Balance of Sailing Boats, The

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  • Pub No.: 7712

A Rough Method of Determining Proper Location of the Sails in Small Boats

The location of the mast (or masts) in a sailing boat, and the consequent disposition of the areas of sail, must be arranged to suit certain conditions or the boat will very likely not perform properly under canvas. The sail cannot be placed anywhere in the boat. It must be placed so that the center of its area bears a certain relationship to the center of the underwater plane of the hull. When the sail plan is placed in its proper relationship to the underwater body of the boat,  the boat is said to be properly "balanced" and it is to be expected that the boat will sail on her course, on all points of sailing, without the need of much corrective pulling one way or the other on the part of the rudder. A perfectly balanced boat should need no rudder at all, except for alteration of the direction of her progress--in other words, in the perfectly balanced boat one should be able, after settling the boat on the desired course, to take the rudder off entirely, and she should keep on this course, provided the wind were steady and the sea smooth, indefinitely.

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