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Old 03-07-2003
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sail plans

i always read where bringing the sails in toward to mast as in a cutter would give a boat a better ride and more power in bad weather. that is reef the main , furl the jib, and staysail. this would bring the center of effort in , slow things down. The other day i read where having a yawl type rig, and in bad weather setting the mizzen and jib would even that boat and give a better ride by moving the sails OUTWARD to the endsof the boat. i dont get it. any help out there explaining this. tks tc
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Old 03-07-2003
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sail plans

This is not a simple question but neither offers inherently better ride. In heavy air the goal is to balance the boat. Most boats develop weather helm in heavy air, which means that the apparent center of effort is moving aft on the boat relative to the center of lateral plane. Reefing the mainsail allows the center of effort to be moved forward as well as reducing sail area balancing the helm. For that reason most well designed sloops work well in a wide range of wind conditions. At some point the wind conditions get to be too much for the sail area of the boat and at that point it is time to reduce both the mainsail and jib. A cutter allows you to remove or furl the jib and sail under just the staysail, which is a pretty snug rig. In the case of a yawl, to reduce sail area and remain in balance you simply drop the mainsail. In both cases the boat remains in balance by using either to most inboard sails or the two most outboard sails. Same problem, different solution.

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