Archive for December, 2011

PostHeaderIcon 500 Posts

I’m excited to announce that we’ve just posted our 500th blog entry. I was inspired to begin this blog as an interactive way of communicating with yacht racing enthusiasts and boat experts around the world after publishing the best-selling book, Sailorspeak: The Complete Insider’s Guide to Yacht Racing Terms, Jargon & Slang, in 2009. This blog has proven to be an excellent way to continue interacting with readers and posting yacht racing terminology on a regular basis. Whether you’re a daily devotee, an occasional lurker or anything in between, thank you for stopping by. There’s lots more to come.

PostHeaderIcon Fraculator

a line primarily used to fraculate–help rake a mast forward while sailing downwind. It is also used to prevent a jib that has been teed-up from catching the wind and rising too soon or from interfering with a spinnaker jibe. A fraculator consists of a line connected to the stemhead at one end and with a clip or quick-release shackle at the other. The clip or shackle is connected to the bail on a jib halyard’s shackle after the jib has been run through the pre-feeder and into the head foil. The mast can be raked forward by tensioning the jib halyard. Also referred to as a defraculator, fracalator, fractionator, frapilator, or magic string. Its abbreviated form is frac.

PostHeaderIcon Tactical Rounding

rounding a mark in manner that puts a boat in the most favorable position after the rounding. For example, a mark rounding where a boat stays a boat length or so wide on approach to the mark and sails close to the mark as she finishes the turn and continues onto the next leg. Done to maintain boat speed and to avoid making a sharp turn. See also: wide-n-tight. Compare to: seamanlike rounding.

PostHeaderIcon Foot Cleat

slang referring to someone standing on a line that needs to be trimmed or eased, making the adjustment more difficult. Compare to: bug and butt cleat.

PostHeaderIcon Racing Line

the fastest course a boat would sail if no other boats were around. Also known as the line. Referred to as proper course when applying the Racing Rules of Sailing.

PostHeaderIcon Rake

the amount that a mast is inclined aft of plumb. Masts are usually designed for one to two degrees of rake. Too much rake increases weather helm because the sailplan’s center of effort is moved aft. Straightening the mast decreases weather helm. See also: dock tune. Compare to: pre-bend.

PostHeaderIcon Diamond Shrouds

one or more sets of shrouds that attach to a mast equidistant above and below a spreader and that extend through the spreader tip. Diamond shrouds give extra strength to the mast. Some diamond shrouds attach to the mast via shroud tensioners run to the mast base. Also known as jumpers. Compare to: cap shrouds.

PostHeaderIcon Pinwheel

a parade of boats wrapped around a leeward mark, with each succeeding boat over-lapping to the outside. This is typically caused by the lead boat slowing down for tactical reasons just after entering the zone. Competitors who fail to anticipate the maneuver end up outside instead of on the leading boat’s stern. Every boat but the leader has a bad mark rounding and also sails in dirty air. See also: mark-room and wide-n-tight.

PostHeaderIcon Headboard

the rigid, flat plates, usually of aluminum or plastic, that are sandwiched onto a mainsail or other sail’s head and fitted with a cringle. A headboard serves as a strong halyard attachment point and is designed to resist chafe from the halyard’s shackle. A headboard also allows for greater roach in the top of a sail.

PostHeaderIcon Green Water

you sail on the deep blue sea, but when that sea washes over your deck, it’s referred to as green water.


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