Performance aspects at different points of sailing

Sailing yacht going before storm.

The forces and moments affecting a sailing boat vary a lot depending on points of sail, but also on wind strength and waves. The same hull, foils, and sails cannot be optimal for all circumstances, and compromises and different weighting of performance are needed.

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Challenges in sailboat design

Using wind power and sails as the primary means of propulsion brings additional dimensions to the design of a sailboat compared to ship or powerboat design. The designer’s challenge is to balance the different parameters to achieve the best overall performance and characteristics, rather than optimize the boat to one operating situation.

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Points of sail

The points of sail refer to the course a boat is sailing in relation to the wind. They are defined in reference to the wind angle, which is the angle between the course sailed and the direction of the wind. The following terms are used: close-hauled, close reach, beam reach, broad reach, run, dead-run.

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Wind triangle

The wind experienced by a fixed observer (true wind) is not the same wind an observer on a moving yacht will feel (apparent wind). The wind triangle helps us understand what the true and apparent winds are and how they are related.

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What the hydrodynamic resistance is and why it matters

The motion of a sailing yacht through water requires energy to overcome resistance. It is essential to know the mechanisms behind the generation of this force that works against the movement so that we can make the resistance of a new design match the project's overall performance goals.

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