By: David Dellenbaugh  When you’re not sure where the next shift will come from, get onto the longer tack to the windward mark (the tack on which your bow is pointing closer to the mark). This is one of my most reliable strategies. Sailing the longer tack works because of probability. Your chances of success
By Joel Hanneman, Founder of the Rhode Island Team Racing Association Although team racing has been around for a few decades, it continues to develop into an up-and-coming sailing activity. When the concept of team racing came about it was essentially a group of boats fleet racing against each other. But as the courses, boats,

Sail Trim & Shape

by: Nick Turney of North Sails Learn the ins and outs of sail trim and how rigging and tuning affect the shape of your sails. The Mainsail Trim includes: Main Sheet, Traveler; Cunningham; Outhaul and; Vang. The Headsail & Spin Trim includes: Jib Lead; Jib Halyard and; Jib Sheet.  Mainsail Trim  Headsail & Spin Trim

Racing Tactics & Strategy

By: Nick Turney of North Sails Gaining information about the race course and your competition will help you gain an advantage. Then, learn the tactics to position your boat to implement your strategy. Racing Tactics & Strategy

When to Split Tacks

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs.  When to Split Tacks: You know the old adage: “Can’t catch ‘em if we follow ‘em.” So, when you are behind you’ve got to split tacks to catch

Trim for Waves

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs.  Each sail has three sources of power: angle of attack, depth, and twist. Proper trim means sailing at full power and with the proper mix of power. For a

Tacking Tips Part I – The Turn

As mundane as they may seem, good tacks are essential to good racing. Make each tack a little better and you’ll save a few boat lengths every race. Tacks can be divided into two parts: The Turn and The Acceleration. Surprisingly, after The Turn you are ahead in VMG of where you would have been
The Acceleration A proper turn is just the first part of a tack. Part II – The Acceleration will complete the tack. As noted before, all the losses from tacking accrue during this critical second phase. Typically, (on keelboats) losses are between one and two boat lengths. Our goal is to minimize losses. Coming out

Distance Racing Fundamentals

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs. When racing distances, there are several tactics to keep in mind: aim toward the finish line; sail fast and hard; keep your eye on the weather and; practice at
Watch Ken Read, President of North Sails Group, present “21st Century Sailing Innovation, Inclusion, Customer-Focus” at the 2014 US Sailing Leadership Forum.
Watch sailing and broadcast legend Gary Jobson discuss strategies for growing sailing in the United States. As one of the keynote presentations from the US Sailing Leadership Conference 2014, he also shares some great video for the audience of nearly 600 sailors in San Diego.

Lake Sailing Tips

By Richard Feeny, US Sailing Junior National Coach, Finger Lakes Junior Laser Champion Introduction The shape of the land to windward of the race course will affect the wind. The first thing to look for is any low area that will let the wind onto the race course. In a flat country with no valleys

Top 10 Reasons to Sail a Catamaran

10. Fast is fun. Multihulls are fast. Average upwind speeds near 10 knots are common, and downwind at 15-20 knots is easy. 9. Stability is relaxing. The ability to park and “chillax” is a great trait of multihulls. 8. Fewer collisions. Because the collisions have high consequences there are very few. 7. Kinetics don’t work.
by David Dellenbaugh When you’re racing in light air, a three-knot increase in wind velocity might improve your boat speed by 30% or 40% (and you will point higher, too). But in heavy air, the same wind increase might improve your speed only 5% to 10% (and it probably won’t help your pointing). What this

Dave Perry’s Racing Rules: Quiz 23

Quiz 23 Boats W (a windward boat) and L (a leeward boat) are reaching towards the gybe mark. L becomes overlapped with W from clear astern. They are both sailing proper courses and are on a collision course. As they near each other, W hails, “You came from clear astern and I’m on my proper
By David Dellenbaugh When you’re sailing in a lot of breeze, your boat is usually overpowered. Because of this, finding more wind velocity probably won’t help you go much faster or point higher. In fact, in some cases a strong puff might even slow you down. A good wind shift, on the other hand, can
Before you leave the charter dock, check the weather prediction for the next few days. Local weather stations will carry up-to-date information. Rapid and/or large barometric pressure movements usually indicate major changes in the weather. East Coast East Coast weather patterns change constantly as the continental land mass reconfigures passing weather fronts. Cool Canadian highs
An integral part, and part of the fun, of any cruise is planning for it. Preparing for a bareboat charter includes a number of responsibilities to consider. Here is a list of “Dos and Don’ts” of planning for your cruise. • Do make travel arrangements well in advance. • Do leave some extra time in
by Stan Honey and Ken Campbell There are three types of squalls/thunderstorms: those associated with a cold front or low pressure area, the “air mass” thunderstorm, and trade wind squalls. Cold front thunderstorms develop along the leading edge of a cold front. Remember, the cold front brings a wind shift from the south or southwest
Following these rules can prevent virtually all man-overboard incidents: 1. Remain sober, especially if you expect to go on deck for any reason. 2. Wear non-skid footwear when working on deck and have nonskid paint or pads in critical work areas. 3. Walk or crawl on the uphill windward side in a crouched position with