Sailing Texas Free Online Sailing Class, Points of Sail

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1. How sails work
2. Points of sail
3. Apparent Wind
4. Sailing Against the Wind
5. How to Tack
6. How to Jibe
7. Knots

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Points of Sail are the directions the hull of the boat is pointed. Very useful in communication. We normally sail on one of the 4 points of sail where we can develop full power with the sails.

Broad Reach, slightly downwind
Beam Reach, perpendicular to the wind
Close Reach, slightly upwind
Close Hauled, as high into the wind as we can sail at full power

If we sail higher than Close Hauled, our sails start to luff and we are said to be "Pinching".

If we sail higher than that, the boat stops and we are "Head to Wind" or "In Irons". The boat is pointing so much into the wind that the sails get no power.

Run, if we sail lower than a Broad Reach, it is a "Run". Runs are usually slow because the wind speed drops off as we go the same direction as the wind. This change in the wind speed and direction can be pronounced, and is why most racers will not go straight downwind, but jibe back and forth instead.

Click for Points of Sail Video, 32MB
Click for Points of Sail video

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