Join Date: Apr 2006
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"downwind seems to be the slowest point of sail, at least until you start poling out the genoa or setting the asym."
Whether your boat will be faster (to the mark) going wing-and-wing dead downwind, or gybing back and forth, will depend very much on the boat. The nice folks at North University taught me a long time ago that dead downwind was never the fastest way to go--but I've been on some boats and seen some polars that show with some boats, IT IS.
It just always seems slow because you're not getting the extra apparent wind and splashing, and hte brain is easily deceived.
Chef, I think the phrase you are thinking of is "Gentlemen don't sail to windward." It tends to get rough and sloppy and spills the champagne and hors d'oerves, and that's simply not right. Especially when you can take the private train home and let the crew recover the boat.
OTOH, the real sailors I know never light the engine unless they have to. It is noisy, unaesthetic, and burns fuel. Unless someone is on a schedule and it just has to happen...the folks I know use the sails. Upwind, downwind, drifting, sleigh riding...Can you tell, we're not Gentlemen?