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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a greenhorn to sailing and have been a little confused about the side the wind hits the sail. I've read that it's possible for the Wind to hit the Wrong Side of a sail... Which is the right side and which is the wrong side (Windward, Leeward)? I just need a little more incite on this one or directions to some articles that will give me a better understanding.
 

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There is no "wrong" side on a sail. Just the windward side and leeward side.

It would be wise for you to buy and read a copy of "Sailing for Dummies" available through Amazon and a number of other vendors.
 

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I am in no way affiliated, but if you look up Captain John's skipper tips on Youtube, you can learn a lot. Good illustrations.
There are also some good learning books listed in the forums here, you just have to do a forum search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've purchased the book American Sailing Association (Sailing Made Easy) and in one of the chapters it mentioned the wind being on the wrong side of the sail. That's why I was so confused because, I too thought there's no wrong side of the sail.


I'll check Captain John out n' see if he can clear anything up.
 

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You can view the first few pages of David Seidman's book "The Complete Sailor" on amazon which contains a clear explanation to your question.
 

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Was this perhaps in reference to a jibe (especially an accidental jibe when sailing dead downwind)? In that case I could see there being a "wrong" side of the sail, in that the wind catches what had been the leeward side of the sail and causes the sail to slam over to the other side in an uncontrolled way, putting a lot of pressure on your rigging.
 

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The only "wrong side of the sail" situations I can think of are the accidental jibe, and backwinding the jib.

Accidental jibe:
The wind is to your stern starboard quarter so your main and jib are way out to the port side. Then either the wind shifts a bit to port, or the boat heading veers a bit to port, such that suddenly the wind is to your stern port quarter. This can "backfill" the sails, causing the boom to violently swing over to starboard.

backwinding the jib
The wind is to your bow starboard quarter, sails are close hauled in on the port side, and your sailing as tightly into the wind as the boat allows. Then either the wind shifts a bit to port, or the boat heading veers a bit to starboard, such that your jib backfills on the port side. This causes the bow to swing to starboard, forcing the boat to come about.

Both these situations can be dangerous, as they result in quick and unintended direction changes. The jibe situation can be very dangerous, especially in a stiff breeze, as that violent swinging of the boom can injure crew.
 

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There is a wonderful little book on sailing called Royce's Sailing Illustrated. It is not preachy, it is very informative and fun to read. It covers everything from tying a boat up to sailing, in good and bad weather, anchoring and all the different boats and rigs out there. I have used it to teach sailing to hundreds of crew members and still, after more than 50 years of messing about on boats, I'll pick it up and read through it. It is the funnest, bestest book on sailing, sail boats and everything to do with boats, I've ever seen. And cheap!
 

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Heaving to? (Excuse my mispelling...)
Wind comes from the "wrong" side...

The ignorance to sailing at the other side of the atlantic is just astonishing... For no better word... Sorry
 

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The ignorance to sailing at the other side of the atlantic is just astonishing... For no better word... Sorry
Could you explain to an ignorant (for no better word) in the Pacific to which side of the Atlantic you refer ? You don't think Europeans know sailing ? Or the people of the new world who sailed away from Europe don't know how to sail ?;)
 

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I've purchased the book American Sailing Association (Sailing Made Easy) and in one of the chapters it mentioned the wind being on the wrong side of the sail. That's why I was so confused because, I too thought there's no wrong side of the sail.

I think what the book might be is referring to is "sailing by the lee", which can cause an accidental gybe.

It's when, on a run, the wind is on the same side of the boat as the boom/mainsail. The slightest change in course or wind direction will gybe you.
 

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Heaving to? (Excuse my mispelling...)
Wind comes from the "wrong" side...

The ignorance to sailing at the other side of the atlantic is just astonishing... For no better word... Sorry
You could have kept this comment tucked away in your own head. One thing I tell new sailors is how helpful more experienced sailors can be to their learning process. At least that's been my experience. If this is your way of paying it forward, please stop now.
 

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Heaving to? (Excuse my mispelling...)
Wind comes from the "wrong" side...

The ignorance to sailing at the other side of the atlantic is just astonishing... For no better word... Sorry
Absolutely. Tha't s why the Fastnet Race has never had a fatality. People in glass houses should buy window cleaner so people see more clearly, not throw mud.
 
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