One design classes have tested tuning guides created to make your boat sail its’ best. For boats that don’t have tuning guides, follow the tips below.
You may want to consider the boat you are sailing. Is it heavy, slow and have a short draft? This combination could be what is effecting your ability to point.
To get more power loosen up the rig some. Create some headstay sag and an inch or two of leeward sag. For a traditional masthead rig, completely release the backstay. Also, create some mid mast sag. Be sure not to loosen up the rig too much. The headstay should just barely move in waves.
Ease the main and head sail halyards until some small wrinkles appear. Adjust your cars so that they are more forward. This will create more of a pocket in the sail. This will help generate power. Flat sails are not fast in light wind.
Heel is not bad. Send crew forward and to leeward to create leeward heel. Sending crew forward will get the narrower bow section in the water and the wider aft section out. On bigger boats having weight down below is not a bad idea either.
Remember in light wind that pointing higher isn’t necessarily faster. The focus has to be on speed. Don’t be afraid to foot off some. If you are pinching and have no forward momentum you will only slide sideways in the water.
Pay attention to the middle and bottom head sail telltales. Get the middle set flying straight back. Try to make as little rudder movements as possible. Forcing your rudder back and forth will only slow you down. In light wind instead of using more rudder try trimming or easing your head sail. Make sail adjustments first.
If you come upon a lull, gently over trim your sail and slowly bare away. Be sure to keep all movements on the boat gently and gradual. This includes crew movements, tending to sails and steering.
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