Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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What's in a word
I've only been sailing steady for 30 years, but there is still something that regularly confuses me when reading posts; the description of wind-relative headings.
The way I understand it, plus or minus a few nuances
Pinching. Probably closer to the wind than Close hauled suggests.
Close hauled. As near the wind as good VMG indicates.
Full and by. Just eased a tick. Full sails. Often better VMG in steep chop or performance multihulls, but depends on the boat.
Close reach. Between close hauled and beam reach, about 67 degrees off the true wind. On fast boats this can be a lot like full-and-by, while slow boats have eased sheets.
Beam reach. True wind on the beam.
Broad reach. True wind about 135 degrees, apparent wind generally on the beam. Still forward of the beam on fast boats.
Deep reach. Deeper than Broad reach. Apparent wind will be on a the beam on a fast boat, perhaps 135 degrees on a cruising boat.
Run. 180 degrees, true and apparent.
On a resent thread someone stated that they were on a beam reach, sheets eased, and that the apparent wind was less than true. Clearly, the true wind was ~ 135 and the apparent wind was on the beam; only with the true wind WELL aft the beam is the apparent wind going to drop. I read this interpretation of "beam reach" all the time, though more often the first definition is what is meant.
Sometimes a spinnaker reach between 90-120 is called a close reach or shy reach; generally the context makes the difference clear. Obviously they are reaching as high as practical with this sail.
Either correct me, tell me that nomenclature varies around the world, or that some folks are getting sloppy. I suspect it is the last 2.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 09-10-2013 at 02:11 PM.