Sailing in light air can be frustrating, but with the right sail trim techniques, you can optimize your boat's performance and sail faster and more efficiently. I'll explore some advanced light air sail trim secrets which will help you get the most out of your boat in light wind conditions. The first sail trim secret Understand the concept of apparent wind....
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...
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...
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...
Gear changing is what separates the mid-fleet sailors from those who always seem to be a tad quicker and higher. While most of the fleet starts the race with a similar setup created with the help of a tuning guide, the fast boats are constantly making additional adjustments. When conditions suddenly change—a puff hits or you sail into a lull,...
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...
Use your Traveller or Mainsheet to depower the mainsail. The traveller has two functions, it controls the boom's angle to the wind and it steers the boat controlling helm and heeling in puffs and lulls. Mainsheet The mainsheet controls the twist and then you use the traveller to position the boom on the centreline. This gives maximum power and pointing as...
Trimming Sails Together. Generally, on boats that are going slow, one sail will be much looser or tighter than the other. Conversely, it might be flatter or fuller than the other. Fast boats have similar depth in the main and jib as well as similar twist profiles. It is worth noting though that even if conditions don’t dictate flat sails,...
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...
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...

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