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Your Marine Hose Experts Offer Great Tips On Knowing When to Go Slower or Faster When Out On the Water

Raritan Engineering your marine hose suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the benefits of changing speeds.

Your marine hose specialists give explanation as to why the goal of a sailboat race is to beat your competitors to the finish line, so going full speed ahead is usually the best strategy. However, there are a few places on the race course where sailing slower may actually be faster. The leeward mark is one of them.

When you exit from the leeward mark, you want to be at least slightly to windward of the centerline of the boat ahead so you have the option to keep sailing straight ahead in relatively clear air. In order to do this you must:

• Be 100% ready to race upwind before your bow gets to the leeward mark;
• Swing wide before the mark so you can pass very close to it (you should be able to reach out and touch it);
• Be going fast (faster than your close-hauled speed) when you get to the mark so you can use this speed to pinch up slightly above the boat ahead.

1) If you misjudge your speed or if the other boat slows unexpectedly, you could hit them in the transom. Often the only way to avoid fouling is to bear off below them (which puts you right in their bad air).

2) The closer you are to the boat ahead, the more likely you are to be in (or fall into) their wind shadow.

There are several advantages to creating this gap.

First, it reduces the risk of catching up to the boat ahead, which means you won’t have to avoid them by bearing off into their bad air. Second, it allows you to accelerate as you approach the mark (rather than slow down which is often the case when you’re afraid of catching up to the other boat).

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In most cases faster is better, but don’t be afraid to slow down when this tactic gives you more options and better control of your situation.

The basic concept of going fast-forward in a lift, or pinching in a header, has been around for as long as I can remember-or at least since my junior sailing days when my instructor passed along this tactical tidbit along. 

Understanding how to set up your sails to allow for a fast-forward mode is especially important in one-design sailing. This means understanding how to twist your sails, and knowing the difference between reaching and going fast upwind. 

When and where on the racecourse is it best to try and gain bearing? There are many different situations, but generally I’m looking to go fast-forward when I know I’m lifted and leveraged near a corner. 

A bearing gain comes from the twist and setup of the sails, but it also comes when the rest of the fleet is positioned on the outside of a shift or stuck in traffic. 

And here’s another one: “Wind direction of 180. Target speed is posted target.” In this case, the sails are set in a normal upwind mode with normal twist profiles.”Wind direction is 175, 5 degrees left of average. Target is top speed. Happy to be two-tenths under posted target speed.”

It’s critical to be aware of what you’re doing when you’re going for a bearing gain because you do not want to spear off into a corner, potentially sailing extra distance for a shift that never materializes. 

When to sail high and slow

First and foremost, I try really hard not to sail in headers. Rule No. 1, sail the lifts, makes life much better. But if you find yourself out of phase, you need to know how to sail the boat two-tenths under target for a period of time. 

In a venue such as Long Beach, Calif., where the locals know to head toward the right side of the racecourse after the sea breeze fills, sailing in high mode is imperative. 

Understanding your tactical needs at the time should be the driving factors in selecting any given mode. If you make the decision to go fast-forward, everybody on the boat needs to understand what you’re going for at the time and why. This will allow for a constant stream of feedback of performance versus competition so you will know when to change modes.

Purchase your marine hose here at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation needs.

via When Slower is Faster

via High and Slow, or Low and Fast