Friday, April 18, 2008

Point of Sail


Point-of-SailWind Direction
In IronsInto the Wind
30-40 Deg
Close Reach70 Deg
Beam Reach90 Deg
Broad Reach135 Deg
Running180 Deg

Wind: The wind is what powers a sailboat. Both the direction and strength of wind is important in setting the sails and maintaining control of the boat. True-wind direction is different from apparent-wind direction. The true-wind is the direction of the wind which makes the waves. The true-wind is perpendicular to the waves. The apparent-wind sails the boat. When the speed of the boat and the velocity of the wind are close, the difference between the apparent and true-wind is the greatest. The apparent wind is forward of the true-wind, except when sailing directly into or away from the true-wind. As one sails faster, the apparent-wind is drawn further forward. When sailing with the wind the apparent-wind has less of a force that the true-wind. When sailing against the wind, in a close reach, the apparent-wind has a greater force than the true wind.

The closer you sail to the wind, the closer the sails are pulled or trimmed to the midline of the boat. As you sail away from the wind, the sails are let out. The exact position of the sails are based upon the direction and speed of the apparent-wind. (The direction of the apparent-wind is determined by the sailboat's tack or relationship to the true-wind and the relationship of the speed of the true-wind to the speed of the boat. If you are a beginner sailor, it is easy to remember the five basic directions of sail ( point-of-sail ) each of which has its distinct characteristics of speed, heel and sail position.