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Monday, April 30, 2018

Why It is Important to Turn into the Wind and Wake When Folding Sails

I enjoy sailing on a regular basis and go as much as I can. Luckily, I even have my own sail boat I stay on sometimes. Over time, and through trial and error, you learn tips and tricks that help you learn to sail better. One of those sailing tips I learned over this weekend was to turn your boat into the wind and wake when folding sails.  Sometimes they call this the "Irons".

We are out in the ocean just before the mouth of San Diego Bay. The wind is wiping and the swells were about 4 feet high. New boat and new skipper. Never been on this 44' yacht before and it was a new experience navigating a larger vessel.

Me taking a break!
The boat was at a broad reach with the wind and it became extremely difficult to lower, fold, and tie the sails down. Three people worked tirelessly trying to get a hold of everything while the boat tipped back and forth in a rugged manner.

I didn't know the skipper well enough to say something so I just sort of did the best job I could with the crew present. However, what I have learned in the past is that if you turn the boat toward the wind there is equal pressure on both sides of the sail so it will likely stay steady and be easier to scale down.

Likewise, the boat won't rock as much as the bow cuts through the waves. Less wind and less boat movement is helpful in releasing as much pressure as possible. The more you get out there and practice with different sailors the more you learn the tips and tricks.

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