Standard approaches to define loads for a rig start with the righting moment of a yacht at 30 degrees of heel. This is a quite good approach for defining maximum lateral forces of the sails on upwind courses. For downwind courses this procedure may be questioned because the forces from the sails are no longer limited by the righting moment. In this paper the loading for rigs of modern sail yachts in the downwind sailing condition is discussed. A load model based on sail areas and apparent wind speeds for application in FEA is developed. The load model will be evaluated by comparing real size rig measurements performed on the Technical University of Berlins research sailing yacht. DYNA. with a finite element analysis of her rig.

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