Steering close-hauled in darkness is largely a matter of feel. As the boat falls off the wind, heel angle may increase. She'll start to slow down when she falls off 15 degrees or more below her best course. But when she luffs above the optimum course, she will come upright and lose some of her way before the sails begin to complain audibly. It's easy to feel the boat coming upright, so being high of the course is more easily recognized than being below it. True expertise on the helm comes with time. If you're still waiting for it to happen to you, try creeping slowly up to windward every few minutes, wait for the symptoms, and then head off just enough to get going again. Note the compass heading, stick with it for a while, and then repeat the experiment. You won't go far wrong.
Boot Düsseldorf—The World’s Biggest Boat Show Turned 50
In the 50 years since its inception, Boot Düsseldorf, the indoor extravaganza held each January on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River, has grown to become the 1,000lb gorilla of boat shows. The demise this year of the competing London Boat show and the slow slide into obscurity ...read more