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Old 27-08-2020, 07:40   #1
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Accidental Jibe

Hello everyone,
Wont call myself a novice, but certainly upcoming new sailor. I struggle with broad reach simply because I am concerned with an accidental jibe. For now my main sailing grounds is on a lake and there is a lot of wind changes. Any tips?
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Old 27-08-2020, 07:47   #2
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Employ preventers.. they won't deal with wind shifts but they will stop the boom slamming across.
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Old 27-08-2020, 08:02   #3
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Re: Accidental Jibe

Pointing more upwind and gybing downwind is always an option.
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Old 27-08-2020, 16:55   #4
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Re: Accidental Jibe

Sometimes the wind shifts, the sail gybes, and there's not much one can do about it other than to duck. Watch the water for riffles showing a puff from a new direction so you can anticipate this possibility. Rigging a preventer can help, usually in deeper downwind situations where you can turn the boat if the sail looks like it's backfilling and fill it again from the right side. If the new breeze is strong enough and you don't turn to accommodate it though, the boat can wipe out : the sail can gybe anyway, and the preventer, since it is holding the sail from releasing any pressure, can make the boat swerve around, perhaps capsizing to the old windward side. This is not desirable, so people often have preventers rigged to cam cleats that they can release instantly - just in case. Smith's suggestion is perhaps the surest solution: head up a touch so there's less likelihood of an accidental gybe and make a gybe when YOU decide to. Each boat is different. Practicing more will let you know where the boundaries are for yours, and what you are comfortable with.
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Old 27-08-2020, 17:07   #5
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Re: Accidental Jibe

What Boatie says. Install preventers, rigged to the cockpit so they can be controlled.



On our boat a serious accidental gybe would be bad -- very bad. We rig our preventers anytime wind is on the beam or aft.
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Old 27-08-2020, 18:39   #6
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Re: Accidental Jibe

A word of caution. If the op is talking about a dinghy, a preventer can CAUSE capsize because the wind cannot spill. Also an issue for most multihulls in strong winds. Better to sail a slightly hotter angle, keeping the AW no further than 10-20 degrees aft of the beam.


BTW, broad reach can mean two different things:
  • AW on the beam, true wind about 135 degrees off the bow.
  • AW 135 degrees off the bow.
I've seen both usages in reputable texts. I use the first definition, since it fits better with performance boats (they don't sail with the AW aft of the beam), but I believe both are correct... which is confusing.
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Old 27-08-2020, 19:04   #7
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Re: Accidental Jibe

Install a Captn Don's boom brake ($55). It will slow the travel if there boom so it will be safer and not damage the boat.
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Old 27-08-2020, 19:13   #8
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Re: Accidental Jibe

The OP hasn’t stated what he is sailing. Makes a big difference, small lake, beach cat, 505, scow? - or is he sailing a big boat.
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Old 28-08-2020, 03:46   #9
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Re: Accidental Jibe

Sailing a 32 foot yacht
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Old 28-08-2020, 04:09   #10
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Re: Accidental Jibe

We have used a reefing hook on a short line as a preventer. Also move your traveler to leeward. The hook is also useful for temporarily changing the lead of your jib.
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Old 30-08-2020, 13:39   #11
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Re: Accidental Jibe

A 32' boat is not likely to capsize due to an accidental gybe, but it can get scary. This broaching situation with a Swan 45 comes to mind: clueless - Sailing Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums
We had a competitor in a race last year do something similar on a spinnaker run when they lost control of the main. (Got past them quite nicely, thanks.)
A preventer or boom brake should help you avoid this problem or at least slow down the boom so that you can control what's happening by steering the boat to put the wind at a better angle. Neither control is a panacea. The helmsman always has to pay attention to the direction of the wind and how the sails are trimmed.
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Old 30-08-2020, 14:10   #12
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Re: Accidental Jibe

I prefer boom brakes, over preventers, so as to merely slow the rate of the athwartship motion of the mainsail. There is nothing wrong with letting the sails adjust themselves to a wind change, one just needs to have them do so in a controlled manner instead of a harsh shift. It makes no big difference whether the vessel is on a port broadreach or a starboard broadreach.



There be many kinds of boom brakes.

A useful reference link and video.

Some key snipets:

"Principles and ease of use
Apart from the Sailfuse, all the [boom brakes and preventer] products I tested were capable of two things depending on conditions: either stopping the boom from moving at all or controlling the speed through the gybe.

From an engineering point of view, the option of a controlled gybe is preferable, particularly on a fractional rig with swept back spreaders, where if the wind loaded the mainsail from behind with the boom pinned out, there would be nothing to support the middle of the mast to hold it forwards and so the mast would be at risk of inversion.

This very much highlights why a conventional rope preventer should never be tied off forward or amidships, but always be led back to the cockpit where it could be released quickly and under control should the boat gybe unexpectedly."

"A traditional rope preventer will only serve to lock the boom into position. Once rigged it can be trimmed from the cockpit, allowing for any movement of the mainsheet, but in the event of an unexpected gybe a crewmember must immediately be ready to release the preventer to stop the mast loading up.

The closer to the centreline the boom moves, the less effective the preventer will be and if not removed before a gybe the rope will pass overhead through the cockpit catching things and people on the way."

https://www.yachtingworld.com/yachts...eventers-65517
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Old 12-09-2020, 05:28   #13
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Re: Accidental Jibe

I had an accidental jibe not long after this video was taken.

If I'd had some sort of a preventer or anything to impede that jibe, my boat probably would have rolled over on it's side or close to it. (Bristol 27)

As it was, I just moved to the opposite side, corrected the course, and sailed the rest of the way in on port tack.

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Old 12-09-2020, 09:13   #14
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Re: Accidental Jibe

Yup, size matters. On small boats the forces involved are not that great, and perhaps the righting moment is smaller, so you may risk a knockdown in the case of a prevented gybe (maybe?).

On boats like mine, that accidental gybe would have shaken the boat to her bones. We'd risk breaking gooseneck, blocks, shackles and perhaps even rigging. So one size definitely does not fit all.
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Old 12-09-2020, 16:26   #15
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Re: Accidental Jibe

Jim started running double preventers before I met him, long time ago. Ours stay permanently rigged, and we always prevent the boom when we are well off the wind. So, the tail of the line is on the winch, and the sail can be quickly eased across.

I can certainly see where thinwater's coming from, though. Horses for courses, and all that.

Jim's using his on his Yankee 30 (a 30 ft. keel boat), the lines for the preventer were 3 strand nylon, and had a lot of give. With our 36 footer, we made them from polyester double braid, and also for this boat, 12 mm diameter. In one accidental gybe, we did break the boom. However, we haven't been tempted to install a boom brake, and do prefer the way we control it.

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