Your Questions Answered


Some answers to commonly asked questions on the Simbo Rig are:-

Q. What is the Simbo Rig?
A. The Simbo Rig is a omni-function sail plan that enables a yachtsperson to sail on all points of the wind with just the one suit of sails for handling all likely weather conditions.

Q. From where does the name derived?
A. The Simbo Rig is an acronym for SIMple BOw rig.

Q. Why is the rig deemed 'simple'?
A. Because once hoisted it can remain set for the duration of the season/passage overcoming any requirement for sail changes.

Q. Is it easy to handle?
A. It can be controlled by one person from the safety of the cockpit and apart from the hoisting and striking of the whisker poles when running, requires no foredeck work.

Q. What equipment is required to accommodate the rig?
A. Two identical working jibs and two sets of jib sheets plus ideally, two sets of sheet cars. This will accommodate ones sailing requirements from a close haul through to a broad reach.

Q. How are the jibs hoisted?
On one jib halyard up the twin grooves of the jib foil. I advise replacing the sliding furler-car's snapshackle with a strong s/s screwed shackle plus spectra line to secure the head of the sails. This resolves the problem of the
additional load and swiveling factor. I also prefer to secure the tack of the sails with a spectra line to the shackle.

Q. Do the twin jibs cause additional wear when flown together?
No. In fact by switching them around each season from port/starboard, I think their life is prolonged.

Q. Do the double set of jib sheets confuse or complicate procedures?
  No, not if they are colour coded with the outer running sheets being a different colour/fleck to the inner reaching sheets.

Q. Are there any incidental advantages of having two jibs flying with two sets of sheets?
1. Yes. One can alter the set of the sails under load without running the risk of straining a wrist, by first adjusting the unloaded downwind jib for it to capture the loaded upwind jib on its release.
2. One can also adjust the genoa cars under load by resting the upwind jib on the downwind jib to take the load off its sheet car and then after tightening up, do the same with the blanketed
downwind jib/sheet car.
3. In the same way, one can just as easily re-reeve the sheets from outside to inside the cap shroud for a closer sheeting angle and vice versa
4. Also adjust the jib's foot and leech tension lines plus undertake running repairs to the sail’s tack,foot and clew underway.
5. Finally, on heaving-to you can sheet both jibs to their respective sides so that should the boat accidentally tack through the wind it will conveniently heave-to on the other tack.

Q. How can one person handle the tacking of four jib sheets?
By first releasing the upwind sheet to rest the jib on the downwind sail followed by the release of the downwind sheet on coming about.
Once through the wind take up on the new downwind sheet which captures the upwind jib following which you can make up the unloaded upwind sheet.

Q. How does one bear on to a run from a reach?
Furl away the two jibs, set the twin whisker poles with boom lifts and fore & aft guys, run the sheets under the whisker poles’ retractable bolts return to the cockpit and pull out the jibs to their respective poles.

Q. How does one revert to a reach from a run?
  By bringing the boat onto the wind to allow the weather jib to back then release its sheet for the sail to return to leeward and be captured by the downwind jib.

Q. Having reverted to a broad reach from a run, up to what wind angle can one continue to carry the whisker poles before needing to lower them?
. Up to a fine reach i.e. with an apparent wind of 60 degrees off the bow. I would mention that I have found it an advantage in light winds to fly the twin jibs from the leeward whisker pole on a broad reach..

Q. At what wind angle does one separate the jibs to bear away on a run?
. The twin jibs will separately fly downwind set from the whisker poles with wind angles of 150 through 180 degrees off the bow. If one knows that the run will only be on the one tack it is not
necessary to raise the leeward whisker pole as it is the redirected wind that keeps the leeward sail set, not the whisker pole. Therefore, as there is no pressure on the leeward whisker pole
the incidence of rolling down wind is substantially reduced. I would add that with this reduction in downwind rolling and the short whisker poles, it is extremely unlikely that a pole would be dipped into the sea.

Q. How does one gybe?
Merely by hauling the mainsheet. The twin jibs remain unaffected as the whisker poles are always set at right angles to the boat, fixed by their fore & aft guys + topping lifts.

Q. Can the twin jibs be reefed on the run?
Yes. Unlike coloured sails, the jibs can be reefed underway by furling them in from their respective sides. Furthermore if hit by a squall, 50% of the sail area can instantly be dumped by reverting to a broad reach
and allowing the weather jib to return to leeward and be captured by the downwind jib.
If wanting to dispense with the incidence of an accidental gybe i.e. in heavy weather or when solo sailing through the night, the mainsail can be furled to leave just the twin jibs flying. For this reason I always set
a boom preventer on a broad reach or run, to avoid having to turn up into an ugly sea and head into the wind to reef or strike the mainsail which also averts 'nerve jangling' mainsail flogging and boom rattling.

Q. Does the whisker pole's retractable bolt cause undue wear to the sheet over a prolonged passage i.e. Atlantic crossing?
  For an Atlantic crossing, I prefer to run the sheets through a double block attached to the retractable whisker pole bolt.

Q. What about the sheet angle from the whisker pole to the sheet car?
  On a day's run under Simbo Rig, I adjust the sheet car position to the aftmost extremity of the genoa track to reduce the working angle.
However, when crossing the Atlantic or running for days on end, I prefer to run the sheets from the whisker pole back to a banjo block on the capping rail afore the pushpit
and return to the cockpit winches for a kinder lead.

Q. Who would most benefit from adopting the Simbo Rig?
  Families and short handed yachtspeople especially those crossing oceans. The rig can be flown with confidence under total control by one person from the security of the cockpit in fair and foul weather, night or day. One is always prepared for the unexpected eventuality with the correct complement of working sails to hand.

Q. Which yacht rig is best suited for the Simbo Rig?
. A bermuda sloop with aft-swept spreaders and no forward lowers. This allows the whisker poles to be stowed up the 'spinnaker' track with their fore & aft guys together with boom lifts, attached to measured marks when they can then be lowered to insert the sheets under the retractable bolts in the knowledge that the poles on hoisting, will set at right angles to the boat and horizontal with the horizon. On subsequently releasing the jib sheets from
the retractable whisker pole bolts, the poles can be re-stowed up the 'spinnaker' track and clipped at the outer end to a deck fitting.
The Simbo Rig works equally well of course, with a yacht with forward lowers. However in this case, one has to manually transfer the whisker poles from their fore facing mast/ deck mount to attach to the side of the mast which in my case, is to a Selden 'spinnaker' pole/mast fitting protrusion. This works fine, it's just a little 'pedestrian' by comparison with the former described whisker poles to 'spinnaker’ track mount.
In either case carbon fibre whisker poles are to be preferred.