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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Why is beam reach (or near to it) the fastest point of sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mortyd View Post
the wright brothers are spinning in their graves.

as a graduate aerodymanicist it seems many sailors think my education took half an hour. no two things can complicate aerodynamics more than low speed and three dimesionality, and sailng has both. leave the junior high school diagrams alone and learn the wind and your sails. the reason s boat sails fatest on a broad reach are many and very complex - just believe and enjoy. i never think about aerodynamics when i sail or fly.
I say this all the time. One of the things I love about sailing is that there is always something else to learn. Some people enjoy broadening their minds and want to learn the theory behind certain things. Personally, I've reached my threshold somewhere around "wind helps make it go" but others want to know.

I hope your graduate program teaches you how to be a little more helpful with all that knowledge you're paying to learn about. Otherwise, I hope you'll be a researcher and not an educator.
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