AUTOMATIC JIB STICKS
Tom Stewart N3395
Are you one of those people who have spent the last couple
of years fitting and perfecting a self launching jibstick? Unfortunately
just when you thought you had caught up, self launching technology
leapt forwards. Two years ago the I.S.A.F. changed the rules
and allowed jibsticks to be used on both the windward and leeward
side. Patrick Elcombe was the first to come up with a neat solution
(as published in a previous issue).
It seems that Middle Nene is the current hot bed of development
as Steve Lightfoot came up with this solution to the problem
earlier this year.
The idea (like most good ones) is blindingly simple. The pole
slides up and down the mast on a piece of string that is tied
from the spreaders to the old jibstick. It is launched with a
line that runs from the clew of the jib through the length of
the pole and then down to a cleat on the deck. Retrieval is simply
done by a piece of elastic dead ended at the top of the pole
round the spreaders and down the mast to the goose neck area.
Velcro on the bottom end of the pole is sufficient to keep it
snug to the mast up the beats.
We know Steve has hit upon a good ideea as people are starting
to copy him, including the Martin Family and Ian Gore. Early
reports all claim increases in offwind boatspeed. No doubt as
the crews get used to the system the results will be even better.
Caroline Martin says that the crew needs to adopt a new technique
as they are using both the launch string and the jib sheet to
control the twist and shape of the jib. I expect that we will
see many more of these poles on the water in 1998.
the Newsletter index page