Sailing Advice, Tips & Tricks
Random Short Tacks
Dave's random thoughts, rants, and discussions are
mostly derived from private email threads.
We're making them available to a wider audience. Some may be a few years old, but
they're still quite relevant.
telltales effectively –
I guess that should be "Trimming for more speed with telltales" :)
Follow-up to the
trimming the chute
for cross sheeting
Random thoughts on
boat handling in moderate air
help keep the bow out of the waves
and persistent shifts
as wind blows off shore
trimming the pole
and other chute issues
Controlling your own
Current in Lake Maumelle
(especially when the lake is up)
on Lake Maumelle
on Lake Maumelle, and a few other thoughts
Dave's "Strategery" Series
The "Strategery" Series columns have appeared in the GMSC Mainsheet
and maybe elsewhere.
Please note that these are in various formats, depending on what was available to us.
Some are PDFs , which anyone can read, but many
are Word documents . They might be a problem if you
don't use Word, although many other word processors can open Word documents.
of an earlier column on hiking (October 2009)
Jibing to the inside
and a few other random thoughts (July 2009)
Just no substitute for
on any boat (June 2009)
Get the most out of those
on your windex (May 2009)
The first of two
columns (January 2009)
Followup to the first
column (March 2009)
as a starting point (Summer 2008)
If you don't get
you're probably not sailing as hard as you can (Summer 2008)
in the comfort zone (May 2008)
sailors often make (April 2008)
The Art and Science of Sails, by Tom Whidden and Michael Levitt,
St. Martin's Press, NY, 1990.
Whidden's book provides an excellent discussion of how sails actually work. In the process,
it puts to rest many of the old myths, such as
Whidden completely demolishes that last argument. Amen, Brother Particle!
The only quibble is that Whidden's discussion of the vang is completely wrong
for most boats. He describes it as a purely vertical adjustment (as is typical on 12 meter
boats). But on many small one-designs the pull is more forward than downward, making the vang
a great tool for inducing mast bend.
- The slot speeds up the airflow
- Bernoulli's principle describes how lift is generated
- The wind flows a greater distance around the leeward side of the sail, forcing
it to flow faster so "brother particles" can meet again at the leech.
Whidden's book is currently out of print, but used copies abound.
You can usually find a copy on
Amazon. My own copy from Amazon appears to have been stolen from a library somewhere;
it still has the Dewey Decimal System label ("623.862 Whi") on the spine!
Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing, by Dave Perry,
United States Sailing Association, current edition.
Perry translates the terse Racing Rules of Sailing
into practical descriptions of on-the-water situations that most of us find a lot
easier to understand than the rules in the RRS. Too many club racers
just don't understand the racing rules well
enough. This book will help if you take it seriously.
Keep a copy by the head and read a few pages whenever you sit down.