Turn (sailing)

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Turning maneuver of a boat with slup rigging

When turning a will maneuver the sails called. When turning, there is a change of course in which the ship goes with the bow through the wind , i.e. the wind comes briefly from the front during the maneuver. In contrast, with a jibe , the stern of the boat goes through the wind.

Process and commands

  1. “Ready to turn!” (With this command the helmsman should already be on an upwind course ). At the command, the bow prepares for the upcoming turn by releasing the jib sheet from the clamp or removing it from the winch . When he is done with it, he replies: "It is clear."
  2. The helmsman luffs by pushing the tiller towards the sail , but remains seated on the windward side.
  3. When he pushes the tiller away, he gives the command “Ree!” - with this he signals to his bowman that the turn is beginning.
  4. " Hold back the jib to starboard / to port!" Or simply "Jib back!" (For vessels with a jib , this is only pulled to the new leeward side when the wind comes in from the other side. The pressure of the wind on the jib accelerates and makes it easier to turn the boat.) If the jib falls back, the bowman responds as confirmation of completion, if necessary “Jib back!” (especially on catamarans ).
  5. "Over the jib!" Or "Jib over!" (The command to pull the jib to the new leeward side.)
  6. The new angle of incidence of the wind means that the mainsail then changes over to the new side by itself. The helmsman takes his place on the new windward side and steers the new course. He now adjusts the mainsail according to the new course chosen and the bowman does the same with the jib (position roughly parallel to the mainsail).

The command Halt back the jib can be omitted if the boat is going well through the wind. It is not customary to hold the jib back on modern, slup-rigged sailing yachts with short keel .

Q turn

A Q turn (also known as a cow turn ) is a change of course (change of direction of travel) for sailing yachts in adverse conditions ( strong winds , high waves or inexperienced crew). A jibe that is actually necessary, but dangerous under these circumstances, is avoided. In the “classic” Q-turn, which is described in many sources, you luff from the space sheet course to the wind, then turn and drop back onto the space sheet course. There is a course change of about 270 °. Other sources refer to all turns in which the own course is crossed as a Q turn. The name of the maneuver is derived from the shape of the letter Q.

Because the Q-turn can be done without major preparations, it is usually used to initiate the man overboard rescue maneuver . It makes it possible to get back to the point where the accident occurred in a relatively simple way, for example where the person who was overboard is floating in the water.

Roll reversal

A roll turn is a maneuver in dinghy sailing . In contrast to a normal turn, at the beginning of the maneuver the dinghy is heeled strongly to leeward by shifting your weight, then you luff and go through the wind. The dinghy is heeled to the other side of the boat, again by shifting weight. The advantage of the roll turn is that the loss of speed is less with this maneuver than with a normal turn. The reason for this is that the heels ( rollers ) generate additional air flow in the sail and thus additional drive.


It is important that the boat has sufficient speed immediately before turning. Since the boat has no propulsion at the moment of going through the wind, the momentum has to propel it sufficiently. If the momentum is not enough, the turn can "starve".

You usually turn from an upwind course. If the course is to run against the wind, you have to tick a number of turns against the wind .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: easy to turn around  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Petra Krumme (Red.): Seamanship. Yachting manual . 29th edition. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2011, ISBN 978-3-7688-3248-9 , p. 250.
  2. ^ Tom Cunliffe: The complete Yachtmaster-Sailing, Seamanship and Navigation for the modern yachtskipper . Bloomsbury, London 2014, ISBN 978-1-4729-0795-0 , p. 24.
  3. ^ Günzl, Peter: Segeln: The new course; target-oriented to the A certificate. Vienna: Orac, (10th edition) 1990, ISBN 3-85368-934-5 . Pp. 23-24.
  4. Laser sailing 06 roll reversing on YouTube , February 24, 2014, accessed on July 5, 2020.