TECHNIQUEThe boat that is gilt-edged, too gilt-edged. What to do?


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your boat is too barley
nettle boat

Almost fifty years of the Sailing Journal is also almost fifty years of our practice section. We have selected quizzes with the best practical tips that have come to us from you readers over the years. In this installment we look at what to do if your boat is too nettlesome.

Bearish boat (too much). What to do

“Your sailboat is too nettlesome, how do you go about trying to correct this tendency?” Here are three tips to put into practice!

Gilt boat – Hull

First of all, downwind heeling must be reduced. The submerged hull lines at heeled boat are asymmetrical with respect to those at starboard boat, and this, together with the downwind displaced sail center component, generates a pair of forces that leads to rotating the boat toward the wind. So important is to keep the boat straight.


Our goal is to advance the sailing center. If it is possible, therefore, better to modify and/or adjust the forestay attachment, bringing it further forward so as to move the sail center forward. If there are no conditions to change the J, that is, the distance between the mast and the jib tack point, one can try to move the mast toward the bow by reducing the forestay length or loosening the tension of the shrouds a bit, if quartered.

It must be said, however, that modifications must also be evaluated according to the weather conditions; bringing the mast forward could make the mainsail too fat with the consequence that, in sustained wind conditions, the boat would become even more barley.


Drop a little mainsheet and bring the carriage further downwind. If the wind is tight then you need to flatten the mainsail by capping the halyard, backstay, base, cunningham and vang. Finally, if possible, and the hull is not too heeled, it is worth hoisting a larger genoa. If the heeling is excessive then all that remains is to reduce sail by reefing the mainsail.




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