We rig the lines we need while under way at sea much of the time. Splicing, putting eyes in lines, adding shackles, routing lines. We only have lines on a boat, no ropes. The difference between a rope and a line is that a line has a specific job, like a sheet. A sheet is a line that controls a sail. The jib sheets are lines that pull the clew, or aft end of the jib, back and in or can be let out to create more of a curve in the sail. A halyard is a line that pulls a sail up on the mast. The main halyard pulls up on and holds the mainsail up. Seb has been doing a lot of rigging while underway to accommodate changing conditions or setting up new or maintaining existing systems.
Rigging at Sea - Seb
Part of the Pacific Cup race to Hawaii is a downwind race. For downwind sailing, many boats will make use of a spinnaker sail and these sails are not attached to the forestay of the boat. They are rather attached at the top of the mast with a spinnaker halyard, at the tack of the sail with a tack line and have spinnaker sheets at the clew of the sail to control the angle of the spinnaker. Otherwise it is free to fly. To further help control its shape, we can use a spinnaker pole which is deployed on the opposite side of the spinnaker sail. This pole has its own set of lines to control its height and angle. On Blue Moon, our spinnaker pole was delivered a few days before the Pacific Cup race and so most of the rigging of the pole had to be done underway. So we bought enough lines and shackles and blocks before we left and I have been setting these up as we converge on a workable rigging plan. To connect these lines to the pole I used trigger snap shackles so if there is a problem we can release the lines from the pole quickly. I’ve been eye splicing the lines to those shackles today and yesterday and whipping the lines to prevent fraying. I also made a peeling strop which is a line to help secure the tack of the spinnaker while we jibe. As we journey to Hawaii, we can make different types of lines to solve issues that come up (like a line breaking or re-routing certain lines using various blocks if we need to).