Sunday, September 13, 2009


This Saturday the wind was light and I had a chance to try this stuff again.

When it is really light wind going down wind, get the boom out a good bit ahead of 90 degrees so when you heel the boat to weather the boom will stay forward from the pull of gravity. The sail will be high and steady. Now it seems that sail trim is not that important at this time.

How much to heel to weather (away from the boom)? I would say that get the edge of the deck in the water. Really good sailors may not agree with me. Putting that cupped rail of the laser in the water and dragging it along should make you go slow, but when I have been sailing along with others it seems faster to get the rail in. Maybe it gets the sail higher, etc.

Looking down wind the folks ahead seem to be heeled more. On a beat the folks ahead seem to be flatter. What is that message?

The reasons for the heeling are 1) It gets the sail up higher where the wind is stronger. 2) To balance the push of the sail on one side to turn the boat in the other direction. With a good heel actually you need a little rudder to help the sail keep the boat going straight. 3) Wetted surface is reduced and that is the biggest drag factor till you go faster and start making waves. Then it major drag is wave making.

Now sail by the lee if you can or straight down wind. Maybe you want to go by the lee the other direction. GOOD LUCK. If you get a good pump by pulling the aft sheets, you will produce an apparent wind from ahead and be trying to push the boom out against that wind on the other tack.

Give it a try. Practice makes perfect. Sail in the magic of a day when you are the only one that believes the wind is blowing.

Tomorrow, more about the sailing Saturday.

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