How to Unfurl the Jib / Genoa

Back to Basics Sailing Tips

Here is how to safely unfurl the jib or genoa in a safe and orderly manner. 

This demonstration was done on the Lagoon 42 and is intended to give you confidence in your catamaran handling ability.

Lagoon Catamaran Furl and Unfurl

Things to Consider

Your Heading – Unlike hoisting the mainsail, you do not want the boat head-to-wind while unfurling the jib.  This is because it will flap around, which can be quite dangerous or cause damage.

Wind Angle – The best wind angle to unfurl the jib is at about 90 degrees, so it will come nicely and full of wind.  You should be able to feel the wind on your shoulder.

The Furling Line


  • This varies from boat to boat.
  • On the Lagoon 42 it’s a grey line that runs down the Port side of the boat.
  • Release the furling line cleat so the line can run freely.
  • Run the furling line through your hands to eliminate any coils or kinks which can get caught up in the block when you unfurl.
  • The furling line runs forward to the furling drum at the base of the forestay.
Lagoon Catamaran Furl and Unfurl
Lagoon Catamaran how to unfurl the jib genoa free up the self tacking jib track

Self Tacking System


  • The Lagoon 42 has a self tacking system which is very easy to use.
  • There is a locking mechanism on the track. Undo the locks on the slide so when you tack or jybe, it slides across freely.

Jib / Genoa Sheets


  • Use the jib sheet to unfurl the sail.
  • Load 3 – 4 wraps around the winch and pull in any slack.
  • As you pull on the jib or genoa sheet – by hand or with the winch – you will need to relase the furling line at the same time.
  • If you have crew onboard, this is a great task to hand to them.  In light conditions they can release the furling line by hand.
  • In a heavier breeze wrap the furling line around another winch a couple of times, before easing it out by hand.  This will keep things running smoothly and in control.
Lagoon Catamaran Furl and Unfurl
Lagoon Catamaran Furl and Unfurl

Let’s Unfurl!


  • Pull on jib sheet – or use the electric winch.
  • Ease out furling line – ensure no knots or kinks appear.


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