Bearing Gain - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  

Quick Menu
Boat Reviews  
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Marine Electronics
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here

Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Racing
 Not a Member? 

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-04-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
rcrumley is on a distinguished road
Bearing Gain

Can someone explain this phenomenom? Everything I have read confuses. Occurs when sailing "low and fast" on windward leg? Under what conditions? What causes the "gain". I thought the idea was to maximize VMG?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Old 12-04-2006
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 1,987
Thanks: 8
Thanked 34 Times in 31 Posts
Rep Power: 10
nolatom will become famous soon enough
As a kid, we just called this "footing", as opposed to "pointing" or "pinching". I think bearing gain is basically "tactical footing", where you crack off sheets slightly (and open up the leech curve of your sails so the windflow exits more quickly) so as to increase forward speed, even if you're not pointing as high as the boats near you.

When might you want to do this? If you're in an oscillating breeze, say you're on port tack and know there's a heading shift soon ahead, you might want to get to it faster, preferably faster than your competitors, so you'd foot more make speed or "bearing gain" on the boats nearby, so you get to the new shift (and tack onto a new lift) ahead of the other guys. In getting there, you don't care so much if you point well, because the advantage when you hit the next shift will go to the boat that's farthest to the right side of the beat. If you have to bear off and foot fast to be the first boat on the right side, then do it. You won't care about the guys on your wether quarter, and you'll try to foot or "reach" over the guys to leeward of you. You went "low and fast" to get to the windshift first, the guys who went "higher and slower" got it later and were on the wrong side of the new shift, on the outside of the circle as it were.

Of course, if you guessed wrong and the new shift is a port tack lift, you're toast.

And if you're in a continuing or progressive shift, and getting lifted while most of your competition is to leeward, you'd want to point then, as gaining distance to windward will be better, even if a bit slower than footing.

Beating is always a compromise between pinching and footing, and where and what you expect the next shift to be, and where you want your competition to be in relation to you when it happens, often determines which you'll do.

That's assuming you know what's coming. Often we just get lucky, and rationalize later that we were smart.

Hope I understood the question.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lines of Position, Bearings, and Fixes Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 03-23-2004 07:00 PM
Lines of Position, Bearings, and Fixes Jim Sexton Her Sailnet Articles 0 03-23-2004 07:00 PM
Installing a Cutlass Bearing Mark Matthews Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 04-26-2002 08:00 PM
Navigating with Radar Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 03-29-2002 07:00 PM
Cutlass Bearing Query SailNet Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 06-06-2001 08:00 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:14 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) LLC 2000-2012

The store is owned and operated by a company independent of the forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.