We have only been sailing for one year! We continue to learn new ways to improve our sailing, while at the same time learning new ways to enjoy it more safely and do it easier.
My wife and I usually sail together,(on a recerational basis) but often I'll go it alone, and singlehand. A guy at our sailing club mentioned a "Jib Downhaul" to me. I didn't know what he was talking about, so I went to Google to learn more. Now I am an expert!??? I encourage everyone to Google it also, to get a more in depth understanding of the Jib Downhaul.
The main benefit of using a Jib Downhaul, is to be able to lower the Jib without having to go foward to the Bow and pull the Jib down. Obvisously this is an easier and safer method anytime, but especailly when singlhanding, or in rough conditions. Also, imaging being able to lower the sail, at the last minute, when approaching a dock, without having to gramble over the deck and posibly falling overboard, to lower the jib. For those racer out there, that lower the Jib when using the Spinnaker, this should help.
From what I have learned, the Jib Downhaul is basically a cheap alternative to a Roller-Furling system. I plan on using either 1/8 or 3/16 line to make the downhaul. Visualize the Jib up, with the 1/8 inch line connected at the Jib head shackle, threaded down the sail luff and through the jib hanks. The line will then run through a small snatch block connected to the boweye, and back to the cockpit and cleat.
The next time I want to drop the Jib, all I will need to do is release the halyard and pull the Jib Downhaul. This should be a breeze, no pun intended.