchor it.

The helmsman should release the boom sheet and check its attachment. The responsible sailor spreads the staysail sheets and picks up the topline a little, to make it easier to set the mainsail and prevent the boom from falling when clearing the sector. In parallel, it is required to dissolve the bays of the main and staysail halyard, pre-fix the running ends (1-2 hoses) for the duck or dowel so that the halyard does not go to the upper end of the mast.

In connection with the need to keep the yacht against the wind before departure, you first need to set the rear sails: the mainsail - on sloops, mizzen - on yols and caches. Sometimes immediate action is required and in exceptional cases it will be necessary to set the sails with the wind from the stern. In this case, the experts 2yachts recommend, first of all, set the front sails (jib or staysail), get out of the parking lot, and later, on the go, set the rear sails. sail.

The installation of the Bermuda mainsail begins with the introduction of the luff into the groove of the boom with a clew in the stern. In this case, it is necessary to fix the tack angle krengel in the swivel fork. After that, tighten the lower luff along the boom and fasten it with a main sheet. Mainsail performance is mostly dependent on the luff tension, so it is important to get it right. If you choose it tight, then it can be extended to a large extent and the clew angle will go beyond the measurement mark on the boom nose, it follows that the sail is not suitable and needs to be altered.

Choose the bowline on the short batten mainsail so as to no slack. Within certain limits, with a bowline (provided that the sail with through battens), you can increase the "belly" of the mainsail, shifting it from the luff to the rear.

Lay the main end of the main halyard with the help of a bracket for the krengels of the main halyard corner, insert the luff into the luff groove of the mast. Choose the main halyard little by little, inserting the armor, starting from the top. Leave 2 centimeters between the ends of the short armor and the bottom of the pockets, otherwise there is a danger of a "harmful" fold passing along the inner ends of the armor, which will be almost impossible to eliminate. It is recommended to insert through battens up to the stop; the degree of adjustment of the landing depends on the sail profile required at the moment and the strength of the wind. Remember: in a strong wind, thickened through armor should enter the pockets freely; in a light breeze, put the thin armor quite tightly.

When setting the sails, it is advisable to select the halyards not in jerks, but evenly. It is impossible to get distracted by choosing the main halyard, because the sail can catch on something with the battens or the luff and break, and besides, there is a danger of breaking the battens. Pull the main halyard so that the leech is slightly tighter than the leech (this will give the sail the correct shape), and fasten it to the duck. They assemble the running end of the main halyard into the marching bay and hang it on the mast so that any sailor can instantly distribute it if it is necessary to quickly remove the sails.

How to set the head sails?

You need to act quickly when installing the jib and staysail, especially in fresh wind, otherwise there is a threat that the flesh of the sail will be carried overboard. You should start with attaching the tack angle, then you need to lay the leech rax carabiners (starting from the lower one) and the halyard behind the head corner of the sail. Spread the sheets along the sides and pass through the bales, lay in last. Choose a staysail-halyard in a tight one and fasten it to a duck or dowel. The jib is traditionally placed first, and then the staysail on the move.

Mizzen requires the same actions as when setting up a grotto. The flying jib is installed in the same way as the jib, only the luff should always be tacked. Then, as all the sails are set, carefully disassemble the boom sheet, put it in a free bay so that baiting is easy. Tie the ends of the jib and staysail sheets through the bales with a “figure eight” knot for reliability.

The helmsman should examine the set sails, make sure everything is in order and give the command to “drop the topping”, then lower the centerboard and rudder blade.

How to remove the sails?

The sails should be removed in the reverse order: start with the front sails (staysail and jib), and only then the mainsail and mizzen.

Procedure on the Bermuda sloop:

  1. Disassemble the staysail-halyard bay, release from the duck and bait, making sure that the sail does not go into the water.
  2. Release the halyard from the staysail, fasten it to the back on the deck or mast, tighten and secure the running end.
  3. Remove the rax carbines from the headstock, return the tack angle from the headstock (tack) and the staysail sheets.
  4. Place the staysail sheets with the staple, pull them out of the bales and put them in the bay.
  5. Prepare sector:
    • choose the slack of the boom sheet;
    • disassemble the mainsail bay;
    • light the main halyard, making sure that the boom lies on the sector;
    • tighten and secure the boom sheet so that the boom does not fall off the sector.
  6. The halyard should be baited gradually, taking out the armor (now start from the bottom), be careful not to let the sail fall into the water. Short battens can be removed after lowering the mainsail.
  7. Remove the main halyard from the sail, lay it on the mast (optionally, in the boom swivel), tighten and secure the running end.
  8. Take the sail off the spar.
  9. Collect the free ends of the halyards and sheets into bays, hang them in their places.
  10. Tighten and secure topping and backstays.

Only perfectly dry sails can be put into the bag. It is necessary to dry thoroughly in order to prevent the fabric from rotting. Damp staysail sheets can be left hanging on the outside of the bag. Sails made of synthetic fabrics are not afraid of moisture, but they should also be thoroughly dried; because wet sails become stiff and difficult to lay.

The sails must be set quickly, and in order not to get tangled, they are pre-laid in a certain way. There are several styling options, but the following are the most common.

First way:

  • spread the sail on a dry and level surface;
  • fold like an accordion (headroom at the top, luff at the bottom, front - in front);
  • Roll the accordion from the luff to the clew.

A sail laid in this way can be without unrolling the accordions, immediately start with the luff into the boom groove and lay the halyard in the halyard corner.

Second way:

  • take the sail by the middle of the pulp and stuff it into the sack, making sure that the luffs do not twist;
  • put the corners of the sail on top of the bag.

The sail with such a laying is less caking and well ventilated, since the air remains between the layers of the canvas.

When the sails are removed, be it a rented yacht or personal, it must be put in order: pump out the water, clean up the cockpit, lay it out to dry all wet items, including rescue equipment, and to park. Fenders should be hung on the sides, hatches should be opened to ventilate the interior. It is advisable to wash the deck with clean water, cover the cockpit with a cover and let the yacht rest until next time.

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