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How to Trim Sails with Carol Hasse, Part 2 – The Headsail

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October 7, 2014

Legendary sailmaker Carol Hasse shows us how to tell your jib from your genoa and how to manage headsail trim for better performance.

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Carol Hasse is the owner and proprietor of Port Townsend Sails.


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How to Trim Sails, Part 3 - The Mainsail

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Points of Sail Guide: click here for the OCH downloadable PDF.

Comments, Thoughts or Suggestions?

You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

22 Responses So Far to “How to Trim Sails with Carol Hasse, Part 2 – The Headsail”:

  1. Heidi Roy Heidi Roy says:

    Thank you, Carol, your video was very well presented even for a non-sailor like myself. We live on Lake Erie Canada and I watch the sailors every Wednesday and always wonder …how do they manage to go where they plan to go…….now some of the mystery has been lifted for me and will watch more closely next Wednesday :)

  2. Avatar Peter Strock says:

    30 years in an H 12 1/2 . Who knew? While most of these adjustments are not possible within the class the knowledge leads to focus especially while competing but even just as seamanship.

  3. Peter Lundquist Peter Lundquist says:

    Brilliant! ๐Ÿ‘

  4. Avatar Robert (Bob) Godfrey says:


  5. Avatar norman poulin says:

    What a wonderful and enjoyable video i have never heard it explained like that anywhere . I would diffenlenty sit in on more classes thank you Carol for your effort norm

  6. Avatar Eric Winter says:

    So clear and helpful. Good sailing guidance based on good physics.

  7. Avatar Lowell Anderson says:

    Wow Carol! I have sailed for 40 years, been personally tutored by a College sailing instructor, and taught the USPS classroom sailing course several times over the years. You put me to shame with such clarity and organization to your presentation. I have read Gary Jobson’s books and met him personally on his only visit to Tacoma.but you take the cake or perhaps the Emmy Award. Your instruction is so clear and i have been such a lazy sailor. I will watch your presentation a few times and then take to the water to see if I can improve my speed by applying what you teach here. Thank you!! What an inspiration you are!

  8. Avatar John Sassone says:

    Do you have any videos or specific instruction on sailing a gaff rigged boat? Specifically interest in learning more about handling a Marshall Sanderling.

    Enjoying the videos immensely. Thanks

  9. Avatar Keith Cheney says:

    Another excellent video on sail trim. Carol is clear and extremely informative. A must see! Thanks, Carol, for your willingness to share your incredible knowledge!

  10. Avatar Shaun Wallace says:

    I sail a 15′ day sailor that came with a fixed deck block for the jib sheet. I was experimenting with a homemade genoa and discovered exactly what Carol was explaining about improper clew sheeting. My solution was to install a traveller and car which at the time seemed like over-kill on my small boat. However after watching Carol’s lesson I now see that I have only scratched the surface of using the traveller block for trimming my jib. Particularly appreciate the discussion of head twist on various point of sail. Who knew! Thanks again OCH.

  11. Avatar Richard Haddock says:

    fantastic, very much enjoyed this excellent informational video.

  12. Avatar David Carper says:

    Bravo! An absolute, simple elementary explanation of technical technique, on what makes the boat GO: sail trim,sail shape,why and how.Thanks Carol and OCH. Don’t tell the competition ; )

  13. Avatar Douglas Cameron says:

    VERY valuable presentation! What a wonderful teacher Carol is…. I feel I learned and understood ideas that before were only vague concepts… I too, am going to play this again and take notes. Thank you, Carol, and OCH…….

  14. Avatar Robert Collier says:

    One of the best videos in your collection! Carol Hasse is a great teacher. I now know what to look for in sail position and less hunting for that ideal sail shape. Her presentation was so clear. Sign me up for another year!!!

  15. Avatar Kyle Stroomer says:

    Absolutely love this series. As a beginner sailor, this information is delivered very well with a ton of content but still understandable. Can’t wait to get a chance to put this to use!

  16. Avatar Michael Seibert says:

    I second (third) the sentiments already expressed. The videos on sail trim were very well presented and Carol packed a ton of info into a short presentation. I will be going back and taking notes, and also very much look forward to putting the lessons into practice. I only wish this info was available a few years ago when this was all Greek to me.

  17. Avatar John Eldert says:

    A great explanation for a free-footed headsail! Having recently changed to a roller club jib arrangement, we now have different control points to figure out, such as clew out haul position/tension via the roller drum position vs. club sheeting position, and with an adjustable rope bridle for a traveler, the traveler shape as well!

    It has been quite a learning curve out here in the wind and waves of Nantucket Sound, so any similar insights would be very helpful!

    Again, a very concise and complete explanation, so THANKS, Carol!,

    • Avatar John Hughes says:

      A club-footed jib is a lot like a loose-footed main. The traveller and sheet provide a way to position the end of the club (or the main boom, where the vang may help as well); the outhaul in both cases acts something like the sheet on a jib…with the role of “track-car position” taken by the club-end or boom-end. You figure out which way you want to pull, put the club-end there, and adjust outhaul tension accordingly. Of course, typically you adjust this once at the start of a sail, and have to rely on sheet tension as a proxy for what you really want. Various tricks for making the club move where you want it (such as having its forward end somewhat aft of the tack of the jib) are attempts to make this single adjustment work for a wide range of courses. But the principles are still the same. (I sometimes wonder whether one might run the outhaul line forward along the club, to a turning block on deck, and aft to the cockpit, so that you could make the adjustment that you really WANT to make while under sail…)

  18. Avatar Herve Depow says:

    This is the best explanation of sail trim I have encountered. I can’t wait until next season to put this into practice. Thanks so much.

  19. Avatar Chris Cournoyer says:

    Terrific explanation. There are very few experienced sailors that won’t learn something from your clear and well organized presentation. A very worthy follow-on presentation to your previous excellent videos for OCH. Great work folks and thank you Carol.

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