Join Date: Dec 2001
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Sailing without heeling
The first time the Admiral and I went sailing, she thought the boat was going to tip over as it started to heel. I tried explaining the physics involved, and how modern sailboat designs incorporate the phenomenom of heeling to deal with increasing wind speed. At first, she was not convinced.
Since she didn''t take my word for it, I decided to hire a sailing instructor who took us out on our boat. He not only showed us how to anchor, moor and dock, but he also pointed out how a sailboat functions - which means it MUST heel in order to sail when the wind comes from any direction except from the rear or within about 45 degrees ahead (in which case the boat can''t sail).
At one point, he had us sailing on a broad reach with about 15 knot winds apparent. The boat was heeled over about 20 degrees when he exclaimed, "Now THIS is sailing!" From that time on, the Admiral doesn''t mind heeling, even if the lee-side rail gets awash as a result of an occasional wave. However, she and I still have problems dealing with excessive weather helm. I''m learning to reduce it by moving the traveler leeward and/or flatten the main and/or reefing the main. Also, since tuning the standing rigging, I''ve noticed that both sails can be set flatter than before, which has helped reduce weather helm, and has increased the boat''s speed nearer to its theoretical hull speed.
My advice - Hire an instructor, or have her take some sailing lessons. Most sailing schools have gift certificates. ;^)
~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~