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Old 03-29-2013
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Re: Wind indicator NOT for mast top

To clarify a couple items:

1. Tell-tales on a sail don't tell you where the wind is coming from. They show you the airflow over the sail and whether the sail is trimmed correctly for your course. Nothing more.

2. Apparent wind is what a boat sails in and directly impacts performance and sail trim. So while true wind obviously impacts apparent wind, you sail to the apparent wind.

I agree that looking at the water is an essential skill, it's doesn't tell you much about what the wind is doing now. A wind shift won't manifest itself on the water for quite a long time, in the mean time, you've jibed and blown the gooseneck off the boat. Also, wind speed and direction on the water is not necessarily the same as 40' up.
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