Sailing Under Control as the Wind Increases Administrator Sat, 10/28/2017 - 15:23

John Jourdane

SHIFTING GEARS – keeping the boat under control by the adjusting or changing sails

Monitor wind strength and sea state closely, and adjust sails according to changes in conditions as they occur. This keeps the boat sailing most efficiently, avoids heavy rolling, excess weather helm and heel and promotes crew confidence and comfort.

As the breeze freshens to the 11-to 16-knot range, you have various adjustments at hand to prevent overpowering before reefing or rolling in headsails:

Build a Better Offshore Inventory

The process of building a powerful sail inventory for distance racing is about having the sails that allow you to sail at the optimum angles when you need to.

It’s one of those perfect offshore nights: solid wind, easy swell, clear sky, and sheets eased on a headsail reach. The on-watch crew is active on the sail trim and you’re making gains on your competitor to leeward. Fast forward three hours into the watch. The navigator sticks his head up the companionway and asks, “What happened to the boat that was next to us?”

Spinnakers by Kame Richards

by Kame Richards

[The following is an article which I wrote for the RACE GUIDE for the 1998 WEST MARINE PACIFIC CUP.]


The following is a list of suggestions on how to handle a spinnaker in the West Marine Pacific Cup race to Kaneohe. Keep in mind that spinnakers are fairly large sails, and are quite capable of dragging a sailboat a long distance, whether the boat is right side up or sideways!

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