Sailing, the Wind, and Points of Sail - Achaea Online Help

23.3 Sailing, the Wind, and Points of Sail

(See also: HELP SHIPS, HELP COMPASS)


Points for All
--------------
In Sailing, the ship and the winds matter a great deal. No ship can go directly
into the wind, and some can go closer to the wind than others. For this
example, north is up, and that the wind is in the north, which means it is
coming from the north and going south. Ships are depicted with a '*' 'v' '^'
'>' or '<' at the prow/front to show which way they are facing.

                        N             
                     (wind)
                        |
                        |
                        V
This is 'close hauled'       *
which means as close        /
to the wind as             /
possible - also           /
called 'fetching'
                            ------> This is a 'beam reach'
                                    Anything between a beam
This is a 'broad reach'   \         reach and close hauled is
                           \        called a 'close reach'
                            \
This is 'running' or    |    *
'running downwind'      |
                        |
                        v

Best Points of Sail
-------------------
Different styles and sizes of vessel perform in different manners at each
point of sail.

Points off                      War      Sea       Wind 
of the Wind                     Galley   Strider   Cutter

0            Head to the Wind    0         0         0
1            \                   0         0         2
2             > Close Reach      2         3         4
3            /                   4         4         5
4            Beam Reach          6         6         7 
5            \                   8         8         8
6             > Broad Reach     10         9         8
7            /                  11        10         9
8            Running            12        10         9
          

0 means the ship can make no headway at all. The other numbers give a feeling
for the relative speeds - higher numbers representing faster movement.


More Sailing Terms
------------------
(in) irons   - when a ship comes to a stop because of heading into the wind
luffing      - when the sails flap because of being too close to the wind
wear(ing)    - turning away from the wind so the wind is on the other side
               of your craft (from larboard to starboard, or vice versa)
               also called jibe/jibing
coming about - turning into the wind so the wind is on the other side of
               your craft (from larboard to starboard, or vice versa)
larboard     - the left side of your craft, when looking forward
               (from 'loading', where 'board' means 'side')
starboard    - the right side of your craft, when looking forward
               (from 'steering', where 'board' means 'side')
forward      - towards the front of your vessel
aft          - towards the rear of your vessel
beating      - any course that works upwind (also beating to windward)
tack (noun)  - your current course in relation to the wind - either a
               starboard tack (wind comes from the right) or a larboard
               tack (wind comes from the left)
tack (verb)  - same as coming about