Tweaked: The Jib Trolly

Erik Shampain has a quick and easy way to set-up a sportboat self-jibing jib trolly.

Jib trolly

A jib trolly setup takes eliminates jib-sheet handling through a jibe. The system can be pre-set, or adjustable.Erik Shampain

The trend on a lot of modern boats, especially sportboats, is to leave the jib up downwind. In doing so, however, there’s one more task to the jibe—someone must manage that sail. Eliminate that job by installing a jib trolley, which is basically a rope traveler just in front of the mast on which the jib clew runs back and forth from jibe to jibe. The beauty of this is that, during jibes, the jib becomes self-tending. It also greatly simplifies jibe-sets, since you don’t need anyone to tend the jib then, either.

Run a small piece of spectra through a low-friction ring, and tie it tightly across the deck from side to side, in line with the front of the mast. The friction ring will function as a traveller car. Then use another piece of spectra to create a pennant to connect the trolley to the jib. Secure one end of the pennant to the ring and the other to a small shackle. The shackle attaches to the jib clew. The jib can now slide back and forth on its own when you jibe.

Take the system to the next level by making the pennant adjustable for various wind speeds. Instead of using a ring on the rope traveller, install a trio of micro blocks. The middle micro block runs on the trolley line. Dead-end an additional line at one end of the trolley. That line then goes through the near micro block, up through a block on the shackle and then down to and through the far micro block. From there, it goes to a ring on the other end of the trolley and then to a cockpit cleat.

Jib trolly

This jib trolly setup on a C&C 30 uses three microblocks, which makes it adjustable for different wind ranges and sheet settings.Erik Shampain