Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Tacking Angle"
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Post: "Tacking Angle"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Aaron Norlund


Your question of "max drive into a headwind" is more complicated than it lets on. There isn't one sail configuration that works for everything, as you know. A 15kt breeze in the middle of the ocean with a developed 5' swell might warrant working sails (main, stays'l, yankee), whereas the same wind in a harbor or lee of land would have a big genoa flying.

In general:

<8kts: Main, asymm - maybe genoa.
8-18: Main, stays'l, yankee
18-22: Single reef main, stays'l yankee
22-25: Dbl reef main, stays'l, yankee
25-35: Dbl reef main, stays'l
35-40: Trpl reef main/tris'l, stays'l
40+: tris'l, storm jib/reefed stays'l

But it's more complicated than that. How baggy is your main? Full battens with a good shape or an old sloppy battenless sail? Can you sheet your stays'l tight or is it on a boom that doesn't come in past the cabin? Is your rig well tuned?

In general, in the open sea, a well tuned rig and main, stays'l, yankee will probably give the best performance.

Hope this helps!

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