Dónde está barlovento en un velero en medio del mar
Where is windward on a sailboat
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Imagine that you are in a port or on a promenade walking quietly. You look up and in the distance you see many sailboats. What you will see is that each one has a different address. And each one can carry a different candle. In these moments if someone asks you where windward is in those boats … what would you say? It’s a bit complicated because it’s relative. The answer could be that each sailboat has its own windward.

What if we are on top of the cover? Every so often we have to move and change course. In this case, it will also depend on the direction we are heading. But usually, it will be from where the wind comes. So let’s clear up all the doubts and like that … We will enjoy sailing more! 😀

What is windward?

The definition of windward is as follows: Barlovento, also called barlo, to dry, is the area of ​​our sailboat through which the wind enters.

Tip: We can also refer to windward as barlo.

It is the whole area 100% of our boat by which the wind hits us. It is very important to detect it because we will use it to navigate. With it we will know where the wind comes when we are in the middle of the sea, and then put the sails in a detrminated position to start sailing and gain speed slowly.

This area can also be a specific point. The important thing is to know that windward is not a fixed and immobile place but that it will depend on some reference. Hence, the Windward concept creates so much confusion among those who wish to start sailing. Since they will always look for the exact place to barlo, but what will happen is that it will depend on some reference.

But beware, do not panic, because we will try to see each one of the references.

The windward meaning that expresses a real and physical point can also be something that is not inside our boat. For example, let’s imagine that we are sailing and someone tells us that they have seen a dolphin for a long time. Should we look to the side of our boat? Well, maybe not. The dolphin may be going out to breathe a mile (1.8 km approx.) Per barlo. If it leaves 1.8 km away, it is a very distant point. But it will continue to be dry only because it is where the wind comes from and the point will be a very large area and very far from us.

Tip: Barlo can be near, far, inside or outside our boat.

We can also hear someone say something like “as he won windward he was more animated and confident that he would end up winning”.

This situation is quite common in the world of regattas; that may interest us and may not, although the goal of this website is that we do not stop learning; It refers to a sailboat moving away from another towards the place where the wind came from. Therefore, that place is not clear to anyone. Nor do we have any reference to place this battle for which these two ships have passed. The only thing that we will have to know is that according to the direction of the wind, one was closer to where it comes from and one further away from where it comes from. Therefore, before going out to sea you have to know what is windward and how we can find windward before going sailing.

What does windward mean?

Barlovento is a term that comes from Latin and means “above the wind”.

So what you have to imagine is that there is an above and below understood as a fence and a far. If the wind comes from a point A and wind moves to a point B, then windward will be that which is closest to point A according to a reference. If we are in the middle of points A and B, right in the middle, windward will be the area that goes from our half of the boat to point A. With tendency, even, to infinity.

Therefore, whenever someone talks to us about barlo we have to look, first of all, where the wind comes from. Then, in the second place, we have to look at something that is beyond us against the wind.

How to find windward?

How to find windward outside our boat

In this case we can try to face the wind. When we notice that it gives us both ears in the same way, which makes us deaf equally, there will be where the wind comes from. Therefore, I insist, from us the origin of the wind will be barlo.

How to identify windward in our boat

To focus windward on our boat we will have to see how are the candles we have placed. If we are seeing another sailboat, we will have to see how it takes them. If it is windy, the candles will be swollen. Then, from the concave part or part that receives the impact of the wind, it will be windward. And everything from the curved part of the sails to the origin of the wind will be windward. If we realize, now we see that our sailboat has the imaginary half in windward. Be it a side … the back …

Tip: Our boat will always have a windward part. From there to infinity it will also be barlo.

Where is windward according to the direction in which we sail

If you already understand the windward definition and also the windward concept, you may not need to continue reading. But if you still want to know more about the subject or consolidate more knowledge, because that’s what I am for. To help you. So we are going to see other cases in which someone can talk to us about it and we have to understand it.

A sailing boat can sail in different directions. These courses are tight, dismember, through, long and empopada. Do not stress because if you do not know what they are, we will develop them and explain them. What we are interested in knowing now is where you will be in each of them.

When we navigate at almost 45º in the direction of the wind; always with a tight one we will go against; and someone tell us that we should do some work in barlo, it will be referring to the right or left side of the boat. In particular, on the side where the wind arrives.

Well, with all the directions. And in the stern, which is a course in which the wind reaches us from behind, barlo will be the back of the sailboat until the sails. As we said before, until the concave part or full of air.

Over time we will see the different positions of the sails and how far we can go to modify them correctly and efficiently, to achieve a top speed that we are used to.

For now, I hope you have understood where windward is and how to find windward on a sailing boat. If you have any doubts write it in the comments and I will help you delighted. Bye! 🙂