Gybing a 505

In response to questions about how to gybe a 505...
I think the Sail to Win Series is very good. Dinghy Helming and Dinghy Crewing are two very useful titles. They use 505s for some of their examples.

Here is a brief description of what Allan Johnson and I do.....

This is for a reach to reach gybe, with the crew on the trapeze.....

We discuss when we are going to gybe (yelling on windy days). The crew reminds me to pre-cleat the jib in the windward (will soon be leeward) cleat loosely - I normally do this if I have time and can reach the cleat. Most people do not bother with this, and it is lowest on the priority list.

I start to bear off so the crew can come in the boat. I ease the main as we bear off, but not all the way to the shroud. Keep the boat flat, otherwise you will be fighting weather helm and slowing the boat down. The crew comes in, easing the spinnaker sheet as the boat bears off. Crew grabs twing handle (hangs off boom on shockcord on my boat) and pulls so that both twings are cleated on (windward was always on for the reach, but now leeward is as well). By the way, the crew eases the spinnaker sheet out to enable him/her to pull the twing on. Boat is still bearing off slowly.. Crew knocks spinnaker pole off the mast fitting and lets it slide down to leeward (the trolley system makes it self stowing). This is why you don't let the boom all the way out, if you do, the pole has nowhere to go, and catches on the trapeze or shroud. We have a fork end on the outboard end of the spinnaker pole, so the guy should come out by itself. Sometimes the crew pulls it out as he ducks so we can gybe the main. I bear the boat off, pull on the old guy so as to rotate the spinnaker around to the new leeward side. The gybing ball which slides on the port side of the spinnaker sheet jams at the twing. I pull back slightly on the guy and drop it in the guy cleat. Most boats do not use the ball, it works great for us.. This keeps the tack of the spinnaker about where you want it - One one set of spinnaker sheets I have the ball placed such that the pole will be off the forestay when the crew hooks it on the mast. This is neat, but a little slack makes it easier for the crew to get the pole on when it is windy. Ed - in a launcher 5o5, you can use two stopper balls or knots, and they normally jam against the ratchet blocks on the seat tanks.

The crew grabs the guy puts it in the fork end of pole and pushes the pole out and clips it on the mast. As soon as possible (before the pole is on mast in light air, after in heavy) either crew grabs the spinnaker sheet at the ratchet block, or the skipper grabs the sheet and passes it to the crew. The crew goes out on the trapeze holding on to the sheet, and then hooks up to the trapeze hook (most crews hook up before going out, my crew does it once he is out). The skipper heads up and sheets in the main while the crew flies the chute, either trims the jib once the spinnaker and main are right.

This sounds complicated, but is not when you practice. We can probably gybe in approximately three seconds if we get it right...

Run to run gybes in light air are different.... skipper stands up with tiller between knees, steers the boat through the gybe and has the sheet in one hand, guy in the other, so you can fly the chute around. Heavy air run to run is done the same way as the reach to reach.

By the way, the key to the reach to reach is to be going as fast as possible going into the gybe, and reducing the time between starting your gybe by bearing off, and actually having the boom come over. The fast you do this the easier it becomes in heavy air. It is OK to flail a little after you have gybed the boom. If you slow down too much going into the gybe, you load up the rig, and risk a capsize when the boom comes across.