Broad Reaching with Andrew Cross


As an unapologetic performance cruiser I have to admit that I am quite fond of sail shape and trim. Tweaking the sails from each corner and edge to make them more efficient, twisting them with the sheet or vang, explaining why and how that works and what settings are best for a variety of wind conditions to make the boat go faster — I love it. Seriously, sail with me sometime and get me going about sail trim, I’ll probably talk your ear off.

Last weekend while close reaching across the Sound at 7.5 knots I tweaked the cunningham, trimmed the mainsheet and slid the traveler to windward in a matter of seconds from the cockpit. Those small changes were just enough to capture the perfect amount of twist and shape in the main to get the top telltale dancing and the rest flowing smoothly. My sails aren’t brand new and made of the latest technology cloth, and that is okay. They still carry a decent shape and after making my adjustments I sat back and delighted in the beautiful simplicity of an efficiently trimmed sail, not the speed. Don’t be afraid to trim and tweak those sails, you might just enjoy it too!

Enjoy this week’s edition.

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