Saturday, October 3, 2009


The October Sailing World has an article by John Loe about hiking -- mostly keel boats-- but includes tests and measurements and lots of stuff I don't understand, but concludes that hiking is most effective when the boat is flat and as the boat heels then the perpendicular weight gets less, etc.

I am not sure if this is absolutely true in the Laser, because as we begin to heel the center of flotation moves downwind making leaver arm longer---but lots of other things start to get bad.

Sail area perpendicular to the wind starts to get smaller.

Sail area force begins to push down like making the boat heavier.

Blade area starts to get less.

Boat shape starts to turn the boat to windward.

Rudder used to turn the boat back straight starts to drag like a break.

Soooo, the conclusion is to have the "super vang" on before you begin to heel. Then you can hike hard, ease the sheet and stay flat.

Don't forget to pull Cunny on enough to move the draft forward and to get your best out haul setting.

You go fast and that can make up for a lot of stuff. Blades work better. Through the waves faster. Turning easier. Get to the wind shifts sooner. Arrive at the finish line first.

1 comment:

  1. Just read the article at Borders Books over a cup of coffee. I forgot my slide rule, so I didn't understand much of it.

    A. Fox and I were talking about his MC Scow and how he tries to sail it flat. Seems to work for him, even though most of those guys go upwind with a pretty pronounced heel. I was told this reduces the wetted surface area. Given the fact the boat has a centerboard on each gunwhale, angled outwards,I guess it is supposed to make the hull act as if its sailing flat. So, I guess it is how the sail changes, like you mentioned in your first 2 points above, that makes sailing all boats flat (even an MC Scow)faster.