SAIL - - Under Sail -

It’s ac­tu­ally quite an im­por­tant piece of a sail, even though most sailors like your­self have never touched it or made any ad­just­ments to it. When the wind ex­its a sail it cre­ates small vor­tices, and these vor­tices can set up a vi­bra­tion along the leech caus­ing it to flut­ter. Al­though the leech tape goes a long way to­ward solv­ing this prob­lem, on most boats you will still need a leech line in­stalled along the very edge of the sail to keep the trail­ing edge of your sail still. A leech line, as you know, is a small-di­am­e­ter, low­stretch line that can be ad­justed and fas­tened-off in most con­di­tions. When the wind in­creases and the sail be­gins to flut­ter, all you have to do to cor­rect the prob­lem is tighten it a lit­tle. In light winds it can then be eased off, so that the ex­tra ten­sion won’t cause the trail­ing edge of the sail to cup in­ward when there is less air pres­sure on it. Bot­tom line: you should prob­a­bly take the sail in and have a sail­maker in­stall a new one, since the flut­ter­ing will not only be an­noy­ing, but over time it will de­grade the fab­ric. s

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