How to sail against wind
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How to navigate against the wind? Why do sailboats sail against the wind? How to advance against the wind with the wind in the face? It is normal that many doubts arise because the normal thing is that every maritime vessel can move against the wind. But if we look closely, it happens because they all move by motor.

Sailboats do not sail against the wind because it is impossible.¬†Although the part above the water level copies the birds and they fly against the wind, the boats can not.¬†And although the part below the water copies the fish, they can advance against the current.¬†But sailboats can not sail facing the wind because the sails do not receive “gasoline” or wind energy.

What happens is that the sailboat does not have the energy to move forward. The sailboats do not work without an engine and with the engine off, the same thing happens as a car without gasoline. They can not advance.

So, how do sailboats seem to sail in the direction of the wind and manage to reach their destination? What they do is to gain ground, to win windward and, little by little, they are heading towards the origin of the wind.Very slowly. Devoting a lot of time. And all this they do with a single course, it is the course of the tight.

What is the heading of ce√Īina

The course of the tightrope is not straight, it advances in a zigzag. This means that to reach your destination, you have to waste a lot of time and dedicate a lot of distance, many nautical miles, to reach our final destination. Therefore, logically, it is much and infinitely faster to move against the wind with the engine.

It is the slowest course of all in most sailboats because you have to fight a lot of energy that comes against you. The wind energy is very large and as it stabilizes it creates bigger and bigger waves. It is an energy that, in addition, does not exhaust and causes us to create unnecessary movements on top of the sailboat that are transmitted to the sails. Everything, slows down our progress even more. So you have to stay still and strong.

Why tight is the slowest course of all

It is the slowest course of all the five courses that exist in total. Sometimes, even the stern can be much slower because it has no apparent wind. But for the case at hand, we can perfectly understand that the slowest course in the close.

In this course the sail should receive a lot of wind that will push it backwards. Only thanks to the appendices can the sailboat advance.

What are the appendages on a sailboat?

They are like the fins of the fish that sit under sailboats. They imitate the fish and can have their hydrodynamic shape (nacar). Nacre is that form that goes from more to less. The front will separate the water and the back will join it. The objective is to cross it without creating eddies.

What is the orza

The orza is a piece of fiber or lead wood that has different shapes and is located at the bottom of all sailboats.Its objective is only one and is to avoid depression.

What is the orza for?

The orza serves so that the boat goes forward. It also helps the ship move towards the direction we have chosen. In all cases it will prevent the ship from becoming an uncontrolled ice surface. Here it happens that the same as in the previous case. The centerboard is basic and fundamental so that the sailboat in belts go forward, in descuartelar go to 45 degrees, in cross go through, in long go long and in stern go in empopada. If the centerboard is broken or too small, the sailboat will always be on its side. We will notice that everything begins to skid as if the boat will move on top of butter.

The centerboard is located under the sailboat right in the middle of this one. All this zone that accompanies the orza is the living work, that is to say, the one that is in contact with the water.

What is the dejection

Dejection is the moment in which a sailboat stops moving forward and starts to go sideways.¬†This is very negative because it means that all the sails lose power and the sail becomes uncontrollable.¬†It’s like a car suddenly goes sideways.¬†This would only happen on frozen surfaces such as ice.¬†If this happens with a sailboat in the middle of the sea, it means that we have a very serious problem.¬†In the case of light sailing it will mean that we have the orza too its life and we will have to lower it.¬†In the case of large sailboats, such as cruisers or racing boats, it means that we have poorly placed or private our sails.¬†Normally it will occur because we are going too tight or hunted on the cross course.

What is the rudder

The rudder is the second most important appendage that is in the living work in the back.¬†Not only does it have the same function as the orza, which is to avoid despondency.¬†In addition, the second function of the rudder is to steer the boat.¬†Even so, the direction of the sailboat is also linked to the position of the sails and the crew above the deck.¬†That’s why there are sailboats like the Catalan skate that do not have a rudder.¬†The crew member or the skipper manages to steer his boat to its destination by trimming the sails constantly and moving over the sailboat.¬†The more forward you are, the more the wind will fall or arrive.¬†The more aft it is, the more the sailboat will orient you or it will go up.

What is the rudder for?

The rudder is used to carry the bow towards the wind (to raise or to orzar) or to move it away (to lower or to arrive). Each movement of the rudder will have to be very smooth and be accompanied by a correct trim of the sails. If we do not manage to simultaneously move the sails and the rudder simultaneously, what will happen is that our boat will suddenly stop.

What is the keel

The keel is the appendix that is located below the maritime vessels. But in this case it is not short and deep, but long, and runs through the entire living work from bow to stern. The draft is lower because, surely, the boat that carries it will use a mechanical propulsion, that is to say, a motor.

What is the keel for?

The keel serves to prevent the boat from moving sideways, but it is much smaller than the centerboard.¬†If the boat has an engine, the use of the keel will be to improve the government and direction a little.¬†But, in reality, it can be very tiny.¬†As tiny as the engine’s power.¬†Let’s think that many boats, such as speedboats, do not have a keel.¬†It is enough that the live work of the bottom of the boats has small grooves that help to improve the direction.¬†But nothing more.

What is a hydrofoil

It is a long and deep appendix, but very narrow.¬†Its objective is that it enters much into the sea and that it has a lot of draft.¬†But it must weigh little because its function is to raise the sailboat.¬†It has a mother-of-pearl shape, which is bird or bird’s wing, so that with the effect of the speed, push the whole boat up and out of the water.¬†That is to say, that the living work of the sailboats must not even touch the crest of the waves.¬†The hydrofoil is used by many sailboats, such as the Moth (the one with the butterfly logo).

What is a hydrofoil for?

It serves only to gain speed. It implies that we remove the hydrodynamic friction of all the boats that are going to move over the waves of the sea. On the one hand, it supposes a lot of fun but, on the other hand, a very big danger because we travel at a lot of speed and at a lot of height of the sea level. Therefore falls are harder.

Some famous boats that have been using the hydrofoil are those of the Copa America. If we look for them we will find large catamarans with several hydrofoils. For example, one on each side and one on the stern.

We need apparent wind to navigate against the wind

The apparent wind is what we create. It is not the real one. It is the one we notice because we are moving. For example, if we go running through the streets of our city we will notice it in the face. That is the apparent or false wind.

The moment we stop and stop, we will not notice any wind in our faces. That will be the real wind: the nonexistent.

Another example to understand the apparent wind is the following: If we put our face through the window of our car when we are moving, we will notice a strong wind in the face. But if suddenly we stop the car everything will return to calm. Therefore, the apparent wind is unreal and we will create it ourselves with our movement.

As for sailing, to be able to advance against the wind, that is, on the tight course, we need to have a bit of real wind and create the maximum apparent wind possible. These two winds added together will make the boat go at its maximum speed on the close-hauled course.

Zigzag course to navigate in close

To be able to go zig zag and advance against the wind we need our “engine” to have gasoline.¬†For our sails we will need real wind and apparent wind.¬†Thus, we will move from 45¬ļ to 45¬ļ once per each tack or side.

What types of winds are there

There is the real wind: which is the thermal or isobaric wind.

What is thermal wind

The thermal wind is created from the difference between the heat of the earth and the cold of the sea.

What is the isobaric wind

The isobaric wind is one that is produced at high altitude by the pressure difference of the atmosphere. That is, it is the one that occurs between the channels between the anticyclones (A) and the storms (B). We will see them always marked on television weather maps as an A or B.

On the other hand, so that the sails of the sailboats swell when they wish to sail, they must receive the wind at approximately 45 degrees from their origin. If we receive the wind at zero degrees with respect to its origin we will be stopped. We will also be quiet if we receive the wind at 25 degrees. From 30 degrees there are many sailboats that are ready to start sailing in tight. We are thinking about the sailboats of the Copa America. From 45 degrees our sailboat (if it is within the normality of common brands and models) will begin to navigate. Now I think about the typical cruise.

CONCLUSION: Therefore, we can not navigate against the wind. Only if we have it at 45 degrees from the bow.

At what point should we turn to advance against the wind

Here we have a second problem, which is: At what point should we change course to turn tight?

The trick is to have and place the objective, to which we wish to direct ourselves, 90 degrees from our side.That is, until we have our objective placed on the real side of the sailboat.

At the moment we have, for example, the entrance to the port or a mark on the right or left of our sailboat (at 90 degrees) we can change course in tight. We can now give the order to tack ahead.

As we get closer to our goal, for example a beacon, each time we will have to make a tack ahead faster, because fate will be getting closer and closer.

Eye, always with the tonic of having our objective to our right or left of the sailboat. When we arrive we can turn to less than 45 degrees. When we have the buoy for the dismantling (about 30 degrees).

How to navigate a sailboat against the wind

In conclusion, we can affirm that it is not possible.¬†We will be obliged to advance in 45¬ļ zig zags.¬†And as we get closer we should reduce the zigzagging angles.

For this reason, it is forbidden to sail within the ports. Not being able to go straight, we scare the boats of reduced movements like the transatlantic ones.