Ask Sail: Do Square-Top Mains Make a Difference?
Q: I’ve been watching the most recent America’s Cup down in Auckland, which has got me thinking about technology and sails. My question is, how much difference do square-top mains, like those used aboard the AC75 mononulls, really make? In the America’s Cup, obviously every ...read more
Ask Sail: When to Use a Vang Sheet
TO VANG OR NOT TO VANG Q: Last year, I bought a new, fully-battened Dacron main for my 36-footer. Unlike the old one, the new main is loose-footed. I have a mid-boom sheet arrangement and a traditional (non-rigid) vang. Is the vang really doing anything? It seems to me that ...read more
Ask Sail: Cetol Skin
CETOL SKIN I used Sikkens Cetol on the bare wood on my Catalina 30, Morning Dew IV. The can was compromised over the spring, and I put the balance in a 16oz clean glass mayo jar. Last spring when I went to use it, a skin had formed over the top of the liquid, so I just cut the ...read more
Ask Sail: Keel Attachments
Q: I have an early ‘70s Catalina 27. The keel bolts look pretty good. My question is, why not glass over the keel to bond to the hull rather than changing the bolts if, or when the bolts are too far gone? I haven’t seen anything on this, so could you discuss? Full-keels are ...read more
Ask Sail: How Far to Ease Out?
Q: When sailing dead downwind (assume 22 knots of wind), if the main is eased out to 90 degrees relative to the wind (perpendicular to the wind) are roughly the same forces applied to the sail as to the sail if it isn’t quite out all the way, say, 75 degrees to the wind? My ...read more