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Old 02-08-2010, 11:24   #1
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Critique of Sail Trim

How many find themselves critiquing other peoples' sail trim when you are passing them? I find myself doing this all the time when I'm going faster than someone that I feel should be going at least fast as I am. Sometimes I just decide they have less sail area than I and it's the boat not the person. But lots of times I'm kind of amazed at their flopping sail trim. But then I think to myself that I've only sailed 3 years so what the heck do I know.

On the flip side when someone is running me down I take the time to study their trim to compare to mine to see what I'm doing wrong.

Does being a silent critic make one a sailing snob?

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:18   #2
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I drive my girlfriend nuts, whenever we're out on the bay I look at everyones trim. 99% of the time I'll complain about the way their headsails are open at the top or flogging themselves to death...........come on people those cars on the leads are meant to be moved!!!!

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Old 02-08-2010, 13:35   #3
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Just a short story,
A few years ago I was contacted by a woman from the east coast on one of these forums, saying she was comming out to visit her brother in Berkley and wanted to take in a sail in San Francisco while out her..
Had my 30 footer at the Berkley Marina at the time so I spoke up.. A few days later she met me on the dock and we took the boat out.. To my surprise, she took her place at the base of the mast looking up at the sails..
I had always taken pride in the way my sails were shaped and how nice and trim everything was while I sailed...Until she showed up................
As she laid there looking up at the sails she asked If I would'nt mind re-trimming to her standards to see if we could get a little more out of the boat..
My reply was go-ahead, and she soon started "Barking" out orders on what to do with the sails....... loosen the outhaul, adjust the backstay, move the car, tighten up on that lead..................................
And to my sirprise, I was seeing speeds I had never seen on that boat before..
Come to find out, this lady that was barking out the orders on sail trim to me had a long history of racing on Cup boats and knew what she was talking about.......
What I took with me that day was, number 1, a fast set of sails need not be pretty, and normally are not..
I've taken a fair amount of 1st place trophys sence then and I still have people coment on how sloppy my sails are set... As I Pass Them By.........
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Old 02-08-2010, 13:45   #4
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Guess if someone passed me with flopping sails I would just freak out! Rhen tell myself I'm not in any hurry anyway and go below for a beer. But it would be show as because I would still be freaked out and pulling out my books to "fix myself".
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Old 02-08-2010, 14:04   #5
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You don't know where the other guy is going and how long he wants to take to get there. But ya, I always check it out to see if I can learn something.
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Old 02-08-2010, 14:43   #6
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Old 02-08-2010, 14:52   #7
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Nah, I just look to my own, and make sure they are drawing properly. Other people can do what they want, and it doesn't bother me unless it becomes a safety issue. Like a jib flailing across the deck, while someone is forward.

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Old 02-08-2010, 20:13   #8
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I like to trim and go fast-yes Im an ex racer-but it is obvious a lot of sailors dont care -its not why they sail and many have so much canvas over the cockpit no way to see sails and with roller furling mains its a lossing battle. I notice that a lot of people I pass will check out my sail trim and a few especially beating will trim and harden up and try to stay with me. Now and then I come up against a skilled sailor and I watch what he or she does hoping to learn something.I don't see that there is much value of a skilled sailor paying attention to poorly set sails on another boat.
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Old 02-08-2010, 20:40   #9
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I used to complain about everyone's trim and was always eyeballing my own. Last weekend we took some kids out and I was primarily interested in getting close to the buoys to show them toe sea lions, not to squeeze out an extra knot of speed. My sails looked like crap but everyone had fun and the only person who noticed was me, and all the people like me who were probably going by talking smack about my trim. Sometimes I just have bigger fish to fry.

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