Archive for November, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Quattro winch

a winch with two drum diameters, one above the other. The wide diameter lower drum is used to trim spinnaker sheets quickly, whereas the smaller-diameter upper drum is used when more power and self-tailing ability is needed for halyards or other control lines. Manufactured by Harken. Sometimes referred to as quads.


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PostHeaderIcon Prescriptions

additions or modifications to the Racing Rules of Sailing made by a national authority, that apply to racing within the national authority’s country or region. See also: Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 rule 86.

PostHeaderIcon Black Band

a 25 mm / one inch wide colored band that indicates one of three limits while a boat is racing, depending on where the band is located. At a masthead, the black band’s lower edge is the limit that a sail’s head may be hoisted to. At the gooseneck, the black band’s upper edge is the limit that a sail’s tack may be pulled down to. The limit a sail’s clew may be pulled out to is indicated by the forward edge of the black band at a boom’s aft end. These bands may not actually be black, but in a contrasting color to the spar on which it is placed. Also known as the outer limit mark.


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PostHeaderIcon Cat’s Paw

downdraft or outflow winds that ripple the water surface in a dark, paw-shaped pattern. The winds are diverging at the leading edge of a gust. A good turbulence and wind shear indicator. Also referred to as a fan puff or a helicopter puff.

PostHeaderIcon Halyard Lock

a device to hold a sail’s head in place at the masthead. The main advantages of using a lock are reducing mast compression; ensuring the mainsail is always hoisted to the black band, with the hoist position being unaffected by mast bend; eliminating luff load variations due to halyard stretch; and being able to reduce the halyard’s size, which results in reduced weight aloft. Can be as simple as a ferrule on a halyard that rests in a bracket with a tapered slot, or as complicated as a ratchet system with a trip line. On some installations, the sail’s head is shackled to a permanent bracket at the masthead, which takes the entire load off the halyard and virtually eliminates halyard chafe. Someone has to ascend the mast to attach the shackle, but a trip line can be used to remotely open the shackle. Also referred to as a skyhook. Southern Spars calls theirs a strop lock. See also: bullet.


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PostHeaderIcon Running Backstay

a device adjusted to prevent a mast from over-bending or pumping. It is attached between each quarter and a point on the mast near the forestay attachment point or at a point on the mast near the uppermost spreaders. Often referred to by the shorthand runner. Typically only the runner to weather is trimmed. The leeward runner is left eased. Running backstays are part of the running rigging and are usually present only on boats with in-line spreaders. Also known as a preventative backstay. See also: checkstay, safe, and topmast backstay.

PostHeaderIcon Outside Jibe

describes when an asymmetrical spinnaker’s clew passes forward of its luff during a jibe, and follows an approximately 270-degree arc. Compare to: inside jibe. The deciding factor between doing an inside versus an outside jibe may be the a-sail’s size. On a large boat with an extremely large a-sail, there may not be enough room to execute an inside jibe. An outside jibe is the only option. See also: gybulator.


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PostHeaderIcon Chafing Gear

material applied to an object to prevent or reduce chafing. A more accurate term would be chafe prevention gear.

PostHeaderIcon Open-class

similar to one-design and box-rule, where boats are built to certain pre-defined standards or rules with minimums and maximums, but with some latitude for design and outfitting. In an open class, any changes are allowed except those specifically prohibited in the class rules. No handicap is applied. Compare to: level racing and PHRF.

PostHeaderIcon Burp

slang for a slight ease in a sheet, halyard or other control line. For example, when a crew member asks for you to “burp the main,” it’s a way of asking for the main halyard to be eased an inch or less. Here’s a little trick: to burp the main halyard when the mainsail is hoisted, snug the halyard on a winch and then open and close the clutch. You’ll ease the halyard a small amount because a line such as a halyard will slip through a clutch cleat slightly as its cam locks onto the line.

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