Archive for April, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Mackerel Sky

a sky covered with cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds composed of ice crystals, with small vertical extent and in shapes that resemble mackerel scales.

PostHeaderIcon DynaRig

a rig designed comprised of one or more masts, each with multiple isosceles trapeziodal-shaped sails supported by transverse horizontal spars or yards. The masts do not use shrouds or stays for support and the sails are not trimmed using sheets. Instead, the entire rig, including mast, yards and sails rotate to position the sails in the proper relation to the wind to generate lift. The DynaRig concept was originally developed by Wilhelm Prolss, a West German civil engineer. It was further refined by Dutch naval designer Gerry Dijkstra for the superyacht Maltese Falcon. Compare to: wingmast.

PostHeaderIcon Twinger

a snatch block placed on a spinnaker sheet between the spinnaker’s clew and an aft sheet block. It is a flying block that is manually adjusted by means of a control line led through a turning block or D ring at the rail. Used in a manner similar to a jib lead car to adjust a spinnaker’s sheeting angle. On a small boat that controls a chute with just two sheets, a twinger is trimmed in all the way on the line that is acting as a guy, to maintain a better working angle. Also referred to as a down-puller. Compare to: outgrabber. A twinger may also be used inside the rail on headsail sheets to improve the shape of reachers, screechers or even genoas when running downwind. In this case the set-up is more commonly referred to as a barber hauler.


About the author:
Bob Roitblat is an avid sailor, writer and professional speaker. If you have any comments about this blog, or you are interested in having Bob to speak at your club, contact the author here: bob@sailorspeak.com

You may also be interested in Bob’s other blog, At The Helm, that is focused on the owners of small-to-medium sized closely-held businesses.

PostHeaderIcon Stern Ballast

slang for either the helmsman or tactician. Transom ballast is another term used.

PostHeaderIcon Mares’ Tails

long, well-defined wisps of cirrus clouds that resemble a horse’s tail. According to folklore, mackerel scales and mares’ tails make lofty ships carry low sails. The appearance of these clouds foretells an approaching storm, so sails get lowered to protect boats from the expected high winds. See also: reefing.


About the author:
Bob Roitblat is an avid sailor, writer and professional speaker. If you have any comments about this blog, or you are interested in having Bob to speak at your club, contact the author here: bob@sailorspeak.com

You may also be interested in Bob’s other blog, At The Helm, that is focused on the owners of small-to-medium sized closely-held businesses.

PostHeaderIcon Foil

any shaped surface designed to maximize lift while minimizing drag in a given range of conditions. Examples include centerboards, daggerboards, keels and rudders. A foil may be designed to operate in any fluid, such as air or water, though generally in yacht racing, only surfaces that operate in water are referred to as foils. Surfaces directed into airflow are referred to as sails. The exception is a head foil.

PostHeaderIcon Quay

a man-made structure that is at the water’s edge and parallel to shore. Designed to allow for boats to moor alongside. Compare to: dock, marina, pier, and wharf.

PostHeaderIcon Hole

an area with less wind strength than the surrounding area. This may be due to a lull—a short-duration decrease in true wind speed—or due to other atmospheric or geographic causes. Also known as a wind hole.

PostHeaderIcon Course

1) Shorthand for racecourse. A course is made up of two or more legs that are denoted by marks. 2) A boat’s actual travel direction, expressed in degrees or a cardinal heading, as compared to her heading (the compass reading for where the boat’s bow is pointing) or bearing (the direction to or from a particular location). Wind effects, current, and leeway are what cause heading and course to be different. See also: COG.

PostHeaderIcon Code 3

a medium air reaching sail, used for apparent wind angles near 90 degrees.

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