Navy 44 Sailing Guides


Safety Considerations:

(1) Ensure jib/genoa sheets are clear both in the cockpit and forward.

(2) Ensure mainsheet tail is clear.

(3) Check to ensure your intended course is clear of other boats, shipping, and navigation hazards.

(4) Ensure crew members are in safe zones for the maneuver.  Specifically, they should stay off the "bridge deck" and be mindful of the mainsheet parts as the gybe is executed.

(5) DO NOT allow boom to gybe without trimming to centerline, even in light wind.

(6) Emphasize that the helmsman is in charge and control of the evolution.  They must be cognizant of the respective jobs and chronology.  Specifically, they must realize that they can slow down or speed up the gybe with the helm.  If something is not going correctly, they should slow or stop the turn until everyone is in sync.


General Situation:

Assume sailing on a broad reach in moderate conditions.


Required Positions:

(1) Helmsman.

(2) Grinder.

(3) Tailer.

(4) Working Sheet.  This person can double as Grinder.

(5) Mainsheet.

(6) Preventer.  This person can also fill Mainsheet, Grinder, Tailer, or Working Sheet.


Note: Depending on conditions, one person may be Working Sheet, Tailer, and Grinder.


Sequence of Events:

(1) Helmsman calls out "Prepare to gybe" and lets crew know what point of sail they should trim to upon completion of the gybe.

(2) Preventer take the preventer off the winch ensuring it is clear to run as the boom comes over.  Reports "Preventer is clear" to Helmsman.

(3) Mainsheet takes sheet out of the self tailer and removes excess turns from winch, checks the positions of the traveler, and reports "Ready" to Helmsman.

(4) Working Sheet uncleats sheet, removes excess turns from the winch, ensures sheet is clear to run, stands in cockpit, and reports "Ready" to Helmsman.

(5) Tailer places one or two turns on the winch, takes slack out of the sheet, and reports "Ready" to Helmsman.

(6) Grinder gets double handled winch handle and stands by the lazy sheet winch.  The Grinder may potentially be in the most precarious position during a gybe.

(7) After receiving "Ready" reports from crew, Helmsman calls out "Bearing away" and turns the stern towards the wind.

(8) Mainsheet and Working Sheet ease sails to maintain trim.  Tailer keeps slack out of lazy sheet.

(9) When wind reaches 150-160 degrees apparent, Mainsheet trims mainsail, timing it so that the main is amidships before the boat is dead before the wind.  An extra crew member can sit on the cabin trunk and help with the trim.

(10) Helmsman calls "Gybe ho" as the stern passes through the wind.

(11) Working Sheet casts off the sheet and Tailer trims the sheet to the expected point of sail.

(12) Mainsheet eases the main to the expected point of sail.

(13) If sailing with wind abaft 120 degrees apparent, Preventer takes  the new preventer to a winch.

- This page last updated 05/04/2005 -