Sailboat Design…The “WHY” of Upwind Sail Trim

In my opinion, the first commandment of upwind sailing might be: Sail to the full potential of the draft of your sails limited only by the effects of drag as experienced on your tiller or wheel.

The fascination with upwind sailing perhaps stems from the fact that it is a more precise application of scientific principles to the creative art. After all sailing is both art and science. We leave the sail loft with a new suit of sails…cut full with anticipation… a Cunningham…zipper…leach line… reefing points and any other local imaginative devices. Before your vessel leaves the yard fitted out for a new season; perhaps, your rigger set up a new mainsheet configuration…vang and traveller arrangement…maybe you have adjustable stays…Sailors will then go out on the water and learn “How” to use these controlling devices..and with practice become quite proficient in their mechanical application; but, until you know the “why” of it you’ll stay on the mechanical level and not advance to the creative level.

To become more creative you must ask yourself the question “WHY” which will allow the full realization that all these devices can be summed up in two words “Sail Control” Once you understand the scientific principles of sail control, you elevate to a new dimension of creative application. That’s what this link is all about..How to get to the “Why”


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