By Adam Cort

Transform easy crusing talents into actual mastery

No different activity is as advanced or as equipment- and technique-intensive as crusing. the main points and nuances are giant, yet underneath the outside are 22 components, or center components of information. through realizing those ideas you could reach precise mastery: tie any knot, form any sail, take the helm of any boat, irrespective of how huge or strange.

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Extra info for The Blue Book of Sailing: The 22 Keys to Sailing Mastery

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After that we were able to kick back and relax, barely touching a line much of the rest of the day. The reason we could do this is that a well-designed sailboat will remain on a more-or-less constant heading when its sails and hull are in balance. Not only that, the boat sails better that way—faster and with much less effort from the person at the helm. Old-time square-riggers didn’t carry all those triangular staysails, jibs, and flying jibs on their bowsprits simply to create more sail area. They did so because hoisting or dousing those relatively small sails way up front allowed them 52 The bark rig.

Waves, for example, being the direct result of wind acting on water, are a natural for figuring out what the weather is doing. In a glassy calm, the first few puffs of a new wind will ruffle the surface with tiny ripples that will be visible as distinct dark patches from a quarter mile or even farther away. As the wind builds, gusts or puffs will be visible as cat’s-paws—small, dark patches of water that stand out from larger background waves. In especially gusty conditions, these windy patches may include bits of spray as the countless tiny rivulets break over themselves like tiny whitecaps.

While it’s true that power is generally a good thing, in an especially light breeze the air becomes viscous in its behavior—like maple syrup on a frosty March morning—and can have trouble negotiating a deep curve. In a ghosting breeze, therefore, it often pays to flatten your sail (as described below) to prevent separation. , to depower the rig—in the interest of reducing your heel angle. With this in mind, the dedicated storm sails carried by offshore racers and cruisers are made as flat as boards.

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