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 FYI: Sailboat Rigging - 18 Standing and Running Rigging Terms Explained


Sailboat Rigging - 18 Standing and Running Rigging Terms Explained
By Jim Murrant

When you learn the names of the standing and running rigging on a yacht, you also need to understand the function that each fulfils. With this knowledge, you will be better able to make the right decision when part of the rigging is damaged and strain has to be transferred or removed without delay.

Standing rigging

The forestay prevents the mast falling backwards, determines the amount of permanent rake that is built into the rig and holds the luff of the headsails.

The backstay prevents the mast falling forward, pulls the top of the mast backwards when under pressure, and tightens the forestay so that it does not sag to leeward under the weight of the headsail.

The shrouds support the mast laterally and, when properly tuned, hold the mast upright. They also transmit the power of the sails to the hull through the chainplates.

The inner forestay , that is, the intermediate forestay or babystay, controls the amount of bend put into the mast between the crane and the deck, and is used to flatten the mainsail as wind increases.

The runners (running backstays) , or checkstays, take the pumping action out of the mast and are critical in preventing breakage. If properly set up they will help prevent the onset of vibration.

The boom vang really counts as a control, but I believe it has a function under standing rigging as well as running rigging in that it flattens the mainsail, pulls the boom down as well as pushing it forward, and so affects the control of mast bend.

Running rigging

The halyards haul sails up the mast to their effective positions and are then locked off on a cleat. The adjustment may be altered for light winds, by easing, or for heavy winds, by tightening.

The mainsheet controls the mainsail, and is also the longest component of the running rigging, a factor to remember when putting together a jury rig. The sheet is led through a car which can move up and down a track, called the traveller. The car is eased down the traveller as the first method of relieving weather helm. When this is no longer sufficient, the mainsail has to be reefed.

The only other controls of the main actually control the movement of the boom. One such control, the boom vang, is described above.

When running, the boom is prevented from moving up and down by a preventer (usually a four to one purchase which attaches to a shackle along the boom) put in such a position that when the boom is right out, the shackle is directly above the toe rail. The preventer then clips to another shackle, or a slot, at the toe rail and is pulled on hard to hold the boom firm, and to prevent an accidental jibe.

In some cases - usually when cruising - a foreguy ,and/or an afterguy is rigged to stop a jibe. These consist of a line led from the end of the boom and cleated off either forward or aft.

The jib sheets control the headsails. On the wind they are led through a track which is well inboard. Off the wind they should be led through a block on the leeward rail. Control between these two positions is achieved through the use of a barberhaul ,which pulls the sheet inboard.

The spinnaker is controlled by a sheet and a brace which are working and are called the sheet and brace (guy), but have attached another sheet and brace, which are not working and so are called the lazy sheet and lazy brace (guy). The brace (guy) attaches to the spinnaker at the outboard end of the spinnaker pole, and the sheet at the opposite clew. The lazy sheet is attached to the brace (guy) and the lazy brace (guy) to the sheet. The reason for the apparent doubling of the lines is that the lazy sheet and brace (guy) become the active controls after a jibe.

Another control of the spinnaker is the snotter - a whip or single open-sided block on the end of a line - which is hooked over the spinnaker sheet and/or brace and led through another block on the deck nearby, but in any case close to the spinnaker clew. When the line is tightened the sheet is hauled down tight, which prevents the death rolls. This system is used in heavy weather running.

All other sails are controlled by a halyard and a sheet, in the usual way.

Copyright 2008 Bevanda Pty Ltd

If you want to learn about sailing, Boat Handling 1 and 2 is a good place to start. Full details of the content of these two multimedia CDs are at http://www.theboatingbible.com/BoatHandling.htm Based on Jim's 60 years of sailing experience, the CDs include animations and video clips, as well as text and an interactive quiz on the sailing rules of the road.

To extend your knowledge of sailing terms, 1,000 are defined in Skipper & Crew, Knots and The Language of the Sea.

If you'd like to read more about sailing, visit our website where you'll find free articles, a blog and a weekly newsletter with tips and advice from Jim Murrant. See you there!

Visit The Boating Bible Manual of Seamanship today - http://www.theboatingbible.com

It's all about Sailing!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jim_Murrant

Posted On Wednesday, December 31, 2008

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