Cruising in low wind/2: what to do on the crossbeam in 5/9 knots


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sail-crusingTransverse sailing is very often underestimated: people often think that it is enough to let the sails adjust to an angle of about 90 degrees, and that’s it. Well that is not the case.

In the case of using the furling genoa, it is of great help to arrange for an external barber (i.e., a restraint) placed on the foresail at the height of the sheet point and bringing the genoa clew outward. This adjustment opens the channel between mainsail and genoa and, more importantly, allows the leech to work more straight and evenly, which is not the case when only the sheet is let go.
The mainsail carriage should be brought slightly downwind to reduce the angle of the mainsail to the wind allowing higher speeds. To give an order of magnitude, it can give a speed increase of as much as 20/25% over a traditional setting.

The AO for cruising is usually produced in nylon or light laminate. In winds around 5/6 knots it can also be used at angles up to 75/80 degrees, but it starts to lose efficiency at 105/110 degrees.
AO for cruising is usually produced in nylon or lightweight laminate. In winds around 5/6 knots it can also be used at angles up to 75/80 degrees, but it starts to lose efficiency at 105/110 degrees.

For gaits of this kind, and especially with intensities of this kind, state-of-the-art sails such as the A0 or Code 0 can be useful. These sails are very much in vogue, and credit must be given. Born mainly for racing, they are also used a lot in cruising lately. Both have webbing on the webbing where an anti-twist cable runs through and is attached to a swivel at the top and a low-profile drum at the bottom. So they can be used like a roller blind with the advantage that they can be easily stored away when not in use. Both sails have the characteristic that they are more efficient the more the halyard is capped; but in order to do this, the equipment must be efficient and durable.

Compared to the AO, the Code O is a deeper inlet sail and produced with a heavier laminate. It is used at wider angles (90 to 115/120 degrees) and also at higher wind strength.

In addition, both are used with the sheets and sheet points of the spinnaker or gennaker even though they often require a barber positioned roughly halfway between the sheet point and the clew. The two sails, however, differ from each other in their profile: the A0 is an asymmetrical that is rather skinny in entry and of light fabric while the Code 0 is generally deeper in entry and of a heavier fabric. Although both are sails suitable for medium-light conditions, the advice is not to have them made of a material that is too light, and this is for three reasons: for the durability of the sail, which itself already suffers from furling; for the fact that if it is used in little wind but with waves, it could also break or be damaged; and finally, to be able to use them even when the air rises and thus give the boat a truly disarming ease of handling, and all at speeds often higher than the wind strength.

Roberto Spata started racing dinghies. He approached offshore sailing by racing on any type of boat and winning, to date, 17 Italian, 6 European and 5 World Championships. In 2003, he founded New Wind, a technical consulting and service company aimed at both shipowners and major Italian shipyards.



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