The self-tacking jib is a very useful system on board a sailboat: thanks to it, in fact, it is possible to maneuver the sail in a much simpler way, changing the tack in a comfortable and quick way without the need to fuck or leave the sheet . Let’s see in detail what it is, why it is useful and, above all, why it is increasingly in demand within sailing cabin cruisers even when you decide to rely on a sailboat rental to navigate the sea on an exciting summer vacation.

What is the self tacking jib

It is a rather narrow and long sail plan, with low clew to reduce the surface and take up less space. As the name implies, it turns by itself. The new tonnage rules penalize jibs that are too large: this type of jib is therefore much more manageable than its competitors.

The sheet point, located towards the inside of the jib, wraps the wind perfectly, improving overall performance. However, the speed is reduced in winds below ten knots, as the leech remains too open when the sheet is released. The use of this jib is in fact recommended from 12 to 25 knots of apparent wind.


The use of the self-tacking jib on a sailboat

The self-tacking jib on a sailboat can be used with very close to wide upwind, not having a wide range of uses. The mainsail has no cover, therefore, it is a sail that is useful only in boats equipped with a split rig where, in fact, it is the mainsail (large and moored) that gives the vehicle the greatest propulsive power, increasingly reducing the role of the genoa. Which, precisely for this reason, in more recent boats is smaller in size.

The jib, in this case, is connected to a single sheet and the trolley is free to move on the rail. Furthermore, the sail is smaller than the bow triangle: in this way, it will not be necessary to have another person to tack and you will be able to steer the boat alone, maneuvering better even in situations that require maximum control.

Fits perfectly to many types of boats Self-tacking jib sailboats were traditionally work boats but, currently, they can also be found in standard cabin cruisers. Examples are the Bénéteau shipyard in France, the Island Packet in the United States, the Hanse shipyard in Germany, the Southerly in the United Kingdom and the luxurious Wally shipyard.

Even competition boats such as, for example, the schooner America have this type of jib more and more often, in order to make handling more fluid and racing more and more exciting. Being an excellent compromise between ease of use and performance, the jib self-tacking has also proved ideal for cruising boats.

Sailboats with self-tacking jib: more and more popular

In conclusion, it is easy to guess that the self-tacking jib on a sailboat allows you to drive the vehicle with extreme ease: you don’t have to handle extended bow sails or even touch the body.

Thanks to its great comfort, practicality of use and the freedom it leaves to the skipper, it is an increasingly popular model both by those who build, both by those who buy sailboats, and by those who rely on an expert sailboat rental. such as Spartivento Charter which in its fleet always has many and different boats, always able to satisfy every need and request.