sailing jibe

Sailing maneuver
A maneuver where a sailing vessel turning its stern through the wind, allowing the wind to exert force from the opposite side.
Alternate Terminology
Known as 'jibe' in the US and 'gybe' in Britain. For square-rigged ships, it's called 'wearing ship'.
Key Actions
During the maneuver, the mainsail crosses the center of the boat and the jib is pulled to the other side. If a spinnaker is up, its pole must be manually moved.
A jibe (also called a gybe) is a sailing maneuver where a sailing vessel turns its stern through the wind, causing the mainsail to quickly swing from one side of the boat to the other. This is the opposite of a tack, where the bow of the boat passes through the wind. Jibing is potentially more dangerous than tacking because the mainsail boom can swing across the cockpit quickly, posing risks to the crew and rigging. To execute a safe jibe:
  1. Ensure you have enough space and a clear path
  2. Inform your crew to prepare for the maneuver
  3. Pull the mainsail in towards the center of the boat before jibing to reduce the force as it crosses over
  4. Gently turn the tiller or wheel away from the mainsail to bear off and allow the stern to pass through the wind
  5. As the sail crosses, the helmsman and crew switch sides of the boat
  6. Immediately let the mainsail out again on the new side once it has crossed
Jibing is commonly used when sailing downwind to shift from one side of the boat to the other. It allows the boat to sail a zig-zag course at a faster speed than running straight downwind. However, it's not necessary to jibe every time - you can also tack through 270 degrees to change direction downwind. The key to safe jibing is maintaining control of the mainsail and boom throughout the maneuver. Practicing in lighter winds first can help develop the technique. Clear communication with your crew is also critical to avoid accidents.
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