Check the Little Things Before Setting Sail Here is an old proverb that seems so appropriate to sailing:
Sailing trivia is a great way to get your non-sailing friends interested in sailing. It’s also fun to challenge experienced sailors when you’re relaxing on deck or enjoying a beer at the club. Kevin Wensley, Offshore Sailing School’s Director of Operations, is a font of information when it comes to obscure and fun sailing trivia.
As the velocity of the wind increases or decreases, you need to adjust the draft of your sails for the best efficiency. For instance, you set sail in a 10-knot wind and the shape of your sails looks good. Soon the wind increases to 20 knots and now you are overpowered.
Sailing miles out at sea requires special safety considerations! Sailing in the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race, when an unforecast storm with 85 knots demolished the fleet and caused 15 deaths, a number of safety factors relating to personnel came into focus for me.
Convenience, ease of operation and safety make roller-furling headsails popular with cruising sailors. Most cruising sailboats use roller-furling headsails. In this system, the jib is hoisted in a groove, but when not in use is furled around the headstay, rather than lowered.
Using the Wind: Other Options for Depowering You might be out there alone or with inexperienced crew. Or you might be sailing a boat that doesn’t have sails you can reef. In this case you can ease your mainsail to avoid excessive heeling, or you can take down your main and sail under jib alone.