The sailboat sails are any material that is use to produce aerodynamic lift in order to sail a boat using the wind. Sails have been around for many thousands of years and have developed from old bits of canvas sewn together to ultra modern carbon fibre films.
Sails have carried explorers all over the world and have been used in some of the most ferocious naval battles of human history. They are a part of our culture and were the predecessor to more modern inventions such as the wings of aircraft (which are based on a similar idea).
From square sailed rigged ships to modern bermuda sail dinghies, this page will take you through everything you need to know about the incredible thing that makes our sport possible: the sailboat sails.
Sailing is powered by the sailboat sails, which are powered by the wind. In physics of sailing, you will lean why this is true, but for now accept that this is true. There are 5 main types of sails of a modern sailing dinghy:
- The Mainsail - Provides the main power of the boat
- The Genoa/Gib - Provides the secondary power of the boat and helps the boat turn and speed the boat up when going towards the wind, bu using the Tell Tales
- Spinnaker Sails - A giant sail at the front shaped like a huge bag, the sail helps speed the boat up when sailing away from the wind
However, on bigger ships or on boats from different parts of the world, there are many types of sails that do many different things and have many different Sail Names.
Before you start on your journey into the realm of sailing, make sure you understand the basic physics and aerodynamics behind the way the boat moves through the water powered by the sails. It will help you understand future concepts and ideas more easily as well as improving your overall sailing.
The sport of sailing occurs, because of the same thing that keeps airplanes in the air. Moving air, passing through a sail, causes a lifting force, which creates movement. This movement is then chambered into different sources using different sailing instruments.
There are so many different interesting parts to a sail. There are six different 'directions' of the sail that you should learn and each sail has its own different bits to it. For instance, the mainsail is held in place by Sail Battens
, which keep the it curved as it has alot of extra material.
The mainsail also has sail numbers, which are individual to each boat and sail, whilst the genoa has no numbers or identification that is easily visible on it, even though the spinnaker usually does (probably because it would be slightly excessive).
The sail is made from many different materials and dyes to make it into a strong and resistant piece of engineering that is suitable for use on the largest yacht to the smallest dinghy.
Millions of pounds of research has gone into creating the advanced materials that are required for the next generation of sails that used to made of cloth and canvas and are not made of state of the art materials such as carbon fibre, which is made of carbon nano-tubes.
Cleaning the sails may seem like a chore, but it is the only way that you will be able to keep them in good shape and looking their best, without having to buy a new set every month.
Sails get stains from all sorts of things, from weed to tar on the bedrock and of course you want to get it out, so use these handy tips to make sure you sails stay as white as clouds.
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