Raritan Marine Products Specialists Get You Ready to Handle Puffs Efficiently 

Raritan Engineering your marine products analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the secret to leveraging puffs.

Your marine products experts know that being prepared for and responding to puffs efficiently will give you the edge on the racecourse. In light air, finding and taking advantage of puffs can create massive gains both up and downwind. 


In the puffs, the backstay (or runner tension) should be wound on to tighten the rig and flatten the sails upwind. Your marine parts store professionals feel that will help prevent excessive heeling. 


If you’re sailing downwind, overloading the helm can cause a broach. With the information provided from the rail, the driver and trimmer must communicate so the spinnaker sheet can be eased in the puff to unload the rudder and enable the helms-person to turn down.


Crew hiking is challenging and vital in puffs. If the boat heels over in a puff, it reduces the flow over the keel and rudder and the boat slips sideways. Your marine parts warehouse analysts say that hiking hard and working on a consistent heel angle is crucial for taking advantage of the puff.


When the puff hits, the driver should work on feathering the boat through the puffs. That means you could be sailing “inside” the jib with a slight bubble in the luff. That will maintain the heel angle to prevent too much heel.

Raritan Marine Products Professionals Know You Need to Stay Alert While Out On the Water

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Your marine products specialists know that during lulls, even advanced sailors tend to chase apparent wind around obliterating VMG and slowing them down unnecessarily. 

Gust Response

The Right Way

I don’t know who said it first, but it’s brilliant. “Ease, hike, trim.” This is the correct order of operations for handling a gust. Here’s why. 

I love Nathan Outteridge’s description of handling gusts in a 49er. He says “We let the onslaught of the gust rush past.” Sounds effortless right? If you think about more flow creating more lift, this really makes sense. 

By accommodating our new apparent wind aft with sheeting out, we are able to increase flow on the sail and maintain a constant angle of heel. 

Your marine parts plus experts know that in marginal hiking conditions, sometimes just adding weight in enough to instantly jump the boat speed up. In these cases, less or even no sheet release is necessary, because your apparent wind swings forward so quickly as you add weight that flow is not lost, and the heel of the boat is not affected by the gust. 

The Wrong Way

“Pinch, Hike, Corrective Steer, Stall”

Due to the nature of gusts swinging the apparent wind aft, it’s easy to see why many sailors react poorly to gusts. When your apparent wind comes back, weather helm is created and the boat naturally wants to head up. 

It’s true that strong pointing is absolutely achieved through higher speeds first, not steering angle changes. The increased speed and flow over the sails and foils creates more lift and this means less sideways force – and good pointing is actually a reduction of leeway. 

Gust with Shift Components

What happens when the direction of the wind actually changes? What if it’s a gust AND a shift? This is actually pretty common in “fanning” type puffs that spread out from the middle, typical in offshore breezes. 

If you’re in a gust with a header component, it will be clear instantly because instead of your AW moving back, it will slam forward and you’ll see your windward telltales come up. Try to anticipate this and just sheet out and steer down quickly to angle. 

Choose your marine supplies here at Raritan Engineering and see how we always take care of your marine supply needs. 

via How to Leverage Puffs

via Sail Faster with Less Hiking – Part 3: Gust and Lull Management

via Photo