Barber haulers: One of the most neglected tackles on any boat and yet, once one learns what they can do, they can often make the difference between having an unpleasant sail or winning a race.

In heavy breeze on a reaching course with the #3 Jib. This is a great time to employ the barber hauler. If you have the budget, fit a pair of snatch blocks at the end of both barber haulers, otherwise for the rest of us, we simply slide the normal block over the unused sheet when on the opposite tack (i.e. Plan ahead).

As you bear off onto a reach or a shy reach, ease the jib sheet sufficiently and simultaneously pull the barber on, which will move the sheeting angle outboard. This opens the leech of the jib and will immediately ease weather helm. It makes the jib much more efficient for reaching and prevents backwinding onto the mainsail. Another trick is to sheet to the outboard Genoa tracks which also helps a lot but is not as efficient as using the barber haulers. A consideration has to be what will you do when you turn to go back upwind? If you are using the barber haulers, it is a simple matter of uncleating the barber hauler and cranking the jib sheet in as for normal beating. Always use the cabin top winches with the #3 - it is so much easier when tacking.

In a race earlier this year in 30 to 40 knots of breeze and lumpy seas, we tried this and broke all sorts of records as we were able to plane at between 11 and 14 knots most of the way. The boat was beautiful to handle as we had put a reef in the main as well.

Moderate Breeze: It is equally advisable to barber haul the #1 or #2 genoa if you are unable to carry a spinnaker. In this case, just attach your spinnaker sheets to get the same effect of opening the slot.

Trygve Roberts