Sail forces were measured in a full-scale sailing boat with the use of a sail force dynamometer. This apparatus consisted of an aluminum frame fixed to the hull by way of several load cells. The sailing boat was modified so that the dynamometer frame could be installed inside the hull. The mast, stays, winches, and other sailing rig were fixed on the frame so as to transmit all the forces acting on sail to the frame. By transforming the measured forces, the lift force, drag force, thrust, side force, or the center of effort of the sail force could be obtained. The sailing conditions of the boat, such as the boat speed, heel angle, wind speed, wind angle, and so on, were also measured.
Sail shapes of the boat in the up-wind condition were also measured with the use of CCD cameras installed in the boat. The sail shape images taken by the cameras were transformed to bit-map files, and then processed by an SSA-2D, a sail shape analyzing software. With the use of this software, sail shape parameters were obtained. The relationship between the measured sail forces and the sail shape parameters is discussed in this paper. Moreover, the measured sail shapes were used as the input data for the numerical calculations.
Numerical calculations were performed to estimate the sail forces of the boat. In the calculations, two sails, a mainsail and a jib , were modeled in the form of a vortex lattice. The vortex lattice method was adopted as the numerical calculation method. Step by step calculations were conducted up to attaining the steady state of the sail in steady wind. Calculated sail forces were compared with the measured forces, and the validity of the numerical method was studied.