The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Tips, Tricks & Thoughts:

sail trim

  • Fitting Jib In-Haulers

    A couple of weeks back I wrote about how jib in-haulers have pretty much removed the need to carry overlapping genoas on a J/109, like our Morgan’s Cloud.

    Several members expressed interest in learning more, so here are a few photos and some notes on how I set up our system.

    Why In-Haul?

    But before you read on, if you have not read that article, or at least the part on in-haulers, please do so now as I won’t be duplicating the reasons for in-hauling that I shared there.

    Not For Everyone

    Before we go any further be aware that in-haulers are generally only useful on boats with non-overlapping jibs (or staysails on cutters) that sheet inside the shrouds since the sheeting angles for overlapping jibs are usually constrained by the spreader length.

    And even if an in-hauler was desirable for a genoa, say in cases where there are no tracks and the genoa is sheeted to the rail, they would probably not be practical because of the trip hazard.

    For Sail-Trim Geeks

    The other thing to be aware of with in-haulers, is that to get the best out of them we have to trim the jib by eye, since the effects of adjusting them are pretty much infinite when used in conjunction with halyard tension, sheet car position, and sheet tension, so marks to achieve repeatable trim do not work well.

    So for those who don’t get pleasure from constantly fiddling with sail trim (no shame in that), a numbered track together with sheet cars that can be easily adjusted fore and aft under load, with a multi-part tackle, may be a better bet.

    The Details

    With that disclaimer out of the way, here are a few tips for fitting in-haulers.


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  • A Fractional Rig is Like a Gearbox

    Above is with the backstay set for light air (about 7 knots true) and mast on our J/109 pretty much straight. Big time power in the mainsail and lots of sag in the headstay powering up the jib.

    This is the same two sails in 14 knots true at which point we de-powered by pumping the backstay down 3.5″.

    Main is now quite flat with a nice open leach and plenty of twist and headstay much tighter, doing the same to the jib.

    In a mast head boat with a rig this big, and without gorillas on the rail, we would have had to reef, but then would have been a bit under powered.

    Loving sailing a fraction boat again after all these years.


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  • Why We Need a Traveler

    We increasingly see boats without travellers, but that’s a big performance hit, particularly in light air going to windward where we want the boom on the centreline but the sheet not too tight. To make that happen the traveler car needs to be well to windward of centre.

    Check out the nice twist and leach shape that results from this setup.

    Much more about deck layout tradeoffs.


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