The problem of accurately predicting the performance of a sailing vessel has been researched since the turn of the century. Improvements in sail construction and materials have placed greater importance on optimizing sail aerodynamics. The goal of this research was to devise a testing method which would allow simple, inexpensive testing of sails to be conducted. This effort culminated in the design and construction of an outdoor sailing dynamometer which can measure all of the forces and moments produced by a sail. The apparatus is capable of testing full-size dinghy rigs or scaled-down offshore racers. It may be used both for rig selection and for the evaluation of different sail designs. High quality results may be achieved with a minimum expenditure of time and capital.

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