Close this search box.


Never clutch off your mainsheet or Genoa sheet.

When I did my advanced courses I was lucky, I did them in February in the Solent and F9 was the average wind strength. It was a great way to be sure you knew what to do in weather.

On a monohull, especially a smaller one, sailors seem to understand that in stronger winds you need to have one hand on the mainsheet ready to de-power if need be. The whole week of my advanced course we had someone manning the mainsheet for this specific purpose and it was a busy role.

On bigger yachts with winches and bigger mainsails you soon learn that if you are foolish enough to leave the clutch shut on a mainsheet, when a big gust comes there is no way you can open it again until the pressure has been taken off, i.e. you learn NEVER close the clutch on a mainsheet (or Genoa) or you’ll have no option other than to ride out the wind with the sail you have up.

Now on a Catamaran, where unlike a monohull, the boat won’t just heel over, spill the wind and possibly broach. Instead the rig will just load up until something breaks. You’d think that this simple rule would be well understood. But I often see sailors on Catamarans locking off mainsheet clutches so they can re-purpose the winch for something else.

Always make sure you are able to release the pressure valve and de-power your rig. Never close the clutch on a Mainsheet!!!!

NOTE: Of course a whole new set of rules need to be thought about when you're downwind in Gusty or high wind scenario's.  

Published on

Published By

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter you name and email address to subscribe to Sailing Waiata updates

We have two mailing list, one for the main blog (Connie mostly) and one for TODAY I LEARNT. You can sub to both if you want to unsub from one or the other just use the unsub link in the email you receive.