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

Yachting Monthly - - CONTENTS - Dun­can Wells is prin­ci­pal of Westview Sail­ing, au­thor of Stress-free Sail­ing and creator of Moblife­savers.com

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

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