This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online FREE Basic Sail Trim Course, an interactive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn the basics of sail trim. Or if you want to learn more, upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to become a competent sailor!
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More Basic Sail Twist
The wind at the top of the mast has more healing leverage on the boat than the wind lower down. And so as the wind picks up in speed (15 knots and above) the heeling force on the boat can become too great. For this reason, sail trimmers will twist out more of the sail at the top to waste or spill the top wind while maintaining the lower down (less heeling) wind.
To achieve more twist out in the headsail – just move the fairlead aft in its track to loosen the leech. To achieve this with the mainsail pull the traveler to windward and let out on the mainsheet. This allows the boom to rise and loosens the leech all the while maintaining the foot of the sail at a desired angle to the wind.
View the 3D animation video here.
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