Sailplan Jargon

Most of the names of sail parts have been covered in previous chapters (and they are explained in full in the glossary), but if you look at a sailplan you will see some new and strange letters, namely I, J, P, E, Ii, Ji, Py, Ey, and LP. Let's start by explaining these characters. Note that these are broad explanations only. The exact measurements are quite complicated and not necessary for this discussion.

I - The height of your mast above the deck.

J - The distance from the front of your mast at deck level, to the forestay. P - The length of the luff of your mainsail or the distance between black bands if you have them.

E - The length of the foot of your mainsail or the distance between black bands if you have them. Ii - The height of the inner-forestay connection above the deck. Ji - The distance from the front of your mast at deck level, to the inner-forestay. Py - The length of the luff of your mizzen or the distance between black bands if you have them.

Ey - The length of the foot of your mizzen or the distance between black bands if you have them.

LP - The "line perpendicular," the distance from the clew of the sail to the perpendicular, or nearest point, on the luff. (LP is often described as a percentage of J. For example a headsail can be 150 percent, meaning that the LP is 1.5 times the length of the J dimension of the boat. See small diagram on page 269 for an illustration.)

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