In this Sailing Beginner article, I want to pay reefing the jib sail using a furling. A furling consists of either a plastic pipe or a spool like my jib sail that holds the furling line and is attached to the jib sail in the foot. The furling line is wound around the spool and when the line is pulled the furler spool rolls up the jib. Determined by the clew lines unfurls the jib, and the clew lines and the furler line can be controlled from the cockpit of the sailboat.
This is quite important feature especially this time of year, as it can get very windy with gusts over 20 mph or more especially in a squall can come from nowhere quite quickly and if you are not ready the prospects of capsizing or getting injured increases. You definitely want to learn how to sail a boat by being prepared beforehand and not waiting until the last minute. Reefing the jib with a furler is only 1 way you can become an accomplish sailor. The next time you are sailing and a squall comes your way, you know What does a Raccoon Sound like.
Sailing Tip: Instead of having to tie my furling line to reef my jib sail, I use a clothes line tightener that holds the line by just pulling the furling line to the desired position. And to release it, all I have to do is pull on the front of the snap and pull out the line. You can get a clothing line tightener at any home improvement or hardware store.
Not too long ago I would wish I knew how to reef my jib as I was unprepared for what was about to occur. I’d just finished a running the lake and was planning to return to my point of origin. However, the wind died suddenly and I was beginning to feel that it was finished for the day and likely lowering both the mainsail and the jib sail and using the outboard for my return. However I hesitated and my patience and estimation of seeing some storm clouds off in the distance moving fast towards me paid off. In about 15 minutes the wind made an enormous comeback that I had not anticipated what so ever. The wind conditions went from calm to a strong breeze in no time and struck me hard while at full sail. Wow!
Stay tune for my next Sailing Beginner post for the continuation of this report.