Thursday, November 03, 2005

The First Leg | Trim, Trim, Trim

As promised here is a list of urls I think worthy of a good read. The first is Performance Racing Trim, Boat Speed, Boat Handling and the Racing Pyramid. Refer to chapter 3 on sail trim. Written by Bill Gladstone and NU Seminars. The article covers basic lift principles, sail shape (with lots of visual references as a guide). The article is a good starting point for sail trim for both main and jib. Lots of useful information here. The complete book can be ordered here.

This link The Quest for the Perfect Shape, is an article I had referred to early in my blogging and I think it is in the permanent links. The site deals with the "think as one" principle. Trimming the sails as if they are one large airfoil to maximize lift.

The good sail trimmer is constantly in search of the right shape for the conditions or desired condition (speed vs pointing). This North Sails article Upwind Sail Trim Techniques explores the role of the trimmer and goes through the thought process and actions taken.

Wally Cross tackles trim from many different angles in this article. Lots of useful information here. Worth a read. May need to re-visit this article for some downwind tips as well.

Neil Pryde Sails published an owners manual for their sails. Some nice information from a sail designers perspective on trim and helm balance.

A short but insightful reference regarding proper sail trim. Some pointers for novice trimmers regarding oversheeting. Also a good reference to the frequency of trimming. Covers tell tales which I will include references for as well. Written for a Hobie but useful principles here.

USA sailing keelboat course: sail trim and shape is a primer with some good visual references and links to follow.

This site has a great visual library of sails trimmed well and poorly. Helps put trim into a visual context and helps give you a visual of good sail shape. I like to look at the overall shape. Also great visual reference to know when your sails are NOT trimmed!!

SAIL Magazine's Sailing Tips by Michael Tamulaites, Associate Editor, a great in depth look at trimming the jib. Changing the jib halyard tension to achieve better sail shape are some of the experiments we did this year on the water. Not sure how much of a difference it made, I did not have an accurate system set up at the time to record any statistics. I will review this article again before spring time and plan a sail trim day or two on the water to experiment and log the different variations.

This sail trim sim is a useful visual utility for sail trim. It shows you various tell tale positions, camber and is very interactive. Great for testing some scenarios out and getting a visual grasp of trim.

North Sails also has an interactive page, a little less in depth but deals with main twist and tension. Definitely worth a gander.

A great site for tell tales is Telling Tales. Using the tell tales can tell you when your sail is in proper trim. I use the tell tales to steer by and check proper airflow with the ones on the leech of the main and jib. A very important concept to get your head around. Airflow is the key to speed and lift.

UK Sailmakers has good technical data on sail composition and some trimming techniques. Mostly technical data related to making the sails. A good secondary reference. has a quick guide to sail trim. Short, concise (a little visually hard to read) but otherwise some good advise in quick point form.

Hope these sites are not redundant and offer some good starting points. Still searching and bookmarking.


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