Sail PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Aug 11, 2020

Today’s sails are very different from their ancestors before the polyester revolution. The shape has always been the most important factor in the effectiveness of the sail, and the time had come to choose the canvas best suited to the conditions, to pull it up and cover it. Some cruise sails are still made this way. They work quite well, but the fabric in which they are cut often means that their performance potential is far from that of a modern sail whose geometry can be modified to adapt to wind and sea. Such equipment made its way into cruisers following the example of racing yachts, whose high-tech avant-garde has now switched to fabrics of sophistication and stability such as the shape cut in their sails is barely compromised until they literally burst.

The maximum camber of a sail should be somewhat in front of the middle of its cross section. In practice, this varies to a certain extent depending on the type of sail and the strength of the wind. The power of an aerofoil depends on its depth of curvature, so a baggy sail will take you through light air much more effectively than a flat sail. As the breeze hardens, the power of the fullcut sail will become too great for the boat. It should then be flattened or reefed, if possible; or changed to a different sail otherwise.

This requirement is underlined by the fact that as the wind increases, a sail naturally becomes fuller and the point of maximum camber is blown back towards the leech. These two results are the opposite of what is desirable, and something must be done to mitigate them.


In addition to the issue of camber control, there is also the issue of torsion. Most sails move away from the wind in their upper sections. This trend is deliberately built into them and can be controlled so that it works to your advantage.

Twist is a closed book for many sailors, but ignoring it will significantly compromise the speed of your boat. The reason for its importance is as follows: the wind blows stronger at altitude than near the bridge, because the friction of the surface with the sea slows it down. When a boat is sailing, the wind it feels is a composite called the apparent wind. It can be propelled by a true tail wind, but it makes a ghostly breeze from dead ahead in an equal and opposite direction to its own progress through the flowing air.

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