The Anatomy of a
Takedown: Part I The Weather Takedown
The weather takedown is the ideal takedown
because it allows you to carry the spinnaker
to the last possible moment. Also since the sail comes down on the port side of the boat (usually), all of
the spinnaker gear is in the correct
spot for a bear-away set at the next windward
mark. This is the takedown that we will usually use when coming into the
leeward mark on port jibe for a
normal port rounding. The exact
timing of all of these maneuvers will vary with windspeed,
boatspeed, and competition, but the harder it is
blowing, the sooner everything has to happen.
1. The Setup - About
three quarters of the way down the leg (or as soon as the back of the boat
figures out that we are coming in on port jibe):
and Mast drag the jib around to the starboard side of the boat (it will
most likely be on the port side) making sure to get the front of the sail
on the right side of the foreguy (fluorescent
green line that pulls the pole down and forward).
hook up the tack of the jib into the snap shackle on the bow. Make sure
the luff of the sail is not twisted and feed the
head into the pre-feeder and the track on the headstay.
Hook up the jib halyard and feed the sail up a few feet. Make sure the
sail is in the correct track and shackle for the halyard you are using.
man the jib halyard and raise it a few feet once the bowman has it hooked
toss the port jib sheet over the pole and hook up both jib sheets to the
clew of the sail. Open the forward hatch.
trimmer (or any free hand in the cockpit) take most (but not all) of the
slack out of the starboard jib sheet and load it on the primary winch
(three turns, handle in, high gear).
if you are sailing a deep angle to the mark (i.e. its breezy and the
pole is squared back a lot) call for the jib to be raised halfway. This
will not disturb the flow over the spinnaker if you are sailing deep
enough and will give the foredeck a head start. Note: you cannot do this
when reaching into the mark.
2. Raise the Jib -
About four boatlengths from the mark (more or less
depending on the windspeed):
Mast jump jib halyard at the mast always
watching the sail to spot any problems
Pit overhaul jib halyard. Once the mastman cant jump it anymore, put four turns on the winch
and put the halyard in the self tailer. Grind the
sail up to the proper upwind tension (this should be marked on the halyard, but
the bowman can call it if necessary). Make sure to watch the sail for any
problems. Leave the jib halyard on the winch and in the self tailer to minimize any chance of slippage. Make sure
spinnaker halyard is flaked, out of the bag and ready to run.
Bow Watch the jib luff
feeder for any problems and be ready to run forward and help feed if necessary.
Try to keep your weight as far back as possible.
Floater/Pit tighten outhaul to upwind setting
(probably all the way). Cunningham can wait.
Main - tighten backstay about halfway to upwind
Jib Trimmer no need to trim the jib yet, its
not driving the boat (you are probably still on the guy or the sheet anyway)
but make sure it is not flogging.
3. Ready for the
Douse - About three boatlengths from the mark:
trimmer pull back on the guy a few feet to compensate for the pole as it
is tripped away
call for the trip, then call out time until the douse
trip the pole and then lower the inboard end to the deck. Then grab the
lazy sheet (hanging down off the sail on the port side of the boat) and
hand the end to the sewer man reaching out of the hatch.
lower the outboard end of the pole to the deck
- Bow Make
sure the hatch is open the hatch before the trip and then make sure the
pole comes down smoothly. Guide it underneath the bow pulpit.
assume the position of human pole, holding the guy as far outboard as
possible with one hand while holding the shrouds with the other
- Sewer (Runners) go below and forward, get ready to
gather the sail through the hatch. Take the lazy sheet from the mastman and make sure everything is clear to come
4. Time to Douse - Two-ish boatlengths from the mark (can vary on any number of
factors including windspeed, boatspeed,
overlaps, starboard tackers, confidence, etc.):
call for the douse
If reaching into the mark, turn down briefly to help collapse the chute
Grab the lazy sheet and pull it down and back to collapse the sail and get
it around the forestay. Then reach up and grab the luff
tape and pull it down. Stuff the sail down the hatch.
- Bow -
stand just forward of the mastman and help pull
the lazy sheet down if necessary. Grab the foot of the sail and pull back
to get the sail around the forestay. Then reach up help pull the sail
down. Stuff the sail down the hatch.
Initially dump a lot (15 to 20 feet) of the halyard to help collapse the
sail. Then, while watching the sail and the people gathering it, lower it
in a controlled manner. The key is to prevent the sail from getting in the
water and under the bow, so make sure the sail is around to weather and
under control before lowering the majority of it. Note: you should have at
least one turn around the winch before you open the clutch to avoid
shredding your hands, but if the jib halyard is on the winch you need, it
is fine to take a turn on top of the jib halyard.
trimmer ease the spinnaker sheet forward so the sail can be pulled
around the forestay.
Pull like crazy on the lazy sheet until you can reach some part of the
sail. Pull the entire sail below. Disconnect the gear and hand it to the
Bow or Mast. Start packing the sail.
trimmer Once the foredeck has the sail under control and it is on its
way down, make sure the guy is uncleated and go
to tend to the jib sheet.
5. Rounding the Mark:
set up wide so you can make a gradual turn and round the mark tight so
you are sailing upwind with no room between the windward side of the boat
and the mark
set the traveler way up to windward and start grinding like crazy as
soon as the helmsman starts to turn the boat to get the main in. Once the
main is trimmed for a close reach then trim the sail to match the boats
help the main trimmer get the sail in by grinding on the other winch
until the main is trimmed for a close reach.
trimmer trim the sail to match the boats turn. It is important not to overtrim the jib during the turn, if anything err on
the side of undertrim, but make sure you get it
all the way in once the boat is close hauled.
else be very conscious of weight placement. If hiking is necessary, then
every available person should be on the rail hiking as hard as possible.
In light air, keep weigh to leeward to heel the boat and help it turn
around the mark.
Hike with the rest of the crew. Cleanup can wait until the boat is up to
speed and clear of any traffic preferably in smooth water or a lull.
(also windward takedown or douse) taking the spinnaker down on the windward
(i.e. side that the main is not on) side of the boat, inside the jib
chute or kite) the big, round, colorful sail that you use while sailing down
Spinnaker gear (also
spin gear) all of the stuff that attaches to the to
the spinnaker. Usually used to refer to the sheets and guys
when the boat turns downwind (bears away) at the windward mark and the
spinnaker is set to leeward. This is the normal spinnaker set (as opposed to a
jibe set more on that later)
jibe (same as port tack) when the boat is sailing downwind with the wind
coming over the port side of the boat. The sails (main and spinnaker) will
be on the starboard (right) side of the boat and the spinnaker pole will be on
the port side. For the purposes of the right of way rules, the position of the
main controls which jibe (or tack) you are on (more on this much later).