EXPERT ON BOARD
Are you getting the most out of your boat? Duncan Wells shows you how a little knowledge can go a long way when you’re heading to windward
Effortless sail power. How to use better sail trim to cruise faster and further this summer
Numerous volumes have been written on the subject of sail trim. For some it’s an obsession, for others, an afterthought. Even if you never intend to race your yacht, a grasp of the principles of sail trim is something you can apply to any boat you step on board. Apply these to a yacht you sail regularly and you’ll find quiet satisfaction in exploiting the true potential of the boat as it rewards you for your efforts. To a cruiser, sailing faster equates to sailing further and the possibility of new cruising grounds. For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on sailing to windward. Modern yachts, particularly monohulls, do this very well. With a good set of sails, a well-set-up rig and some time spent practising trimming, you’ll find you are able to make big gains in terms of the angles you can sail. However, modern yachts are also easily overpowered. The crux of modern sail trim is understanding how to balance your sails and the power they generate with the resistance of your keel. The end product of a well-trimmed yacht is one that’s a pleasure to sail, easy on the helm and faster through the water.
Not just for racers. Improving performance means covering more miles