Close to the wind
by Sarah Weiss
(New Haven CT)
From your experience, how close to the wind can a 420 sail. Is the angle less than 30 degrees? What is the closest angle from head on at which the boat can reliably move.
Traditionally we are taught that a boat cannot move in the no-go zone, an area 45 degrees from the wind on both sides. However, in my experience in strong winds this angle becomes smaller.
This is because the apparent wind, which would usually be somewhere between the angle between boat direction and wind direction, shifts closer to the wind direction, allowing the sails to produce aerodynamic lift.
I am not sure if it is as close as 30 degrees, but I can tell you that it is certain a boat can be less than 45 degrees to the wind and still move.
In the case of a 420, which can plane upwind the angle is likely to be even smaller, but I can not give you an exact value.
I hope the others here can give you a more specific response.