Perhaps no sailing maneuver calls for
better crew coordination than the spinnaker jibe. There are two basic
- 1. Dip-Pole: This system is used on boats over 30 feet. It utilizes
two sheets and two guys attached to each clew of the spinnaker.
- 2. End for End: This jibing technique is universally used on one
designs and is workable on boats up to 30 feet.
The Dip-Pole Jibe
With two sheets and two guys, this system converts the spinnaker jibe
from the classification of “To be avoided at all costs” to the point
where a practiced crew can handle a jibe with ease. The beauty of this
method is the strain of the spinnaker is taken with one set of sheets
and guys so that during the jibe the bowman can easily get the unloaded
new guy into the pole. The dip pole method works like this:
- 1. When the call for the jibe comes, the mastman raises the inboard
end of the spinnaker pole up the mast so that when the pole swings
through the foretriangle it will clear the forestay.
- 2. The spinnaker pole topping lift is lowered so that the outboard
end is just above the bow pulpit when it swings across the boat. (To
ensure that the pole swings across the bow in the same arc, jibe after
jibe you need to mark the mast and the topping lift. The mast should
be marked at the height that the inboard end of the pole reaches when
it is raised, while the topping lift is marked so that the outboard
end of the pole may always be lowered to the same position. )
- 3. The bowman goes to the pulpit with unloaded spinnaker guy in
- 4. The helmsman turns the boat dead downwind.
- 5. As the boat turns, the spinnaker guy is tight-ened until the
pole is perpendicular to the centerline of the boat. Trimming the
pole perpendicular like this rotates the spinnaker to what will be
the new leeward side of the boat.
- 6. When the boat is dead downwind, the skipper yells “Trip” which
tells the mastman to open the outboard jaw of the pole so that the
guy flies free of the pole. (Make sure that the pole is always set
with the jaws facing up.) With the guy free, the sail is controlled
by the two spinnaker sheets.
- 7. The mastman pulls the pole to the bowman in the pulpit using
the trip line.
- 8. As the pole comes over, the mainsail is swung over to the new
- 9. When the bowman gets the new guy in the spinnaker pole jaw, he
yells “Made!” which tells the person trimming the guy that he can
now tension it. Once the guy is tensioned, the old sheet is released.
- 10. Finally, the spinnaker is trimmed to the wind, the topping lift
is raised and the inboard end of the pole is lowered.