Rigging a Mainsail


    • Remove the Mainsail from the storage bag and spread it out on the deck. This triangular sail has a Head (top), Tack (bottom inside), Clew (bottom outside).
    • Attach the Tack to the base of the mast, attach the bottom of the mainsail to the boom.
    • Release the Halyard from it’s cleat and attach it to the headboard at the head of the mainsail. Feeding the mainsail into the groove in the mast, take the slack out of the halyard and secure it into the cleat.
    • Using a bowline tie the clew of the boom into the sheet. Coil up your lazy sheets and lay them flat in the cockpit.

Now your ready to hoist the sail.

Sailing trip checklist

A day out sailing can be an opportunistic moment, but don’t let that spur of the moment decision compromise everyone’s enjoyment and safety.
checklist_01Have a checklist to run through to make sure you cover the bases. Here is a number of items you can choose from to create your own checklist.
Before heading to the boat:

  • Check the forecast, including predicted wind strength, direction and changes throughout the time away (short and long range forecast),
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back,
  • Prepare your guests ensuring they are appropriately dressed, and bring what they need, don’t forget seasick prevention,

Before Transporting:

  • Check wheels, tyres and trailer wheel bearings, lubrication, looseness, air pressure, including spare,
  • All Lights operating, wiring plug
  • Trailer hitch, and safety chain,
  • Tie-down straps, winch and cable, safety chain(boat).
  • Safety gear (prepacked in a watertight bag),safety_kit_02
    • flares,
    • V Sheet,
    • Horn or whistle,
    • maps/charts,
    • First aid kit
  • Safety gear (stored onboard),
    • Fire extinguisher
    • VHF, UHF,
    • compass, GPS navigation, sounder
  • Rigging and sails (condition/serviceability)
  • Check Fuel and oil, check battery, test run engine, look for fuel/oil leakages,

Launching from a trailer:

  • Drain plugs in and tight,
  • Prepare the dock lines and deploy the fenders,
  • Brief the passengers and crew about procedure, who does what and when to do it,

On the boat, Before starting off:

  • Sniff around the cabin for suspicious fumes,
  • Visual inspection around the motor, looking for leaks, loose wiring, corrosion, chaffing
  • Double check bilges for fluids or leakages,
  • Open sea-cocks, breathers,
  • Warm the engine

On the boat:

  • Show guests around, stow personal items and gear,
  • Show where PFD’s are kept and show how to put them on, include how to exit the boat in an emergency (eg, cross your arms across your chest before jumping overboard, so the PFD doesn’t knock you in the face when it hits the water),
  • How to operate the marine head,
  • What to do in an emergency,

Just before heading out:

  • Turn on Navigation, sounder, VHF and log in (to VMR)
  • Ensure you have checked your charts are handy, course plotted, location of key navigation marks on your course,
  • Assign roles for each crew member, when leaving the dock, handling lines and fenders, etc,
  • Make sure non-crew are seated comfortably out of the way

Add to the above any items particular to your vessel, and laminate it for weather proofing, keep a copy handy for reference.
If your the only person aboard who knows how to sail, then take any opportunity to teach others how to handle the boat and what to do in case of an emergency.

Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club

Wynnum – Manly area boasts a large Marina with a picturesque view of Moreton Bay along it’s foreshores.

Wynnum Manly Marina
Wynnum Manly Marina

This safe harbour has been host to several boat clubs our it’s colourful history.
The Wynnum and Manly Sailing Club was founded in 1909, and was an “All Boat Club”. This club survived the Great War and grew in membership to 90 members on register in 1921. The depression in 1930 and other contributing factors caused the club to decline until it ceased to exist around 1932.
The Manly Yacht Club was established in 1914, after years of friendly rivalry with the Wynnum and Manly Sailing Club, many exciting races won and lost to each, but unfortunately the Manly Yacht Club declined in 1925.
It took nearly 30 years to pass before a few local sailors decided there was a need for another “All Boat Club”, and the Wynnum Manly Yacht Club was established in 1962

Your First Sailing Experience

kayak_sail01My first sailing experience was in a fishing kayak, with a home made sail. Not quite a yacht, but it did have a sail. Sailing across Moreton Bay from Victoria Point over to Peel Island. Once there I pulled the kayak onto the beach and forgetting about the rudder, pushed it backwards into the water snapping the rudder flush with the waterline in a coral protrusion on the beach.
Luckily the sail was a Pacific Sail (V shape) pivoting from the base mount, so I was able to steer somewhat zig-zag back to Victoria Point. An old sea captain standing on the boat ramp watched intently as I approached the boat ramp in a side-on fashion. Giving me a cheer he inspected the rig and suggested I investigate using a lee-board. He went on to elaborate on what a Lee-board was and how it worked similar to a keel, only it was positioned at the side of the vessel and could be swung up out of the way if necessary.
I decided to take on his advice and set about trying to find out more about sailing and it’s equipment, this is how McCusker Yachts came about.
Tell me about your first sailing experience and share with my readers what inspired you to take up sailing.

Types of Yachts

McCusker Sloop
McCusker Sloop

There are many types of sailing vessels. The Modern Sloop is one such vessel that is very common in the small to midsize market.

The Sloop

The rigging configuration of the Sloop is one mast, and two sails. The first of the two sails called a Mainsail that is a tall triangular sheet extending aft of the mast, mounted by the leading edge of the sail against the mast, and the foot of the sail mounted along the boom. The second sail is called a Jib (sometimes called a Head Sail) this is mounted on the forestay between the masthead and the bow, the Jibs trailing corner is controlled by the jibsheet.

Ketch Rig Sailboat

This midsize cruising vessel has a second mast that is smaller than the main mast, and set aft, but forward of the rudder post, in comparison to the sloop, the  ketch’s sails are easier to handle because these sails are smaller and lighter than a sloop with much the same square area. This makes them easier to stow, as well as hoist and trim. With the two masts, the main mast supporting the jib from the forestay and mail sail from the mast, and the mizzen mast supporting the mizzen sail.
One advantage of the ketch and her sail configuration is that while strong winds would see the sloop with a double-reefed main sail, the ketch may just have her jib and mizzen raised, sometimes known as sailing under  ‘jib and jigger’, a term used by the old square rigger’s.

The Yawl

The Yawl, much like the Ketch has two masts, but unlike the Ketch the Yawl has it’s mizzenmast rearward of the rudder post. This rear mounted mast allows a greater open space in the beam to allow the hauling of nets over the side of the boat, making this a very versatile workboat.

Cat Rig Sailboat

A good beginners boat is a Cat Rig Dingy.
This forward mounted single masted, single sail rigged boat, makes good use of the area behind the mast with a long-footed mailsail. The sail may be attached to a traditional boom or maybe even a wishbone boom on the aft corner. This uncomplicated rig is easy to handle in such manuvours as tacking, as you don’t need to deal with such things as jib-sheets.

McCusker Yachts


McCusker Yachts
McCusker Yachts

Discover sailing with McCusker Yachts. From the very first days of venturing onto the water there have been varied ways of moving, none more exhilarating than that of sailing. The feel of the wind filling the sails and drawing the vessel forward with a rush of water pushing out from the bow.

No matter whether you are young or old, as the wind fills your sails your heart lifts and the stress melts away.