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post #41 of 43 Old 01-14-2009
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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
I don't believe I misunderstood the print in North U sail Trim book, but I'll re-read tonight. Thank you Sailormon6. I also found the "flattened" sails to be a bit contradictory. Seems like bearing off 5-10 degrees would be better than blading out the sails. I'll re-type the section where it says that it may help.
The part that I think is misunderstood is that people tend to read that article, and then they go out on their boat and trim their sails flat in light air, and think that their sails are trimmed optimally. It isn't that simple. I don't believe the author of that book meant to imply that we should forget everything we know about aerodynamics and sail trim, and just trim our sails flat in light air. I think he meant to say that we often trim our sails for the conditions at the start of a race, and then leave them essentially that way throughout the race. I think he's saying that most of us tend to create too much draft in our sails, and, as our boatspeed and windspeed increase, we tend to be too slow to respond to those changes with appropriate changes in sail trim. To sail well in very light air, we have to increase the draft of our sails beyond our normal sail trim, but, to optimize our sail trim, we should think in terms of creating a little less draft in our sails than has been our usual practice in the past, and, as the windspeed and boatspeed increase, we need to begin to flatten the shape of our sails a little sooner than we thought necessary in the past. In short, I don't think the idea of trimming the sails flatter in light air represents revolutionary thinking that supersedes all we thought we knew about sail trim. I think it's simply intended to get us thinking about it differently. It isn't a difference in principle, but a difference in degree.

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post #42 of 43 Old 01-15-2009
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Light winds require a bit more work than moderate and heavy weather. Because the wind is not exerting enough force on the sail to make it take on a nice shape you have to do it.

This means that you have to create the perfectly twisted airfoil with a nice even slot between foresail and main. Tighten and loosen your control lines accordingly until you get a great shape. Cleat everything in place and then go sit on the lee side - or towards it, you want the boat to have a slight amount of heel as this will provide your sails with a better angle of attack.

Sit still. Don't move the tiller unnecessarily. It takes a bit more time to build up your speed but "Light air separates the sailors from the failers".

Good Luck !
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post #43 of 43 Old 01-15-2009
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It really depends on the wind strength.........often I sail in winds less than 5 knots TWS......but unless there is 1-2 knots of wind we always keep the sails shape full until there is virtually nothing on the water. At that point you see guys putting up blades as they are cut with very little shape.

A wise person once told me..........."when in doubt, let it out".......and usually that will help, that and don't pinch!

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