Top Tips For Sailing

Rig set-up

Light wind 2 – 4 knots

Jib halyard – block to block at the base of the mast.
Shroud tensioners – enough to keep the jib luff tight.
Cunningham – nothing, don’t worry about the lines in the sail
Kicker – enough to straighten the leach. Avoid backing the trailing edge.

Bahrain, Sky, Clouds, Sailboats, Sea, Ocean, Water

Winds 5 – 10 knots

Jib halyard – around the halfway point between the bottom block and the mast gate. If you need more power pull it down and vice versa.
Shroud tensioners – enough to keep the jib luff tight and a little bit more.
Cunningham – if the wind is constant then you may not need any, however, if it is gusting then apply a few inches. You will feel the boat rapidly depower if you have applied too much.
Kicker – start to pull it in hard.

Winds 10 – 15 knots

Jib halyard – just below the mast gate. If you need mote power then pull it down.
Shroud tensioners – enough to keep the jib luff tight and a little bit more.
Cunningham – about 4 inches. If you feel you need to depower more increase the shroud tension as you apply more cunningham.
Kicker – pull it in even harder.

Winds 15 – 20 knots

Jib halyard – just below the top of the mast gate.
Shroud tensioners – apply good pressure
Cunningham – about 5 inches. If you you need to depower increase shroud tension as you apply more cunningham
Kicker – pull it in even harder. The main needs a lot of kicker in any kind of wind. It just needs to be let off down wind.


During maneuvers the crew’s primary task is to act as a counter balance. Being quick enough to grab the other trapeze wire and go out, at least onto the side of the boat so as to keep the boat upright, takes priority over sheeting the jib. However don’t forget to let the old sheet off! Many people have rigged the sheets onto the opposite trapeze so they don’t have to worry about picking up the new sheet.

Fiumanka, Sailing, Race, Sailboat, Yacht, Wind, Sport

Tacking (from the helms perspective)
The boat is very light and therefore when the sails are not working will loose speed very quickly, so be bold and steer the boat through the tack. As the helm moves in from the side of the boat he eases a foot or so of main to stabalise the boat and knocks off his trapeze at the same time as stepping onto the gunwhale. The boat will move easily through the tack. Try to keep your weight as far forward as possible. Switch hands on the helm and with your new mainsheet hand locate your new trapeze hoop (possibly hooked on your crews harness if he hasn’t tidied his buckles and straps!!) clip on and move out onto the side. At this point the rig will be starting to power up and hopefully the crew is out already. All that remains is for you to move out and sheet in the main as you do so.

Sailing in windy conditions

Keep the boat flat, or at least try to.
In general the crew should move around the helm. The helm needs a stable platform to streer from and this strangely enough will help the crew by providing him with a more stable platform. The helm will normally be on the trapeze.

The rig needs to be back with a certain amount of twist. The helm should steer the boat up in the puffs, not so that the boat stalls or really slows noticeably but just so that the main is feathered and then resume course when the wind eases again.

Hoist and drop on the run. When a puff comes through run with it by bearing away then come back up when it eases. Easing the kicker can help in the gybes. Be bold. Drop down wind talk to the crew so that he knows exactly what is going on when. Steer the boat positively through the gybe. Once the main has come over it pays to overcompensate in your steering (steering an ‘S’) to get the rig back over the centre of the boat so that the boat is stable before you move out on the new side and start the fun again. It also means that the spinnaker is out of play briefly which in these situations is a good thing.

Two sail reaching
This is where many big wipe outs happen. If you let the bow hit the back of a wave you generally don’t recover but sit and watch the capsize from 25 yards in front of the boat. It’s also a pain having to replace the shredded trapeze elastics. So the rule here is don’t strong wind two sail if you can help it if you can’t then get your weight right to the back. Over lapping helm and crews legs can also provide some additional stability if this feels comfortable and your crew / helm doesn’t get personal.

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