As we move on to the specifics of sail trim, you need to bear in mind that even small adjustments to a sail may have unexpected consequences. Therefore, it is important to view the overall sailplan as a single entity and watch what happens when you make adjustments. For example, as stated earlier, when you wind the backstay on, you not only bend the mast, you move the top of the mast aft a few degrees. This movement will in turn have an effect on the clew height of the headsail (Figure 11.3), and if there has been a significant amount of movement, you will have to move the lead position. Also think about what happens when you tighten a halyard. The halyard pulls up on both the luff and the leech of a headsail. Therefore, it not only drags the draft forward, it also raises the clew with the result that you might need to move the lead aft to keep the sheeting position in the right place.
Unfortunately there are no absolutes. Every boat is different and all boats encounter different sailing conditions. No two waves are the same, and likewise no two crews are the same. Your main objective as a sail trimmer is to try and get the
Headsail before taking up on the backstay and bending the mast.
|.<_Mast moves aft as backstay is tightened.
circulation around your sails going as quickly as you can and by extension your underwater foils, i.e., the rudder and keel. You will learn more about circulation and how it affects boat speed in the last chapter of the book, but for now understand that it's an important part of overall sail trim. After that your job is to keep it going for as long as possible. As this chapter unfolds we will take a look at sail trim for a variety of conditions. Because boats, crews, and conditions are so different you will need to understand the basics and tailor that knowledge to suit you own set of circumstances. For example, heavy boats with long, low-aspect keels respond differently than light boats with short, high-aspect keels. Specifically, the circulation gets going on high-aspect sails and appendages much more quickly than their low-aspect counterparts. Therefore, their sails need to be trimmed differently.
Racing sailors looking to eek every tenth of a knot out of their sails also have different priorities from the cruiser who wants his boat to sail well while he relaxes and cooks a meal or reads a book. Before we look at sail trim for different conditions we first need to understand some basics. For now we will confine ourselves to working sails.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.