Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Sailing the boat within roughly 30 degrees either side of dead downwind is called a run. This is the easiest point of sail in terms of comfort, but it can also be the most dangerous. When sailing upwind, it's easy to stop the boat by heading into the wind; a sailor has no such easy out when running.

Severe rolling is more likely as there is less rolling resistance provided by the sails, which are eased out. And loss of attention by the helmsman could lead the boat to jibe accidentally, causing injury to the boat or crew. It's always a good idea to use a prevented to prevent an accidental jibe.

Alternately, if there is a sudden increase in wind strength, the boat can round up very suddenly and heel excessively, often leading to a capsize in smaller boats. This is called broaching.

A basic rule of sailing is that it is not possible to sail directly into the wind. Generally speaking, a boat can sail 45 degrees off the wind. When a boat is sailing this close to the wind, it is close-hauled or beating.


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