Archive for October, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Low-pressure System

an air region where the barometric pressure is lower than that of the air that surrounds it; has a mixture of warm and cold air; has winds that converge and ascend—often forming a large area of clouds; and rotates the same direction as the Earth. This is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the opposite of a high-pressure system or an anti-cyclone. Winds are relatively lighter near the outer edge of a low-pressure system and increase in speed as they move towards the center, though there may be a lull at the center. Also called a depression. Known as a cyclone to British and Commonwealth sailors. See also: unstable. Compare to: high-pressure system.

PostHeaderIcon Rum Squall

jocular term for a post-race party, based on the large quantity of rum that flows, and on the sometimes intense ‘discussions’ that follow. See also: hard aground on the mahogany reef.

PostHeaderIcon Knockdown

slang for broaching. See jibe broach, leeward broach, or round down.

PostHeaderIcon Delaminating

a failure in the bond between two layers, such as the inner and outer hull skins, or the overlapped seams of composite sail panels.

PostHeaderIcon Short Tack

1) the tack that points your bow farther away from the mark than the other tack. The tack you should be on for the shortest amount of time because it is less advantageous than the other. Compare to: long tack. 2) a series of tacks done in quick succession for tactical reasons.

PostHeaderIcon Planing hull

a hull shape designed to develop positive dynamic pressure so that its draft decreases with increasing speed. Given enough driving force, a planing hull can achieve higher speeds than a similarly sized displacement hull, as a planning hull is not limited by waterline length. See also: hull speed and ULDB. Compare to: displacement hull.

PostHeaderIcon Angle of Vanishing Stability

the angle that a boat can heel to and still right herself, even after being knocked down by high winds with her sails in the water. Also referred to as the limit of positive stability. See also: BLRI, inclining, righting moment and STIX.

PostHeaderIcon Hike (Hike Out); Hiking

to counteract excessive heeling by sitting on the toe rail with your legs extended outboard and leaning out to windward. Also, to lean out to leeward to induce heeling in very light air. Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013 – 2016 rule 49.2 states, “When lifelines are required by the class rules or the Sailing Instructions, they shall be taut, and competitors shall not position any part of their torsos outside them, except briefly to perform a necessary task.” The rule does allow the following: “On boats equipped with upper and lower lifelines, a competitor sitting on the deck facing outboard with his waist inside the lower lifeline may have the upper part of his body outside the upper lifeline.” Also called legs-out hiking. The British and Commonwealth term for this is “sit out.” Compare to: dogs in the doghouse and droop hiking.

PostHeaderIcon Beam

1) A boat’s maximum width. 2) In or from a direction perpendicular to a boat’s longitudinal axis, extending right (i.e., to starboard) or left (i.e., to port) toward the horizon. Directly to the side. Also known as abeam.

PostHeaderIcon Ditch Bag

an emergency survival kit. A supply of essential equipment, food stores, and water to be taken into a life raft if the crew has to abandon ship. Also known as an abandon ship bag or grab bag.


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