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Gybing and that silly main sheet

Ok I have watched the rooster video and had a good day practicing my down wind and gybing on Friday. Back to it today in 10-12 kn. Any tricks on NOT getting the main sheet caught every time on the transom. I saw some boats that grab the mainsheet traveler and throw it across. I don't like the weight going so far aft or the general weight distribution.


I feel your pain. I bought a used Laser in March. I have been out 10-15 times and I am pretty sure my main sheet has gotten wrapped around the back corner of the Laser nearly every time out. The higher the winds the more likely the hang up and the more important it is that the sheet is free to control the boat. There is always a moment of panic when the boom won't move out and then I realize the sheet hang up! I reach back to the traveler block and try to flip the sheet free from under the gunwale corner. Laser design flaw!


Guys..keep at it. The technique will come. I am a pretty average club sailor and used to curse the problem every week. A few years down the line and the sheet rarely gets caught anymore (and only on occasions when i'm not in control of the gybe) a well timed flick or pull on the sheet as you cross the boat solves the problem, but getting the timing right takes ages.


Upside down?
Staff member
Here is a video from a guy who knows what he is doing...

Includes several jibes and some other fun stuff to practice
Thanks to all, Love your honesty and love the video.. Wait that was my problem last weekend. I watched Slingsby video's all winter and thought I could sail by the lee in 20.. NOT. Remember old sailors never die they just get a little dingy


the main sheet gets stuck because of the extra slack when you gybe, trim the main in a little more after the gybe is initiated, you'll see Andrew does it right around when he crosses the boat, then ease it back out and continue downwind
when it's light you can slide the block to the windward side, it will keep the sheet out of the water and make it easier to gybe without the main getting caught


My mainsheet would always get caught if I tried to gybe by turning through a large angle. Instead, first steer and sheet in to the point where the tell-tales are flowing backwards, and the top of the sail is flicking a little bit. Gybing from this situation requires just a little tug on the mainsheet and small amount of steering. There isn't enough loose mainsheet to hang down and catch on the transom.
Trick is to keep practicing this, and the steps before and after it: 1/alter your course to sailing-by-the lee and the point of gybing, 2/steer a little, tug the main & gybe, 3/steer and sheet to your new course.
Starting off on an easy downwind leg, then practice putting the 3 steps together at the wing mark, then in more difficult conditions.
I also find it important to move one foot to the other side of the footstrap, so if you have to jump outboard & stop a capsize you already have a foot in place to lean off.