Join Date: May 2002
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Re: A question about sail shape and non dacron sails
Well, there's the best way to trim sails, and the way that's good 'nuff. It's your boat and you can do it either way.
I know lots of sailors, even some racers, who trim their sails to the same basic shape and tensions every time they sail, regardless of the wind speed, presence of gusts and lulls and point of sail. They usually get where they're going, but just a bit less efficiently than they could.
The best way to trim sails is to raise them and tension them each day appropriately to the wind speed at that time, and make minor re-adjustments each time there's a gust or lull, and every time you turn from a closehauled course to a point of sail off the wind.
Some people say they sail to relax and that's too much hassle. Others see sail trimming as a complex and never ending mystery to figure out how to maximize the boat's performance.
Personally, I do a bit of both. When I race, I am an extremely active sail trimmer, constantly looking for ways to find a wee bit better sail trim. When I'm cruising or daysailing, I'll do either. If I'm tired, I'll let it go. If I'm bored, I'll mess with sail trim to keep occupied.