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For anyone who races, or finds themselves caught up with the jib sheets under their feet, then crossing the jib sheets is probably one of the easiest and most effective mods you can make.
Issue: The standard continuous jibsheet setup, with the ends of the jib sheet tied to the clew of the jib, means there is a lot of rope in the cockpit which is easy to stand on or get caught up with the mainsheet. Also the jibsheets have to be taken with you every time you tack.
Solution: Many owners have converted their jibsheets to a crossover setup where a loop is formed in the centre of the jibsheet which is attached to the jib clew using a shackle and the sheet tails are then fed through the cleats either side and crossed over to be tied off on the webbing loops on the outer edge of the tramp.
Benefit: The jib sheet is always to hand for adjustment when hiking and out of the way when tacking since the end of the rope doesn’t collect in the cockpit. The process of tacking is faster as you can release one sheet and grab the new one and pull it on as you reach backwards for the tiller extension.
Also because the sheets are always connected to the jib by the same loop, you can mark the sheets with a marker pen where they go through the cleats giving you a very quick reference point to know how tight/loose the sheet is. This is particularly useful when reaching as you can trim it to the right place immediately.
- Tie an Alpine Butterfly Knot in the centre of the standard 8m jib sheet – the butterfly knot is one used by climbers because it holds when pulled in either direction but can also be undone if required.
Attach the loop formed above to the clew of the jib either with a stainless steel shackle or make your own Soft Shackle from a length of Dyneema (suggest 1m x 4mm) which has the benefit of being cheap to make, locked in and stronger than steel when secured – but easy to undo when required. You can also add more than one so you can easily switch between clew holes on the water.
Step-by-step Soft Shackle instructions here.
Tip: Use a smooth point ballpoint pen refil as a “fid” to splice one end of the rope through the other. Remove the plug at the blunt end and push in the rope. Secure it with sticky tape.
3. Pass the loose ends of the rope through the jib cleat at each side and tie off on the loop handle on the outer edge of the opposite tramp (in front of the shroud).
Tip: You may need to bend the jib cleat swivel plate so that the angle is right to be able to cleat/uncleat from the edge of the tramp.
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