Trimming for Speed. To win a sailboat race you must sail fast and smart. When you have a speed advantage, tactical decisions are easier. To be fast you have to work at it, your rig needs to be tuned, the hull needs to be fair and smooth and the sails set and trimmed efficiently. By no means less important is...
Sail Controls And Their Effects - Sail Controls are the things that you can adjust once afloat to take advantage as the conditions change. I have set these out below in no order of importance. Be aware that some controls on different types of boats will have a varying degree of importance. Use a practice day to experiment with each...
Most sailors know that modern sails perform much like an aeroplane wing and that's the way sails work to windward. Because of the way that a sail is curved, and because of the angle of attack when trimmed properly, the air passing over the leeward side speeds up in comparison to the air passing over the windward side. It is the...
Today, Iim trying something different using screenshots to give a Guide To Changing Gears. I hope you enjoy it. Dave Dellenbaugh has been giving sailors the benefit of his boundless sailing knowledge for over two decades. He uses an easy-to-follow format through his "Speed and Smarts" newsletters. Visuals rather than longwinded explanations do a better job explaining the sometimes baffling concepts...
You must know how telltales work to be a successful sailboat racer and those sailors that have mastered their use can be found on the podium more often than not. Twist is when the top of the sail opens in comparison to the lower sections. This gives us the ability to control the lift and drag created by our sails. Twist...
A Checklist For Successful Trimming Trimming sails is a challenging crew position that requires knowledge and experience. The trimmer also needs the ability to work with the rest of the crew. The goal of The Trimmer The goal of the trimmer is to get the boat to perform at peak efficiency and to use that speed to outsail the competition. A good...
Excerpts from an interview with highly accomplished Dinghy through to Maxi Yacht sailor and North Sails sailmaker Michael Coxon. Sails -The controls and Their effects. What's the most important sail control and how does that vary from class to class? Sails - the controls and their effects  “The most important sail control for any boat is the sheet tension. Where the...
Rig Tune to Get Better Performance. Firstly, I would like to correct an error in last weeks Blog regarding using the compass to establish Line bias. Phil Crebbin, a UK 470 Olympian kindly pointed this out. He has provided the correct method which is copied below in bold. Everybody knows that it is the wind direction vs the line direction that...
Twist, is the relative trim of your sail from top to bottom. Your sail has a lot of twist when the top of the leech is open. When you have a closed leech, this is described as little twist. Twist's Importance and When to Use It The effect of an increase in twist is a reduction of power. Reducing...
Depending on the boat you sail, the boom vang will be one of the most important controls. Vang tension determines the twist of your mainsail.  As we go from sailing upwind to across the wind and then downwind, the difference in mainsheet tension will determine how much the boom will try to lift as you ease the sheet and this...

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