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Old 28-05-2015, 06:35   #1
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Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

Hi, I can't seem to find a website that details what happens at the Spinnaker clews. Have I got this correct? - The sheets are fixed to the spinnaker clews,- but the braces go thru a block or ring at the clew so that the pole can be hauled down to the bow using the foreguy, the pole bringing the slackened brace with it. The brace is then removed from the pole and clipped to the pulpit, the opposite brace unclipped from it's side of the pulpit, clipped onto the pole, and the pole dipped thru to the other side and set up.
Is that correct? Thanks.
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Old 28-05-2015, 06:53   #2
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Re: Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

Hi Holmek. There are a lot of variables, like how many crew you have, where your lines attach to the pole and whether you are running separate sheets and guys (which i think is what you are referring to as braces?). The following is a method that will work nicely on your boat, with a full crew.

First off, you will have in total:
1 Foreguy
1 Topping lift
2 Sheets
2 Guys

Both the sheets and the guys are attached to the clews of the spinnaker, so you essentially have two lines coming off each clew.

The guys should come back to blocks that are placed about 1/3 of the way forward on the boat, at about the widest point.

The sheets should come back to blocks that are pretty much on your quarters.

So, you're sailing along. Let's say you're on a starboard gybe and want to gybe over to be on a port gybe. You will have your port sheet active and your starboard guy. You're going deep downwind, so the pole is all the way back almost square with the boat.

Helm down so you're dead down wind.

Mast man unclips the pole, and the starboard trimmer switches from the guy to the sheet.

The spinnaker is now flying out in front of the boat by both sheets, and both guys are inactive. One of these guys - the port one, is being held by the bowman who is sitting just by the headstay.

The mast man swings the pole forward towards the headstay. As he does this, he hauls up on the inboard end of the pole (where it attaches to the mast) and 'skies' it. Depending on the length of the pole, this should be sufficient to allow the outboard end of the pole to clear the headstay. If it's not, it may be neccessary to ease the topping lift a touch as well.

As the pole swings forward towards and under the headstay, the bowman grabs it, sticks the port guy that he's been holding into the jaw, closes the jaw and allows the pole to constinue to swing over to the port side. The mast man is raising the topping lift again (if necessary) and easing the inboard end of the pole back down the mast track to bring the pole level again.

The helm comes over onto the new gybe and the trimmer on the port side switches from the sheet to the guy.

Job done. Now you're moving along happily on a port gybe, with the starboard sheet and the port guy active.

Make sense? With practice, this whole thing can be done in under 10 seconds and flows quite smoothly.

Notes:

The foreguy doesn't need to be touched. The pole doesn't need to be hauled anywhere - it's own weight is more than sufficient to bring it down low enough to clear the headstay.

It is possible to attach the guys to the pole instead of the sail. This is a good cruising tactic as it reduces chafe and the weight of lines that have to be supported by the sail, but it makes gybes very difficult as you do not then have control of the clews of the sail once the pole is unclipped. It also means that the trimmers have 3 active lines at once - the windward sheet (which is acting as a guy), the leeward sheet, and the guy (which is acting, as you say, as a brace).

The above procedure can be done (in light air!) with just 2 people on board.

In very light air, it is beneficial to do away with the guys and reduce the weight of lines supported by the sail by running 2 sheets only and no guys (or braces). In this case, the bowman just has to grab the sheet on the 'new' side and stick that in the end of the pole instead of the guy that would normally be there. In this case however, it's useful to have a snatch block on the rail so that you can stick the windward sheet (which is now a guy) into the snatch block and bring the lead further forward. This is much more tricky than having separate sheets and guys, and requires careful coordination between the foredeck, the trimmers and the helmsman to allow the foredeck crew to grab that sheet (which is still active) and stick it in the pole end.
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Old 28-05-2015, 07:27   #3
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Re: Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

Thank you Definately Me, so I understand that the bowman is given enough slack on the new guy to fit it into the pole beak at any point along it's length, and hauling in on that guy will cause the pole to slide along till it reaches the clew. Or rather the guy will slide thru the beak of the pole till the clew stops it. K.
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Old 28-05-2015, 07:33   #4
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Re: Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmek View Post
Thank you Definately Me, so I understand that the bowman is given enough slack on the new guy to fit it into the pole beak at any point along it's length, and hauling in on that guy will cause the pole to slide along till it reaches the clew. Or rather the guy will slide thru the beak of the pole till the clew stops it. K.
Yup pretty much. That guy is inactive until the gybe has been executed, so the bowman has as much slack as he needs and can play about with it at his leisure. Yes, it slides through until the clew stops it, or, better, stick some of those little plastic doughnuts on the ends of the guys so that the pole jaw stops against that rather than the sail itself:

http://www.apsltd.com/images/CATEGORY/medium/9568.jpg
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Old 28-05-2015, 07:56   #5
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Re: Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

Great, finally gotcha. Geez, some mother's children, take a while to catch on. K.
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Old 28-05-2015, 08:15   #6
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Re: Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

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Originally Posted by holmek View Post
Great, finally gotcha. Geez, some mother's children, take a while to catch on. K.
Ha ha. I say kudos to you for managing to interpret my ramblings! If in doubt, blame the mother :-)
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Old 31-05-2015, 14:16   #7
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Re: Pole dip Spinnaker gybe

DefinitelyMe has it spot on. Boy, do I wish I could have drilled that procedure into my crew when I was a racing skipper (small-time) so our jibes looked like a Formula 1 pit crew during a tire change .

I'll add a couple of things.

1. Don't attempt any kind of jibe, except a dip-pole jibe, in any wind at all and/or on any large boat unless you want see a pole end fitting in your point or mast-man's stomach, ribs or mouth.

2. You may (probably will) have to raise the mast (aft) end of the pole so the forward end can clear the head-stay. Mark the pole track with a piece of tape when you have determined the height required. Allow extra height for a bunched up headsail that may be on the foredeck. After the jib haul the mast (aft) end of the pole down quickly before it loads up but not before the connection is made (point man's call) and the forward end of the pole is well clear of the head-stay on the new side. This is requires tricky coordination.

3. The maneuver requires precise coordination between the after-guard, mast-man, point-man and anyone else standing around with nothing to do.

4. I'm old school, I don't like all lines run to the cockpit for racing. Spin halyards and the mast-end pole down-haul should be controlled by the foredeck crew. The pole fore-guy (forward-end pole down-haul) should be controlled from the cockpit because adjustments of this must be coordinate with the pole after-guy. The pole topping lift can be controlled from the foredeck or cockpit depending on the size, skill and assignments of the crew and foredeck weight issues.
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