Dealing with the jib from the cockpit

Overview: To raise and lower the jib from the cockpit requires a jib halyard and a jib downhaul run back to the cockpit. The downhaul is an approximatly 5/32" line that runs forward from the cockpit to the base of the jib where it turns up, through a block at the base of the jib stay. The downhaul line is tied to the topmost hank, passing thru the other jib hanks on the way up, to keep it from swinging about. On the deck there are a couple of fairleads for the downhaul.

To lower the jib, heave-to with the jib backed and helm to leeward. Ease halyard and pull downhaul. If you time the pulling so the last 1/3 comes down as you pass thru the eye of the wind, the jib will be blown completely on deck. All from the cockpit.

Raising the jib is no sweat. Make sure the downhaul is free to run and haul on the halyard. Towards the end use a winch mounted near the cockpit. A rope clutch allows the same winch to be used for the main halyard.



Details of Dogstar's jib halyard and downhaul:

The downhaul block is lashed to the base of the jib stay.

The wooden piece above the swage fitting on the jibstay is a fix for a problem related to the size of the hanks. On my new jib, the hanks are relatively close fits in size to the jib stay wire. Since downhaul line runs inside the hanks then, I found that the line jammed with the new jib when the lowest hank slid over the swage fitting.

A beveled "fitting" above the swage fitting keeps this from happening. The fitting is a piece of dowl that's drilled, cut down the middle and lashed to the jib stay.


The jib halyard (line with red marking) comes down to a block bolted through the deck. The block is positioned aft of the mast support beam under the deck so the bolts don't pass through it. Having the block aft of the mast allows the upper part of the halyard to be snug against the mast, keeping it from knocking in a breeze.

The block bolted to the mast is for the pole-lift.


A low friction plastic fairlead turns the jib halyard as it goes back to the halyard clutch and winch.

The lines shown here are, left to right, main halyard, jib halyard, pole-lift and main downhaul.


Main and jib halyards pass through rope clutches which permit them to be secured and released by moving a lever. This allows one winch to do both halyards.


The jib downhaul comes back to the cockpit on the other side of the companionway. It is the thin, black line that passes next to the handrail. Two fairleads guide it to the back of the boat.