Ask SAIL: Different Tacks, Different Performance

Author:
Updated:
Original:

DIFFERENT TACKS, DIFFERENT PERFORMANCE

Q: What may be the reason that my boat exhibits different behavior depending on whether I am sailing on starboard or porttack? It points higher on starboard tack than it does on port. Is my sail trim at fault?
Alejandro Morassutti, Buenos Aires, Argentina

BRIAN HANCOCK REPLIES

I am sure it’s frustrating, but it has nothing to do with your sails and everything to do with your appendages. Since I am not an expert on the bits of the boat below the waterline, I turned to yacht designer Rodger Martin. Here is what he told me: “It’s quite likely that either the keel is not aligned correctly or the keel and/or the rudder are not symmetrical. If the keel is just a degree or two off centerline, it will cause the boat to sail differently on port and starboard. The same will apply to the symmetry of the rudders or the keel. If they are just the smallest bit asymmetrical, the boat will sail differently on different tacks.”

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

2048x

Know-How: Helm Stations

Walk around any boat show, and you’ll see a number of differences in the way designers and builders have decided to locate the steering stations aboard their cruising cats. Each position has its good points and bad, among them visibility, protection from the elements, ...read more

Jerome

Point of SAIL: Jerome Rand

In the first episode of Point of SAIL, the SAIL magazine podcast, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with circumnavigator Jerome Rand about his adventures, past and future. For more information, visit Jerome's YouTube channel July 2020 ...read more

01-NEW-shutterstock_727520281

Cruising: Belize on a Multihull

In my experience, every charter has a kind of a theme to it, often encapsulated in a single moment. For me, during a recent weeklong charter off the coast of Belize that moment came toward the end of our first day out. We’d left the Sunsail base (sunsail.com), located part way ...read more

01-LEAD-View-of-the-Bow

Know-How: Marlinspike Seamanship in the Arctic

I was crewing aboard a boat named Breskell, a 51ft cutter-rigged, cold-molded, mahogany sloop. We were voyaging from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Port Townsend, Washington, via the Northwest Passage. A few days before setting sail, the captain, Olivier Huin, asked me to secure ...read more

Prop-Coat-Barnacle-Barrier-Quart-No-Background

Gear: Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier

Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792 is now available in a quart-size can and, as always, can be used on all underwater metals, including saildrives, shafts, strainers and folding and non-folding props. Two or three coats are recommended, after which the coating will purportedly ...read more

DY_171021_6877

Boat Review: Seawind 1600

Seawind Catamarans introduced its 52ft 1600 model in Europe last year, where the boat promptly started winning awards. The more jaded among us may look askance at such things, especially when it comes to a bluewater-rated catamaran billed as a providing a combination of ...read more