Archive for February, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Double-handed

describes sailing with only two crew aboard. Some races are limited to only double-handed entrants, while others may have specific double-handed classes. See also: Chicago Mac and Transpac. Compare to: short-handed and single-handed.

PostHeaderIcon Bear Away Set

to round a weather mark, bear away (i.e., to steer a lower course), and then set a spinnaker. Compare to: jibe set and sambuca.

PostHeaderIcon Square Top Main

a mainsail with an over-sized roach. The sail is designed with much more sailcloth aft of a straight line between the head and clew than a typical sail that comes to a point—known as a pin top. The head is also squared off. This greatly increased roach makes the sail more elliptical and more efficient, and puts more sail area where the wind is both stronger and more consistent. The result is more sail power both upwind and downwind. With this sail design, the upper end of the leech automatically compensates for gusts because of its tendency to twist off in a gust. A permanent backstay interferes with the over-dimensioned roach when tacking or jibing. In order to swing the boom across, either the sail is reefed before the maneuver and the reef shaken out after, or top-mast backstays are used. Also known as a fat head main. See also: Chinese jibe and flicker. Compare to: round head.

PostHeaderIcon Mast Jack

one or two hydraulic cylinders used in conjunction with shims of various thicknesses to pre-tension and tune the rig. There are two ways to use a mast jack: The first is with two hydraulic jacks connected in parallel to a single pump, and a through rod or jacking bar that runs athwartships through cut-outs near the mast step. The second is a single piston permanently mounted upside down inside the mast and connected to a manual pump or connected through a bypass to the vessel’s centralized hydraulics.

PostHeaderIcon You Tack!

a response to a boat sailing close-hauled or above on the same tack as you that has requested room to tack at an obstruction (under Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 rule 20.1). This response acknowledges that you will give the requesting boat room to tack and will avoid her as soon as she initiates her tack.

PostHeaderIcon Mast Bend

describes how much a mast’s middle is bowed forward from a straight line between its masthead and heel or deck partners. Mast bend is what primarily adjusts a mainsail’s draft depth. Both shroud tension and backstay tension control mast bend. A mast is referred to as inverted when its middle is bowed aft. See also: baby stay, chicken stay, positive luff curve and pre-bend.

PostHeaderIcon Back & Fill

to use an inboard engine’s forward and reverse gears, as well as prop walk and rudder angles, to turn a boat in close quarters.

PostHeaderIcon Sausage Racing

a jocular term for buoy racing around a windward/leeward course.

PostHeaderIcon Change Mark

a mark that indicates the new end of a leg when the course has been changed. Usually of a contrasting color or shape to the original mark. At the mark previous to the one being changed, the mark boat will display an International Code Flag “C” (white background with a blue horizontal stripe along the top and bottom edges, and a red horizontal stripe through the middle) along with at least one other visual signal, and will make repetitive sounds. The other visual signals include a placard that indicates the compass bearing to the new mark; a green triangle for a change to starboard; a red rectangle for a change to port; a “-” if the leg has been shortened; and a “+” if the leg has been lengthened. See also Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 rule 33.

PostHeaderIcon Stern Pulpit

the stainless steel tubing that forms a safety rail around a boat’s stern, including vertical supports and usually double horizontal rails. On a boat that uses lifelines, the lifelines usually connect to each forward end of the stern pulpit as part of a continuous safety perimeter. Also called the stern rail or taffrail. In Britain, the safety rail around the stern is referred to as a pushpit, as it is opposite the pulpit. Compare to: bow pulpit and mast rails.

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