The Hard Wind Jib and Mobile Forestay


Hard Wind Jib

A demerit of the furling headsail is that once the jib or genoa has been furled away, it prevents the forestay being available for a heavy weather jib.

Reefed Hard Wind Jib

My answer to the problem is to hank the hard wind jib on to a mobile inner forestay with one line of reefing pennants. This takes over from the previously reefed 70% jib or genoa, to provide a replacement headsail of some 50% of the original sail area which can be further reduced by way of a reef, to 35% without destroying sail shape and efficiency.

To reef the hard wind jib, I release the halyard sufficiently to snapshackle a permanently spliced luff reef pennant down onto the inner forestay's deck fitting. This is followed by running a permanently spliced leech reef pennant from the reef clew, down through the main clew and returned, to haul the sheets up to the reef clew and made off. This avoids re-attaching the sheets and gathers up the abandoned leech together with the main clew. Finally, I tie off the three colour coded reefing pennants to gather up the sail's discarded foot, harden up the halyard and return to the cockpit.

When not in use, the luff pennant is clipped onto the forestay and the leech pennant stowed under a velcro fold down the leech.

Storm Jib & Trysail

This rig should carry one through to gale force conditions following which, one is probably into a storm staysail and trysail replacement. At that stage, I drop the heavy weather jib and secure it to the foot of the inner forestay to be replaced by the storm staysail. The H/W jib sheets and halyard are then transferred to the storm jib to set the sail. Following on from this, the mainsail is furled away, to be replaced by the trysail and hoisted on a spare mainsail halyard with its permanently attached sheets run aft via deck turning blocks to the cockpit winches.


As a point of note, I would recommend that all yachts carry pre-rigged, spare headsail and mainsail halyards. They may not be called upon often, but if the need arises they need to be immediately to hand. Time spent on the foredeck in inclement weather, should be kept to a minimum.


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