Ceew Position

When short handed the first position to leave empty is a Mast Man, than Mainsail Trimmer


Racing Boat Maneuvers

There are 5 basic boat maneuvers while racing;
(Click on a maneuver to see its detail's description)


it is important that each crew member knows the locations and how to operate all of the following:

  • Halyards
  • Spinnaker topping lift and downhaul
  • Main sheet
  • Winches
  • Lifejackets
  • Rgging knife
  • Bolt cutters and toolbox
  • First aid kit
  • Flares
  • Radio, Loran, GPS
  • Battery
  • Eectrical panel
  • Anchor(s) and rode
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Engine and know where is a key




Spinnaker Gybe

The skipper will tell the crew it is time for a gybe. In preparation of the gybe the spinnaker pole must be trimmed back. That means the downhaul will be eased and the guy pulled as the spinnaker sheet is eased. Remember this is a team sport. Three people must be working together do trim the spinnaker back; the skipper, the sheet trimmer and the guy trimmer. The skipper will be turning the boat more downwind as the 2 trimmers adjust their sheets. Then the skipper will tell the foredecker to go to the mast. The foredecker will approach the mast from the high side of the boat (opposite side of the pole). When the foredecker is ready and on the skippers' command, the foredecker will unhook the spinnaker pole from the mast. Then the foredecker hooks the pole to the spinnaker sheet. Then the foredecker unhooks the spinnaker pole from the other spinnaker clew and hooks it to the mast. During the foredecker's acrobatics, the sheet and guy trimmers are working together to keep the spinnaker flying in front of the boat. Their job is not to let the spinnaker collapse. Unfortunately this is much easier to say than do. At the time the foredecker hooks the pole back onto the mast he yells "Made!" That is the signal to the skipper that he can complete his turn and gybe the mainsail. The mainsail trimmer will gybe the main as described earlier.


While sailing is one of the safest sports around, nobody should underestimate the force of a sailboat and her rig in moderate to strong winds. Keep the following in mind:

  • Always snub a line under load around a winch or cleat.
  • Stay away from all moving objects-booms, poles, jib clews, traveller cars, winch handles
  • Don't step in the V formed by a line running to and from a turning block.
  • Don't sit where a line or block may hit you if something breaks.
  • Don't try to do 2-man jobs by yourself.
  • Keep all lines coiled and neat.
  • Don't assume that a shipmate is performing his end of a job until you actually see him do it.
  • When trimming a halyard, sheet or any other line, always look at the object it is connected to.

Clothes/Foul Weather Gear/Sail Gloves

It is important that crew have warm clothes and shoes for cold water racing. On cold, wet days bring a spare set of dry clothes and shoes to change into after the race. Foul weather gear is also important.

Race Committee Boat Duty

Each boat will take its turn as race committee boat. The race commitee boat is the boat that starts and finishes races. It takes 4 people to do a good race committee boat job. Please volunteer to help with Committe Boat duty as the skipper can not do this job alone. Details for performing CB duty is found here.

Make Sure You Have Fun

Racing is an intense sport. Sometimes yelling occurs-don't take it personally. We really are out there to have fun (and win)! We try to socialize too! After the race we usualy go to a local pub or sit onboard and analyze the race.

Confused by Sail Language

If you have never sailed, this document has probably been very confusing. Don't worry you'll learn it. To get started on "sailing as a second language" see the attached glossary of important sailing terms.

Want More Sailing Info?

Go to the library! There are lots of books, magazines and videos on sailing. Or surf the web and see what you can find.