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post #15 of Old 05-17-2013
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Re: handling gusts

Originally Posted by ltgoshen View Post
Please help me understand this tearm pinch? I have heard it used lots but not sure its meaning? is it likt jeading and sheeting everthing in tight? "Close and you can" to the wind with out luffing?
When you are sailing closehauled (i.e., as close to the wind as the boat is capable of sailing, efficiently), the sails will generally be trimmed in tight, (i.e., close to the centerline of the boat), and the sails will be generating their full power. "Pinching" means steering the boat even closer to the wind, so that the sails begin to lift and flutter slightly. When a boat is pinching, the power that is being generated by the sails is reduced. When a sailboat is being overpowered by a strong gust, the obvious remedy is to reduce the power that is being generated by the sails. Pinching is one way of reducing the sails' power.

If you were driving a car and you wanted to reduce the engine's power, you would take your foot off the throttle. In a sailboat, if you want to reduce the sails' power, you can do it by pinching, or you can reduce sail area by either putting up a smaller headsail or reefing the mainsail, or with other sail trimming techniques. Gusts are usually relatively short-lived, and in that case, pinching is a good way to quickly reduce the sails' power until a strong gust subsides. If the ambient windspeed increases, then the better alternative would be to reduce sail area or take in a reef.

Last edited by Sailormon6; 05-17-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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