Please do a complete sail and rigging check while you are still at the dock if it is calm, or as soon as possible after leaving.
Unfurl and furl both sails and examine them and the running rigging and mooring lines for chafe and other issues. Satisfy yourself that all is in good order and report any deficiencies immediately.
Although we examine the boats between charters, you are responsible once you leave the dock.
Cassiopeia has in-mast mainsail furling and a genoa furler, all operated from the cockpit.
The main and genoa halyards are properly adjusted permanently and secured at the mast. With the exception of the spinnaker halyard which is led to the cockpit, don't touch the halyards.
The spinnaker halyard is used for various purposes, including launching the dinghy and storing it on deck.
The topping lift should not need adjustment. It is there just to keep the boom from hitting the enclosure.
All working lines are led aft and all necessary lines can be managed from the cockpit by one competent sailor.
The lines are labelled at the clutches.
If you are wondering if you should reef, do it now. Reef early for easier sail handling, better speed and heeling angle, safety, happier crew, and to reduce sail flogging when tacking or reefing. Reefing is far easier on the crew and the sails if it is accomplished before the wind overpowers the boat. Letting out more sail when reefed is much easier than reefing after becoming overpowered and having to deal with flogging sails and writhing genoa sheets.
Sailing overpowered is not faster, is unnecessary -- and can be very uncomfortable or even dangerous. Cassiopeia is actually faster and far more comfortable when not overpowered or heeling excessively. 15 degrees of heel is good for most conditions going upwind, and a maximum of 30 degrees is the most that should be tolerated for any length of time. Carrying too much sail can result in rounding up and losing control.
With the furling main and genoa, reefing is easily accomplished from the cockpit and sail area can be adjusted to perfection. When conditions relax, more sail can be let out easily and in increments.
You should never need the winch for the genoa furling line, but If you do find it too difficult to haul, look to see if anything is jammed. If you lack the strength to pull the genoa in by hand and choose to use the nearby spinnaker winch, be very careful not to jam something or rip a sail. The winch can exert enough force to do serious damage to the furler. Both sails should furl in and out easily. If they don't, pull in and out gently on the lines and observe where things are binding. If they are binding and more than mild effort is needed to grind in the sail, expensive damage will certainly result if force is applied.
Always balance the helm when sailing. Try to trim sails so that the helm is centred. Avoid being overpowered and avoid lee helm in strong winds. Both conditions are dangerous, uncomfortable and unnecessary. If winds and seas become uncomfortable, consider furling in the sails and proceeding on bare poles or minimum sail under engine power.
To unfurl the main
Note: The MAIN IN and MAIN OUT lines are one continuous loop that runs over the furling reel on the mast. Unless tension is maintained on both lines of the loop, the reel is free to turn and the sail will unfurl freely once the wind catches it.
The goal is to maintain only sufficient tension on the loop to control the sail enough that it does not flog excessively while grinding out the outhaul, and if a reefed sail is required, to stall the furling reel when the desired amount of sail is unfurled by tensioning and belaying both the MAIN IN and MAIN OUT lines.
The traveller is adjusted from above the companionway, though the dodger zippers. For casual sailing most cruisers keep it centred and never adjust it. The boom vang is useful when running to keep the boom down.
To furl the main, partly or completely
The rigid Boom Vang: should not need any attention unless you have adjusted it.
The topping lift simply keeps the boom from dropping onto the enclosure. Do not adjust the topping lift.
The Furling 135 Genoa (Jib)
The headsail furler is a single line furling system. The furling line runs along the lifelines on the port side from a block on the port cockpit coaming to the forestay.
Be aware of wind direction when furling or unfurling the genoa and minimize the pressure on the lines by steering to reduce pressure on the lines.
BE CAREFUL OF FLOGGING JIB SHEETS WHEN UNFURLING, TACKING, REEFING AND FURLING. THERE IS A RISK PERSONAL INJURY & DAMAGE TO DODGER IF EXCESSIVE FLOGGING OF FORESAIL IS PERMITTED.
To unfurl the genoa
The genoa can be launched with any amount of sail from 10% (reefed) to 100% (full sail) by controlling the furling line as the sail unfurls, then cleating the line with the cam cleat (on the turning block on the coaming) or the spinnaker winch when the required amount of sail is out.
Smart cruisers and less muscular sailors set the genoa sheets for the planned point of sail before turning down onto course. The sheets can be trimmed easily by hand when luffing, but require grinding once the sail is full. By setting them before the pressure is applied, the sails will be close to perfect and only the final trim requires winching -- or easing.
To Furl the genoa:
In strong winds, sheltering the jib behind the main ca reduce flogging and effort required.
To Reef the Genoa:
The jib lead cars are adjustable underway by tensioning/releasing jib car leads which run aft through cleated cheek blocks aft of the genoa winches.
Although either car can be allowed to move forward anytime by easing its line, each car should only be pulled aft when its jib sheet is not loaded.
Tip: If you are motoring and the wind is coming up, unfurling some sail before idling down and killing the motor will often save having to turn into the wind since the apparent wind will be ahead. When dousing sail if the wind drops, the same applies. Start the engine and increase speed and the sails will be in ideal position for furling.
Cassiopeia's spinnaker is an asymmetrical and does not require a spinnaker pole. It comes with a sock. The spinnaker halyard and winches are in place and ready. The extra lines are in a separate bag from the sail.
Flying a big spinnaker can be a tricky business. Worst case, it can be dangerous. Spinnaker use requires the right wind conditions and an able, experienced crew. There are hazards to the crew and to the sail if it is not expertly deployed and snuffed. The sail also takes up space on deck or below. As a result, the spinnaker is only available on request and to clients who can show that they have spinnaker experience, the crew to manage it, and who are prepared to stow it on board.
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