By Doug Werner
Read Online or Download Sailor's Start-Up: A Beginner's Guide to Sailing (Start-Up Sports series) PDF
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Additional info for Sailor's Start-Up: A Beginner's Guide to Sailing (Start-Up Sports series)
61 Upwind sailing somewhat elusive and difficult and then one day it isn’t. For now you’ll do a little stumbling and grumbling — you’ll do donuts, tangle the sheets and stop dead in the dead zone. But that’s OK. That could ruin your whole day. At first you may have a tendency to turn too far and tack into a reach. It’ll take awhile to get your rhythm down, but with practice you’ll be a Tackmeister Supreme. That is, the boat is pointed straight into the wind, the sails are luffing like crazy, and you’re not moving anywhere.
Just stay away from everybody and everything until you do! OK. Back to your initial trim. What you want are nice taut foils of sail. The first and last part of the sails to flap are the luffs or leading edges of both jib and mainsails. Hence the luffs are terrific checkpoints for adjusting sail tension and trim. When in doubt — let ’em out! To find proper sail trim at any point after you’ve set a bearing, let your sails out until they flap or luff. The look and feel of properly trimmed sails is something you’ll pick up fairly quickly with practice, and is definitely one of the major sweet spots in sailing.
Half the charge of sailing is seeking the forces that move you and tapping into that energy. As you dial into the lifts and tugs notice they change. That’s because the wind isn’t a constant. It usually blows in gusts. On the same heading or bearing you’ll constantly adjust sail tension. Puffs of wind will hit and away you’ll go — sometimes so hard the sail will pull your boat way over. In that case, let out the sail. That’ll settle things down. Conversely, in order to speed up, reel in your sheets and make sure your telltails are sideways into the sail.