Sunday, August 5, 2012

Basic Sailing: How do you know that the sails are perfect

How do you know that the sails are on right place and give you the maximum speed from the wind? Easiest answer is: You know that from experience. But how do you learn if you do not have any experience?

Genoa/Jib adjusting 
On both sails (main and genoa) there are some markers that show you if the sails are in the right position. Front sail: Genoa or Jib has usually three little ropes - streamers on each side of the sails. These ropes are around ten cm long (4 inches) and freely floating in the wind. On every side of the sails are different colors: one side green and other red. If this ropes are aligned then the Genoa (front sail) it is in right position. However if one side of the streamers are curled you need to adjust sail. If the ropes on the insides are bouncing you need to tighten the Genoa. And if the streamers on the outsides are curling you need to loosen the Genoa.

Main sail adjusting 
Main sail does not have this streamer on every side of the sail. Main sail has streamers attached to the end of the sail. This streamer tells you when the sail is too tight (when they are curling). If the Main Sail is too tight you lean more but do not get as much of the speed as you could get. You need to experiment a bit and see when the streamers stop curling. Take care also to the look of the sail, which should be in front a bit ballooned and not completely straight.

When you adjust the sails perfectly this is not the end of adjusting the sails. Wind is constantly changing and also your direction of sailing is not all the time the same. With that in mind you need to check constantly and coordinate how much the sails are tighten. However if you are not competing at some regatta and you prefer leisure sailing you can adjust sails less often. 

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