This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online FREE Basic Sail Trim Course, an interactive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn the basics of sail trim. Or if you want to learn more, upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to become a competent sailor!

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High Wind and Gust Management in Sailing

Professional sail trimmers deal with high winds and gusts by managing the traveler and mainsheet simultaneously. The fairlead position is a bit more difficult to constantly manage.

Here’s a quick tip if you want to move the active fairlead while it’s under tension from the working jibsheet.

  • Take the non-working sheet (aka the lazy sheet) from the windward side of the boat and cleat it off taut from the jib sail to the leeward amidships dock cleat (yes the leeward cleat).
  • Now you can release the tension of the working jibsheet because the “lazy sheet” is taking the tension.
  • Move the fairlead.
  • Tighten up the working sheet and cleat off.
  • Release the non-working jibsheet from the dock cleat.

Voila! See – We told you advanced guys you’d learn something. By the way – we learned it from someone else – the guys at BVI Yacht Charters to be exact. We can all learn from others!

Use the Lazy Sheet
Figure 4.3-1 Lazy Sheet Helps to Move the Fairlead

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Source: Basic Sail Trim
Topic: Sails and Sail Trim
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.