Tidal and other surface currents may have a profound influence on the effective performance of a sailing vessel. This illustrated paper discusses in sailors' terms some situations of interest to racing sailors. Is it always advantageous to have a "fair current"? Under what circumstances is it a good thing to "lee bow" a tide? How can you improve your "velocity made good" in the presence of a current? What are your options in a current with no wind? What should Race committees know about currents and how might this knowledge influence judgement in setting a course? Might it be a good thing to tack downwind against a foul tide? How might a current affect the calculation of "target speeds" and "optimum VMG"? This paper covers these and other related circumstances in which calculation of current effects may affect decision making while under sail.
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Sailboat Performance in a Current
Paper presented at the SNAME 10th Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, Annapolis, Maryland, USA, February 1991.
Paper Number: SNAME-CSYS-1991-008
Published: February 01 1991
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Nolan, James P. "Sailboat Performance in a Current" Paper presented at the SNAME 10th Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, Annapolis, Maryland, USA, February 1991. doi: https://doi.org/10.5957/CSYS-1991-008
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