I wanted to write about gybing a sailboat. But one point I need to make in that discussion early on is that speed is your friend and that safe and secure gybing should be executed when sailing at max speed. This is a little bit counter-intuitive at first. So I need to explain. However, before starting I realized that you need to understand the difference between true wind and apparent wind. So I'll make a few comments here about wind and my next blog will go into gybing.
True wind - it's the actual wind. Just stand still and feel the breeze. That's true wind. Now start moving in a direction and then you feel the apparent wind. Apparent wind is what you feel when you are moving. Apparent wind and true wind are exactly the same if you are stationary. They are different when you are moving. Let me illustrate. You are parked in your car, perfectly still. The wind is blowing at 10 mph in exactly the same direction that your car is pointing. The true and apparent wind are both 10 mph. Now you start driving at 5mph (BTW you have a nice little convertible). Since you are going in the same direction as the true wind you will feel an apparent wind of only 5mph (10 minus 5). The true wind is still 10. Now accelerate your car to 10 mph. The apparent wind (what you feel) is 0 mph. The true wind is still 10. Now accelerate to 20 and you will begin to feel an apparent wind of 10 mph apparently moving in the opposite direction(20-10) . Once you've got this basic concept down then it gets a bit more interesting if the true wind is moving either left or right in relation to the direction that you are moving. Remember using vectors is high school math class? Thank goodness because using vectors make sit all come clear. Now it will be easy for me to explain an important reason why, when you gybe, you should be going as fast as possible. When gybing speed is your friend. More on gybing in my next blog
US Sailing has a great new book called Learn Sailing Right, Intermediate Sailing. http://store.ussailing.org/browse.cfm/learn-sailing-right-intermed/4,675.html. We are selling this latest offering at our front desk. I highly recommend it. Even if you already have your CBI JIB rating this book is full of great information in detail that can help you improve your sailing skills. It follows on US Sailing's excellent Learn Sailing Right, Beginning Sailing.
Next time - Gybing, Friend or Foe?