Sail configurations in following winds (with 25 videos)

Sail configuration changes with  the angle and intensity of the wind. In this article we will consider following winds with  true wind angles between approximately 145 and 160 degrees. You can’t sail dead downwind except using old techniques such as poled out jibs. On modern boats with asymmetrical spinnakers it is rare to go beyond 155-158 degrees true wind angle.

This compilation of videos looks at sail configuration with increasing wind intensity. For each video, sails used and the intensity of the wind are indicated. As you can see, not all configurations are coherent with one another with respect to the intensity of the wind. This is because our sail configuration may also depend on the sea conditions and the stability of the air and the angle to the true wind, sometimes having to sail just a few degrees higher forces us to a sail reduction.

With very gusty wind or rough sea we will have a more conservative configuration. When sea and wind are aligned or we are sailing in the warm sector of a depression we can afford a more aggressive configuration. In conclusion the sail configuration for a given true wind angle and true wind intensity may vary significantly depending on other factors. All videos were filmed during the 2011/2012 Global Ocean Race on an Akilaria RC1 Class40.

Sail configurations in following winds

Sail configurations using the masthead asymmetric spinnaker A2

Masthead Asymetric Spinnaker A2 and full main – 16-18 True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetric Spinnaker A2 and mainsail with one reef – 135 True Wind angle(TWA) – 20 knots of True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetrical Spinnaker A2 and full mainsail – 20 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetric Spinnaker A2 and one reef in the mainsail –  24-26 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetric Spinnaker A2 and one reef in the mainsail –  25-27 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetric Spinnaker A2 and one reef in the mainsail –  25-28 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetric Spinnaker A2 and one reef in the mainsail –  25-30 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Masthead Asymmetric Spinnaker A2 and one reef in the mainsail –  28-32 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Following winds and the Fractional Asymmetric Spinnaker A6

Once with socked and dowsed our masthead kite we had have fun with our fractional A6.

Fractional Asymmetric Spinnaker A6 and mainsail with one reef – 145 True Wind Angle (TWA) and 22 knots of True Wind Speed (TWS)

Fractional Asymmetric Spinnaker A6 and one reef in the mainsail –  25 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Fractional Asymmetric Spinnaker A6 and two reefs in the mainsail –  30 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Spinnaker medio A6 e randa con due mani – 30 nodi di vento

Sail configurations in following winds with the Solent (genoa)

After socking and dowsing the fractional spinnaker, unless we have a sail such as an A5 we will probably sail with just our Solent (genoa)

Solent e full main – 35 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Solent and mainsail with 2 reefs – 35-40 knots of true wind speed (TWS)

Sail configurations in following winds with the Staysail

At some point we have to furl or take down our delicate laminate solen (genoa) and go onto a more forgiving dacron staysail.

Staysail and mainsail with one reef – 32-35 knots true wind speed (TWS)

Staysail and mainsail with two reefs – 32-36 knots true wind speed (TWS)

Staysail and mainsail with two reefs – 35-40 knots true wind speed (TWS)

Staysail and mainsail with three reefs – 40-45 knots true wind speed (TWS) – Indian Ocean

Staysail and mainsail with two reefs – 45 knots true wind speed (TWS) – Indian Ocean

Staysail and mainsail with three reefs – 50 knots true wind speed (TWS) – Indian Ocean

Sail configurations in following wind with the Storm Jib

After the staysail we have nothing left but the storm  jib, which in honesty I only ever used a few times, here are the videos.

Storm Jib and Mainsail with 3 reefs – 55 knots True Wind Speed (TWS) – Indian Ocean

Storm Jib and Mainsail with 4 reefs – 50 knots True Wind Speed (TWS)

Storm Jib and Mainsail with 4 reefs – 145 True Wind Angle (TWA) and 50-55 knots True Wind Speed (TWS) – Before Cape Horn

Storm Jib and Mainsail with 4 reefs – 135 True Wind Angle (TWA) and 60 knots True Wind Speed (TWS) – Pacific Ocean

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