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




Tack with Jib

We will assume the boat is on a starboard tack will tack to port tack.
Tack means turning the boat approximately 90 degrees into the wind. The starboard tack means the wind is blowing from the starboard and both main and jib sails are on port. The mainsail and jib must both be moved to the other side (starboard) of the boat. The helmsman will let the crew know it is time to tack by yelling "Ready About " Each crew member gets into position for the tack and replies "Ready". The port jib trimmer must remove the winch handle and place it in the winch pocket. Now the helmsman will push the tiller to start the turn and yell "Helms a Lee". When the boat is 1/2 way through its turn the sails will start to flap, which signals that the port jib trimmer is to release the jib sheet. The starboard jib trimmer will be pulling in on the other jib sheet to bring the sail over to the startboard side of the boat. The starboard jib trimmer will start grinding n the jib to its correct position. In heavy air, the mast person (or foredeck if short crew) will help pull the sail in by yanking on the clew. The mast person will also skirt the jib (pull it to the inside of the lifelines). Then the port jib trimmer prepares the unused winch for the next tack by placing 2 wraps on the winch and placing a winch handle in the winch. The mainsail trimmer will be adjusting the traveller car and mainsheet during the tack. The rest of the crew crosses from the old high side of the boat to the new high side of the boat. The maneuver is complete when the both jib trimmers and mainsail trimmer go and sit on the high side of the boat.


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.