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Barber Hauler and Twing – Sailing – Sail Away Girl


Hello Sailors,

Barber Hauler and Twing, sounds like a great name for a band doesn’t it? Nope, these are actually sailing trim set ups that I ran across today when I was reading something else about sailing and as my good friend Dan says I got distracted by the next shiny object. I can’t even tell you what the heck I was reading about when I got sucked into these two trim mechanisms.

What I primarily found out, is that the only information I could find on Barber Hauler in particular, was contradictory. Barber Hauler is actually named after twins named Barber from San Diego. They were racers in the late 1950’s and were looking to fine-tune the sheet-to-jib/genoa angle and to adjust the clew laterally to improve the slot between jib/genoa and mainsail when on a beat.

Sail Away Girl Barber Hauler and TwingBarber Hauler:

Basically, the mechanism is a line that is run through blocks on the cabin around midship that pulls the clew of the jib/genoa inboard. It essentially enables you to narrow the slot between the jib/genoa and the mainsail so you can go faster  and improve pointing. Please note that closing off the slot too much will backfill the main and defeat the purpose, so practice makes perfect here. It reportedly also has the added benefit of making passage on deck free of clutter and therefore safer.

Now I also found where a Barber Hauler is now considered out of date and now is a term sometimes used for pushing the clew further outboard on a downwind tack and in lieu of lines a “jib stick” or whisker pole is used. This is the complete opposite of the original inventors’ use so I’m perplexed why this would also be considered a Barber Hauler mechanism. We actually do this trim on Irish Rover for downwind runs, but we use the spinnaker pole which I call the mustache pole since it is much heavier than a whisker pole. Don’t try and find mustache pole under sailing terms, I totally made it up, but here is a picture you’ll find if you Google the term. Funny.

Outdated or not, I’d like to try this on Irish Rover sometime since we are frequently “lifting the skirt off the lifelines” to get the foot of the 155% genoa inside the rail. Plus on the days when we have light winds and are attempting to increase our heel by having all the “rail meat” on the leeward deck, the “meat” hate sitting with all that sail in their face. Just a thought Irish Rover. 🙂

Sail Away Girl Barber Hauler and TwingTwing:

OK so I just had to read about Twing because it’s a fun word. I like the word twang too in case you were wondering. OK so what is a twing? It is a ring or carabiner that is placed between the clew of the jib/genoa and the jib car with a line running from the ring/carabiner to a block right below the clew. It is used to pull down on the jib sheet, when sailing off the wind on a reach, to keep from spilling the wind off the top of the sail. A line is run from the carabiner to a winch so that the tension on the Twing can be adjusted as needed.

The same thing can be accomplished by moving the jib car forward. However, the argument for the Twing is that the jib car can now stay in place as it is hard to move forward and aft all the time. The Twing, particularly if on a carabiner, is easier to release and can stay in place when not in use by simply clipping the carabiner to the life line.

Please make sure to use a carabiner that mountain climbers use as they can handle loads like those that a sail under power can create.

The Twing is also used with the Spinnaker with many racers.

Fun tweaks to try. And these are not just for racers either, Cruisers make use of these tweaks too. The only caution is the additional chafe that these can cause if in the same place for any length of time so chafe gear may be in order.

See you on the water,

Sail Away Girl


  1. Speaking of shiny objects related to sailing, see what you can find out about using a tricing line to help tacking – especially with large genoas. One more line to contend with…
    Perhaps related to the phrase “in a trice” (?)