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post #1 of 4 Old 05-18-2011 Thread Starter
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sailing technique book recommendation

I'm looking for a book that teaches and/or analyzes the best way to handle and
trim sails. I have a few intro level books but I'm looking for more than one or two
pages on most subjects.

Ideally, it would talk in depth about:
  • how to rig sails
  • optimal ways to reef
  • single line versus other options
  • how best to set a spinnaker
  • how to set a drifter
  • which sail to reef first - main or jib
  • how to heave to

Something not completely geared towards dinghy sailing or racing.

Any ideas?
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-19-2011
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I think you will have a hard time finding one book covering all this. Looking at what I have got:

Safety Preparations for Cruising by Jeremy Hood has a fairly detailed section on reefing.

Best discussion on heaving-to that I have come accross is Storm Tactics by Lin & Larry Pardey. The third Ed has recently been released.

On which sail to reef first, there are a couple of good threads here at Sailnet, one of which is around a month old.

On rigging sails / spinnaker, one book I have is The New Book of Sail Trim ed by Ken Textor. It is a collection of 44 articles published in Sail Magazine. It includes six artcles on spinnakers and eight articles on sails for cruising. My edition was published in 1995, so it aint that new!

Hopes this helps, Ilenart
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-19-2011
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  • how to rig sails--watch others do it, then imitate
  • optimal ways to reef- best way is just *before* the wind really pipes up
  • single line versus other options--whatever's on the boat. With jiffy reefing, whether one line and a hook, or 2 lines, pretty simple if you have a decent helmsman while you're doing it.
  • how best to set a spinnaker--in less than 10 knots, and in the blanket of the main and jib. that way it fills *after* it's up, not before.
  • how to set a drifter--in less than 8 knots. big jib really, hard to mess up
  • which sail to reef first - main or jib----main
  • how to heave to--tack and don't release the old jibsheet. tie the tiller halfway to leeward, set the mainsheet for close-reach, then tweak latter 2 til she holds a very slow, slightly wobbling course
No, get the book. The ASA basic book is okay. so are a number of on-line tutorials. I've heard good things about "the complete sailor".

I was just trying to show, in an admittedly smartassy way, that sailing is in reality pretty simple. I understand you're looking for more detailed info but the principles themselves are simple.

Good luck and good sailing.

Last edited by nolatom; 05-19-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-19-2011
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Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
I've heard good things about "the complete sailor".

Good luck and good sailing.
I bought a lot of sailing books in the past. The Complete Sailor really is the best. It was the book that Sailingdog mentioned in his posts. Even I have learned every thing in book, I found comfort by flipping over it once in a blue moon, very easy to read.

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