Master Class Squibble collects together what the great ones have said. This is a precis (remember them at school?) of the articles that have appeared in Squibble in past issues. We have not tried to edit out repeats - if two or more people give the same advice, it must be important. Some advice appears to contradict what others say. There is obviously more than one way to skin a cat - or sail a Squib. If in doubt, check the original article. The context will explain things better. PREPARATION Dave Best • Sand down hull (burnish) before meeting • Marks on jib and main sheets and jib halyard. Gerard Dyson • Keep it simple. Proper blocks and cleats do not need loads of rope • Rollerball blocks on everything that moves • Tapered spinnaker sheets • Main cunningham, kicker and backstay led to the both side decks • Barbers a hand spread, thumb to little finger, from centre line Nigel Harris • Bottom, keel and rudder smooth. Fiddling with the strings won't make a slow hull go fast • Fico spinnaker pole outer end fitting • Tapered spinnaker sheets Jenny Riley • Jib barber haulers 2:1 purchase - one pull, both pulleys come into the deck • All pulleys and cleats ball bearing • Toe-straps adjustable for crew and helm RIGGING Mike Probert • Cannot use a set up to give best speed both upwind and down • Tension is not the issue. Mast rake is • Adjust the outer and inner shrouds to suit wind strength • Apply tension to mainsheet, kicker and outhaul to suit upwind conditions of the day • Tension the jib halyard, if you need to - there might be enough jib tension already Nigel Harris • Plenty of mast rake, very loose shrouds LIGHT WINDS Mike Probert • Lots of twist in the sails and sail free • Adjust main and jib sheets constantly, easing sheets, sailing free in the lulls, gently pulling in and pointing higher when more pressure • Take up slack on backstay to prevent top of the mast bouncing around Gerard Dyson • Weight low and forward in light weather Mark Thompson • Do not move forward in light airs. Stay on point of balance Nigel Harris • No backstay, kicker or jib cunningham • Centre the main • Sit forward of the track • Keep the boat heeled to leeward • Keep movement of tiller to a minimum Jenny Riley • Practice roll tacking to improve speed out of the tacks. Beware of stopping the Squib when tacking STRONG WINDS Mike Probert • Increase rig tension for more mast rake • No need to adjust mainsheet and traveller - bending of mast top de-powers main • Mast rake at maximum - opens the jib slot and depowers. (Elbow on aft deck - deck to boom less than elbow to top of clenched fist) • Mainsheet very tight and boom a couple of inches off the centre line with traveller centred • Main cunningham used rarely - only in extreme conditions • Backstay in force 4 plus - only slightly • Mast foot forward only in extreme conditions GUSTS Mike Probert • If over-pressed, pinch a little • Softer rig - mast top to falls away in gusts Jenny Riley • Feather up in gusts, to reduce heeling • Flat is fast - spill wind early • Kicker on hard to hold boom down when mainsheet released STARTING Dave Best • Speed off the line • Maintain trust in your settings • At gun, go to your settings and leave it at that Mark Thompson • Bad start, cross behind the fleet, get clear air Christian Brewer • Superior boat handling is key • Take accurate line angle using compass • Boat head to wind in clear patch to determine wind direction • Less than 90 degrees to line angle, pin is favoured; more than 90 degrees - committee boat end • Determine how many boat lengths mid line buoy is above or below the line • Check position relative to mid line buoy for reassurance. Often the middle of the line sags • Hand bearing compass to judge whether over or behind the line • Less than your line angle, you are over • More than your line angle, you are behind • With 12 seconds to go, should be accelerating into space • Stationary when gun has gone is a no-no Nigel Harris • Start conservatively • Try for right end, but really aim for clear air • Keep calm, look around, check where opposition is. • Don't be tempted to tack straight away • Don't pull everything in tight. UPWIND Mike Probert • Lot of mast rake for upwind speed • Jib cunningham tight to deck except in extremely light conditions Dave Best • Clear air critical • Go out to one side or the other. Fewer boats there than down the middle • Tack less often • Each unnecessary tack costs 3-4 boat lengths • The crew calls tacks - knowing tacking angles Mark Thompson • Be willing to bang the corners on the first beat • Be religious about keeping mast vertical Gerard Dyson • Traveller often right up to windward and mainsheet in further than you might think • Correct jib halyard tension may differ from one tack to another • If you are not going well, let off jib halyard tension a little • Barber haulers not set same for each tack. - punching into waves or sailing down crests • Don’t tension kicker on the wind in light or medium winds Jenny Riley • Keep the boat flat • Cunningham, kicker, backstay and outhaul if overpowered • Both lean out hard Nigel Harris • Leech of jib follows the same shape as main • Play barber haulers in unison with jib sheets POSITION IN BOAT Mike Probert • Never helm from behind traveller except in big waves if bow keeps burying Mark Thompson • Keep weight over fore and aft point of balance - usually bulb of the keel • Sit close together, helm astride track Gerard Dyson • Beating in medium winds, keep legs either side of the traveller TACKING Mike Probert • Keep mainsheet cleated and release traveller • Once across the boat, pull traveller, aggressively, right up to windward, then drop it down a bit • Keep the barber haulers bang in tight. Mark Thompson • Roll tack in light and medium airs Jenny Riley • Marks on jib sheets, where rope goes through barber pulley • Don’t waste strength pulling sheets in too tight, too quickly Chris and Jackie Goodfellow • Squib carries way through a sharp turn - turns on a sixpence • Quick but gentle nudge on tiller. Forget about backing jib as in a dinghy, slow long keelboat turns, sail flapping upwind or catamaran “chuck rounds” • Keep “moment of inertia” down. Cross amidships, avoid weight near the ends • Look forwards as you tack • Traveller let down going round and heaved up hard near the new tacking angle • Mark each sheet • Overtight jib tension kills slot and speed out of tack. • Try looser barber haulers • Bearing away a little after tacking, may find you out in tide Nigel Harris • Roll the boat • Go a little too far through tack - then bring in sails gradually, as boat gets up to speed • Play barber hauler, creating backwinding of main - then let it out until it stops TOP MARK Mike Probert • Must release kicker in strong winds before releasing mainsheet, else something will break Dave Best • If tack on the lay line in mid-fleet, boats cross and tack on top, so you fall away. • Mid-fleeters - overstand enough to stop this • Do not approach on port tack Mark Thompson • Have the spinnaker up and filling within 3 seconds REACHING Gerard Dyson • Kicker and backstay off to prevent broach - on again once gust has passed Jenny Riley • Release main and spinnaker in plenty of time to avoid broaching Mark Thompson • Never cleat the spinnaker sheet - play it constantly, using ratchet blocks DOWNWIND Mike Probert • Ease off everything - haul on jib halyard to pull mast forward as far as possible • Run as deep as possible if even if jib hooks to windward. • Get clear air. • Go one way or the other - not down middle • If it paid to go left on beat, go right on run BOTTOM MARK Mike Probert • Re-set the jib halyard first. (Mark halyard to set it quickly) • Tighten mainsheet etc. to swing the mast back SPINNAKER HOIST Mark Thompson • Spinnaker sheet cleated to marks before windward mark • Pole out just before the windward mark when sure of making it • Helm starts spinnaker hoist • Crew pulls guy to mark, filling spinnaker as it goes up • Cleat the guy • Adjust and start playing the sheet WINDSHIFTS Dave Best • Wind always shifting to and fro, usually about every 5 minutes • Use your compass or get your crew to watch it • If you are near land, use bearings there WAVES Mark Thompson • Use weight actively to counteract roll of wave • Initiate surfing on reach by (legal) pumping of spinnaker • Weight forward going down wave to pick up speed and back as you start to surf Gerard Dyson • Keep helm and crew weight together • Assist boat over the waves by movement of upper body GYBING Mark Thompson • Reach to reach - pinch up to windward before mark, bear away, gybe at mark from broad reach Gerard Dyson • Helm pulls leeward twinning line down, whilst crew is bringing in pole • Crew pulls in good length of guy before gybe • Main goes over • Helm lets new leeward twinning line off ...and releases new guy as crew pulls spinny boom out • Old sheet left cleated until after gybe. Helm releases it once gybe complete GENERAL POINTS Gerard Dyson • Twist gives speed and hooking gives pointing - but less speed • More fullness in jib for sea - for flat water, flatter sail with harder leech • Not just barber haulers that control shape of the jib but also jib sheet tension Mike Probert • Adjustment for kicker and jib halyard to rake mast back (heavy air) and upright (light) is huge Dave Best • The most important 'extra' on Squib is a great big, black, felt pen Mark Thompson • Clear responsibilities in every manoeuvre • Be factual and keep emotion out of it. • Crew provides maximum information, especially on the beat • Retain a positive frame of mind. If it is not positive, don’t say it! • Treat the Squib like a big dinghy • Get a fitness training regime Jenny Riley • Whatever crew weight, a top ten place at the Nationals is possible • Get fitter, so hiking doesn’t hurt so much!