Cruising Shot of the Week

Thanks to Rodger and Patty Martin for this shot of Presto anchored in two feet of gin-clear Bahamian water!

Do you have cool shots from your own cruising adventures?  Send them to me at


Get Trim

When it comes to sail trim, every sailor has his or her own style. Some are the “constant tinkerers,” always tweaking and adjusting to eek out as much boat speed as possible. You’ll notice this crew by how quickly they maneuver from one control to another and by how much line gets eased or trimmed each time – usually no more than a couple of inches.

Then you have the more “mild-mannered trimmers,” who generally care about sail shape and power and might set and reset things as necessary. This group is the hardest to identify, as their sails generally look good and the boat moves with admirable speed. They are usually lacking in just one or two sail controls – not enough boom vang tension or a misplaced jib fairlead.

Lastly comes the “set-it-and-forgetters.” This group is the type that will get the sails up, point the boat in the vicinity of their destination, and hit the auto-helm. With little attention to fine-tuning, these sailors are often identified with a twisted-off genoa that has a constant luff near the head or a leach line that just isn’t quite snug enough.

The difference in how sailors trim for speed is part of what makes sailing great, though. It doesn’t matter if you adjust your traveler every time a gust hits, or kick back and take it in stride. How you get there is the fun of it all – and in cruising, it really doesn’t matter who comes in first.

Enjoy this week’s Cruising Compass.


Andrew Cross

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