The Hoyt Jib Boom is one of the most popular sail-handling systems offered by Alerion Yachts. Making it even better is our “light-air extender” – a handy feature that holds the jib boom out when sailing downwind on light-air days. The system utilizes a small gas spring cylinder under the deck to push, and hold, the jib boom – and the jib clew – out when running.
Here’s how the light-air extender works. The Hoyt Jib Boom looks like it’s deck-mounted, but it actually passes through a deck-mounted upper bearing and extends down to rest on a second bearing mounted on the hull structure. A collar with a small arm is attached to the lower part of the jib boom, just under the deck. A gas spring cylinder (much like you find under your hatch covers or holding up the rear door of your SUV) is also mounted under the deck, with its forward end attached to the arm. The cylinder has swivels on both ends.
When the jib boom is on centerline, the gas cylinder is fully compressed. When the jib sheet is eased, the cylinder extends and pushes against the arm and the jib boom rotates. Ease the sheet completely, and the cylinder continues to push against the arm, holding the jib boom out, away from the boat.
Downwind, the jib boom becomes a self-tacking whisker pole and makes sailing wing-on-wing a snap. There’s no need to go forward; trim is adjusted from the cockpit using the jib outhaul and sheet. To jibe, just trim the jib sheet until the boom is centered; then snap the jib sheet (or head up/down a little, as the case may be), ease the sheet, and the extender system will push the sail/boom on the other side. Each Alerion has a cylinder with the appropriate push force for the size of the boat.
With the Hoyt Jib Boom, even wing-on-wing, you maintain proper jib leech tension. And in light air, the boom is pushed forward for maximum efficiency. The light-air extender is included with every jib boom.