Bluenose Canadian Schooner

Jib Sail

December 21, 2017

Day 629.

With the main, fore and jumbo jib sails completed, it is time to do the first sail that doesn’t involve a boom.  The jib sail stretches from the foremast out to the end of the bowsprit.

The design of this sail is fairly simple – just three sides.  However, the strips used to make the sail (and thus the stitches I’ll be adding to simulate the strips) are totally different than what was encountered with the first three sails.


As always, a paper template was made.  Since this sail has a different strip pattern, I went ahead and drew all the strips on the template so I could visualize the end result.


The template for the jib sail.

The normal sail making process was used.  The sail turned out great on the first try, which was encouraging.

Since this sail doesn’t attach to a boom or gaff, it is supported entirely by rigging.  Like the jumbo jib sail, it will use hanks to secure it to the jib stay.  A halliard will keep it pulled up, and port/starboard sheets will keep it pulled down.

Much of this rigging can be prepared more easily if it is done before the sail is installed on the ship.



Like the jumbo jib sail, the jib sail uses hanks to keep it close to the jib stay.  Again I simulated these with brass rings made from wire.


Hanks simulated with brass wire.

Jib Halliard



The jib halliard is straight-forward, and nearly identical to the halliard for the jumbo jib. A single block attaches to the sail.  A run of 0.018″ tan rigging line runs between that block and the two blocks installed on the fore mast’s long links.


The halliard runs through two blocks attached to the long links on the mast cap, and a single block on the top of the sail.

One of the ends falls and is belayed to a pin.  The other end runs to a single block, which is laced to another single block on the rail and tied off to itself.


One end of the halliard runs to a block…


…and that block is laced to another block on the rail.

Jib Sheets



The jib sheets are simple, but the plans make them seem confusing.  After staring at the plans and the instructions for a bit, I figured them out.

The plans indicate that there are two jib sheets – one on the port side and one on the starboard side.  The plans indicate one with a simple arrow towards the deck, while the other is drawn to go up and around the jumbo jib sail.

The purpose of the jib sheet is to pull the lower corner of the jib sail down towards the deck and hold it tight.  However, the jib sail can be moved so it hangs on either side of the jumbo jib sail.

So, there are two sheets – one on the port side, one on the starboard side.  When the sail is set to the port side of the jumbo jib sail, the port sheet is pulled tight, while the starboard side is left loose, wrapping back over the jumbo jib sail.  When set to the starboard side, the starboard sheet is tight and the port sheet is left loose.

I made a crappy drawing to show this in more detail.  In this example, the jib sail is set to port, so the jumbo jib sail is closer to you (the jib sail goes behind it).  You can see the tight sheet behind the jumbo jib sail.  The starboard sheet wraps back around the jumbo jib sail.


Once it’s clear how these are run, actually making them is pretty simple.  For each sheet, a black 0.018″ line is secured to the corner of the sail with an eye splice.  This pendant runs to a single block.  A 0.018″ tan line is secured to a pin on the rail, then up through the block.  It runs down to a fairlead on a bulwark stanchion and gets belayed to a pin.


The sheet on the side the sail is set to.  This is pulled tight.


Another shot of the tight sheet.

Depending on which side the sail is set to, you’ll tighten one sheet while leaving the other loose.

The loose side runs back over the jumbo jib sail and gets handled in the same way as the tight one.


The sheet for the other side runs up and over the jumbo jib sail.


The loose sheet is tied off the same way, but left loose so it doesn’t distort the jumbo jib sail.

Jib Downhaul


The jib downhaul is fairly simple.  A 0.008″ tan line is secured to the top corner of the sail using an eye splice.


The jib downhaul starts at the top corner of the sail.

Then we run the line loosely down to a single block attached to the bowsprit.


The downhaul passes through a single block on the bowsprit.

Passing through the block, the line runs through a fairlead on the bow and is belayed to pin.


It runs through a fairlead (eyebolt) and gets tied off to a belaying pin.

And then the jib sail is finished!


The completed jib sail.