Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: About square rigs
Boats operate as a system. By and large, Square riggers had inefficient keels and hull forms optimized for cargo capacity over upwind capability. So even if the square rigger had more efficient sails their hulls shapes would make it difficult to go upwind.
But as keels became more efficient, rigs progressed with them allowing boats to sail progressively closer to the wind. Modern Bermuda (triangular) sails largely derive from the shape of low speed-low power air foils such as birds who are long range fliers, or man-made gliders. Sail shape is highly controllable on modern rigs whereas the major influences on sail effectiveness upwind is controlling twist, foil shape, and the camber of the sail, all of which are very hard to control on a square sail.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay