PS Advisor September 2019 Issue

Try a Barber Hauler for Better Sail Trim

If you canít position the jib clew exactly where you want it on all courses and in all weather, a barber hauler should be in your future, for even the most laid-back sailor. Here are some options.

If the jib has no or limited overlap, hauling the sheet inboard a few inches can be as simple as lightly tensioning the lazy sheet. A permanent in-hauler is typically rigged to a mast base turning block. If there is a lot of overlap, you can rig a line right across the cockpit to a spare winch, just for testing.

Drew Frye

Appealing to trim mavens, Antalís barber-hauler setup using low-friction-rings (right) allows more trim options than the typical barber hauler led outboard through a snatch-block (left).

Options

ē Midships blocks offer multiple opportunities for testing. For reaching, a light block or even a carabiner on a fixed length strop attached to a mid-ships cleat can provide a solution. If some adjustability is required, the block can be attached to a length of line led under the cleat and back to a secondary winch; there will be more friction, but itís only for reaching. If the line is a little longer, it will reach across the deck to the opposite sheet, where it can serve as an in-hauler. This creates tripping and chafe problems, of course, and is only temporary, for testing.

ē Snatch blocks make a removable barber haulers practical. This can make a lot of sense for spinnakers and reachers. We use the headsail barber haulers every day, so we always make these permanent. Loads are generally light, so use lightweight turning blocks to minimize friction.

We like low-friction rings for the sheet end. Theyíre light and there is less banging around. Carabiners make handy low-friction ring substitutes, but we only recommended them for testing, because they have a nasty habit of spontaneously clipping onto lifelines and other control lines.

A barber hauler that is intended to be adjusted under load will generally be led to a winch, but reaching outhaulers and twings for smaller boats can often be hand tensioned and led to a cam cleat, if you are willing to slack the sheet for a few moments while you make the adjustments. But since barber haulers are of greatest value when itís blowing, make it sturdy.

I prefer positioning the basic sheeting system as far in as I will need it, so that I only have to haul outwards. However, new boats are coming out with systems that require hauling in and out, for all adjustments.

The simplest solution is to place a single low friction ring on the sheet, splice two tails to it, and lead one to a turning block at the mast base and the other to a turning block at the rail. A huge range of adjustment is possible.

Drew Frye is technical editor for Practical Sailor and author of Rigging Modern Anchors . He also blogs at his website www.blogspot.sail-delmarva.com.

Comments (7)

The above was excerpted from a longer, more comprehensive article.

The Name. Manning and Merit Barber devised a simple rig to better trim the jib sheets on their Lightening dinghy in the 1950s. It has developed into many variations, collectively called barber haulers.

The Need. The main sail boom (specifically the outhaul) controls foot tension, while the sheet, vang, and traveler work together to control height, athwart ships position, and twist. The jib, on the other hand, has only the sheet. If eased to allow the sail to move outwards, the sail becomes too full and twists uncontrollably. So we must adjust the jib lead position fore/aft and in/out to accomplish what a boom, vang, and traveller do.

Today I was sailing in a fresh breeze on the Chesapeake. Upwind we rolled up some of the jib, and because this shortened the foot, we had to move the leads forward to maintain the same angle to towards the clew. Had we not moved the leads forward, the leach would have twisted off uncontrollably due to lack of leach tension. Broad reaching back, we unfurled the jib and hauled it out, as in the above left picture (same boat). Had we just eased the sheet to move the sail outboard, it would have turned into an overfull, flapping bag with the leach twisted off, unless we grossly over trimmed it. What we wanted, in these strong conditions, was a flat sail set at the correct angle, and were rewarded with speeds in the teens. We didn't feel we were doing a lot of adjusting, but we did move the sheet lead through a wide range of positions, depending on our course. This is the only way to maintain good jib shape. It's easy, with a little practice, and satisfying to look at.

Posted by: Drew Frye | August 23, 2019 7:28 PM    Report this comment

Barber haulers provide good clew position adjustability. Years ago we would have three sets of genoa tracks on a good race boat. Depending on the wind strength and angle, we would have three sheeting options, not to mention the fore-aft positioning for adjustability. It worked well, but required a lot of gear.

Jake

Posted by: The Beneteau was a boat show delivery and the crew more than likely had a schedule to meet. I've done deliveries on that route in the fall and the weather is sometimes severe. The boat needs to get to the show on time, but first you have to get there! | August 20, 2019 2:25 PM    Report this comment

carter22, also a novice, but think of the barber hauler (strange name, no?) as a mainsail traveler for the genoa. It gives the ability to tension the leech and therefor adjust the shape of the genoa separately from trim angle.

Posted by: Kurt Wullenweber | August 20, 2019 11:58 AM    Report this comment

As a novice, I really need the why and some more pics.

Posted by: WeekendSailor | August 20, 2019 11:48 AM    Report this comment

Nice article -- useful to see the alternatives . Perhaps add a few more images showing the various rigs discussed? As an itinerant crew member, I've learned the value of barber haulers from different good skippers, on both cats and monohulls. They work. But no one has answered a fundamental question. That is, what is it in the standard design and rigging for headsails and their sheets that makes barber haulers necessary in the first place? What if anything could be changed in the cuts of the sails or sheet leads to eliminate the need for barber hauling?

Posted by: carter22 | August 20, 2019 11:45 AM    Report this comment

Nice article -- useful to see the alternatives . Perhaps add a few more images showing the various rigs discussed? As an itinerant crew member, I've learned the value of barber haulers from different good skippers, on both cats and monohulls. They work. But no one has answered a fundamental question. That is, what is it in the standard design and rigging for headsails and their sheets that makes barber haulers necessary in the first place? What if anything could be changed in the cuts of the sails or sheet leads to eliminate the need for barber hauling?

Posted by: carter22 | August 20, 2019 11:45 AM    Report this comment

Nice article -- useful to see the alternatives . Perhaps add a few more images showing the various rigs discussed? As an itinerant crew member, I've learned the value of barber haulers from different good skippers, on both cats and monohulls. They work. But no one has answered a fundamental question. That is, what is it in the standard design and rigging for headsails and their sheets that makes barber haulers necessary in the first place? What if anything could be changed in the cuts of the sails or sheet leads to eliminate the need for barber hauling?

Posted by: carter22 | August 20, 2019 11:45 AM    Report this comment

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