Sunday, November 14, 2010
Trim:An Essential Aspect of Sailing
An important aspect of sailing is keeping the boat in "trim".
* Course made good - The turning or steering of the boat vessel using the wheel or tiller to the desired course or buoy. See different points of sail. This may be a definite bearing (e.g. steer 270 degrees), or towards a landmark, or at a desired angle to the apparent wind direction.
* Trim - This is the fore and aft balance of the boat. The aim is to adjust the movable ballast (the crew!) forwards or backwards to achieve an 'even keel'. On an upwind course in a small boat, the crew typically sit forward to reduce drag. When 'running', it is more efficient for the crew to sit to the rear of the boat. The position of the crew matters less as the size (and weight) of the boat increases.
* Balance - This is the port and starboard balance. The aim, once again, is to adjust weight 'windward' or 'leeward' to prevent excessive heeling. The boat moves at a faster velocity if it is flat to the water.
* Sail trim - Trimming sails is a large topic. Simply put, however, a sail should be pulled in until it fills with wind, but no further than the point where the front edge of the sail (the luff) is exactly in line with the wind. Let it out until it starts to flap, and then pull it in until it stops.
* Centerboard (Daggerboard) - If a movable centerboard is fitted, then it should be lowered when sailing "close to the wind" but can be raised up on downwind courses to reduce drag. The centerboard prevents lateral motion and allows the boat to sail upwind. A boat with no centerboard will instead have a permanent keel, some other form of underwater foil, or even the hull itself which serves the same purpose. On a close haul the daggerboard should be fully down, and while running, over half way up.
Together, these points are known as 'The Five Essentials' and constitute the central aspects of sailing.
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