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Dan Dickison 10-20-2000 08:00 PM

Faster than the Wind
<HTML><!-- eWebEditPro --><P><P><FONT size=4><STRONG></STRONG></FONT><FONT color=#ff0000><FONT face=Arial></P></FONT><FONT size=+0><P></P></FONT></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial><P><FONT size=3>Is it possible for a sailing boat to go faster than the wind? </FONT></P><P><STRONG><FONT size=3>Dan Dickison responds:</FONT></STRONG></P><P><FONT size=3>The short answer is yes. If you consider iceboats and landsailers, these craft regularly exceed the speed of the wind because they sail on a medium (ice and land) that has less friction than water. However, there </FONT><FONT size=3>are many waterborne craft that can exceed the speed of the wind as well. These are mostly planing monohulls, lightweight multihulls, and foil-borne sailboats. When a boat moves through the water, the forward movement of the boat combined with the wind creates a phenomenon we call apparent—wind that's the wind that the sails feel—and this is a slightly stronger wind. For example, the wind you feel when you stick your hand out of a car window is a combination of the car's speed and the existing wind. As a boat begins to build speed, this apparent wind builds too, allowing the boat to sail slightly faster. So you can see that it's possible for a boat to sail faster than the existing wind. Usually the three kinds of boats I mentioned above are those whose performance regularly exceeds the speed of the wind, but conventional monohulls can do this too under the right circumstances. For a more in-depth treatment on this topic, you might want to pick up a copy of Frank </FONT><A class=articlelink href=""><FONT size=3>Bethwaite's High Performance Sailing</FONT></FONT></A>.</FONT></FONT><FONT face=Arial size=4></P></FONT></HTML>

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