May 19 2008

Terms: Windward Douse

There are many ways to do everything on a boat, and some better serve the situation than others.  When dousing the spinnaker, the windward douse is another tool in your bag of tricks.

The name holds the clues to what differentiates this douse from a leeward douse–what side of the boat your are using to bring down the spinnaker.

Here are the steps:

  1. When ready, have a crew member come forward (or the crew member working the mast can do this) and hold the working guy–which is on the windward side.
  2. Trip the spinnaker pole and drop the pole to the foredeck.
  3. At this point, the driver is starting to turn to windward.  Grab both clews and pull/feed it right into the open hatch.  The wind will push it right down the open hatch.

It is a pretty slick way to get the spinnaker down quickly.  One guy on board suggested that you grab both ends and simply sit down.  I presume that this saves your arms and the force starts the descent process of the sail and assists in starting the collapse of that big sail.

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