Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The First Leg | Advanced Sail Theory

So this post may appeal to some and not to others. Apologies in advance to the latter. My knowledge hungry tendencies have gotten the best of me yet again and I have managed to dig up some articles on advanced sail theory in the hopes of better understanding the dynamics of the sail and how it applies to trim, speed and pointing. Although one or two of the articles are way to in-depth for me I thought best to present them anyways. Someone out there may benefit!

The first article, albeit a bit hard to read grammatically, gives an overview of the couples and forces on the sail and boat. The article is pointed towards an understanding of the tendencies of the boat to turn into the wind, and focuses on better boat balance through an understanding of the dynamics. The article is a part of written by Pim Geurts, and is the section titled couples and forces.

The next article, Tuning, is another from the same site and covers sail shape and twist. A good read with some good visual explanations.

The next two articles are from Arvel Gentry (Boeing Commercial Airline Company ), although a bit dated at 1981, they have in-depth information on sail theory and lift principles as well as notes on airflow separation and sail interaction. The first is A Review of Modern Sail Theory. This one is pretty packed with technical information and theory.

The second article from Arvel is titled Aerodynamics of Sail Interaction. The abstract for the paper is as follows:
"This paper deals with the basic problem of the interaction between a mainsail and the jib. Since this paper is written for the sailor rather than the aerodynamicist, all aerodynamic terms and concepts are developed and explained as they are needed. The characteristics of the flow about the jib and mainsail airfoils when they are each used alone and when they are used together are discussed and illustrated. Results from these flow field studies give a very complete and accurate description of the jib-mainsail interaction problem.".

A pretty intense read but worth it if this type of information appeals to you.

Think I have beat this topic to a pulp so next post will carry on with the first leg and get into the next phase which will be "the critical first tactical move".


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