The jib sail is positioned while sailing by using the jibsheets (as you’ll learn in Part 3 of this course). The jib sheets are two lines that come back to the cockpit, one on each side of the boat, from the aft lower corner of the sail (the “clew”).
In most small sailboats, the jibsheets are left tied to the sail’s clew and stay with the sail. On your boat, however, the jibsheets may remain on the boat and need to be tied or shackled to the clew at this stage. Unless there is a shackle on the sheets, use a bowline to tie each to the clew.
Then run each sheet back past the mast to the cockpit. Depending on the specific boat and the size of the jib, the sheets may run inside or outside the shrouds. On the Hunter 140 shown here, which uses a relatively small jib, the jibsheets pass from the sail’s clew inside the shrouds to a cam cleat, on each side, as shown here. The starboard (right side) jibsheet cleat (with the red top) is mounted on the deck just to the right of this sailor’s right knee. This cleat secures the jibsheet in the desired position while sailing. Here’s a close-up view of the cam cleat.
With the jib now rigged, we move on to the mainsail.