How to steer a boat using just sails

by Chris Kameen on September 2, 2013

In this weeks post, I thought I’d touch on the effect of the sails on the way a boat steers. Many people think that you steer a boat using the rudder and tiller extension, but this is only one component of how to steer a boat.

In this video we do a quick demonstration of what happens when with the boat is stopped in the ‘lying to’ position and we pull in one sail at a time.

We can see that by pulling in the jib the boat bears away from the wind and if you pull the mainsail on the boat turns into the wind.

Understanding that the set of your sails has a dramatic effect upon the effectiveness of your rudder is a key skill that we can learn.

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