# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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Re: Setting a course when sailing into the wind.
From: Greg Rudzinski
Date: 2016 Jul 27, 10:29 -0700

Graham,

Be careful of your fellow sailboat racers for they are a tricky lot ;-) There is a penalty to tacking so fewer is generally better. Where things get complicated is when the wind shifts favoring one tack over another (see attached Wikipedea blurb). As a rule most sailboats can make good 45° to the true wind which means going 1.4 NM on two tacks to make good 1 NM directly toward the mark. Another factor to keep in mind will be speed through the water vs. speed over ground which is a function of ocean current vector sums. Down wind sailing is counter intuitive in that steering off the mark and jibbing will get you to the mark faster if there is any noticable increase in speed with a course adjustment (up to 20°).

The best book I know of on this subject is SAIL POWER by Wallace Ross.

Greg Rudzinski

From: Graham England
Date: 2016 Jul 27, 08:55 -0700

I hope it is OK to ask this type of question on this forum.
Not really a Navigation question but more an experience question.

I had an interesting discussion with some of my weekend sailing friends about setting a course when sailing directly into the wind.

Assume you want to sail 100 miles directly into the wind and your boat points 55 degrees off the wind.
Based on just the math you would sail 55 degrees off the wind for 87.17 miles then do one tack and sail another 87.17 miles also 55 degrees off the wind.
So you would be sailing a total of 174.34 to go 100 miles into the wind.

Some of the guys who race pointed out that racers tend to do many tacks and use the momentum of the boat to gain some distance into the wind on each tack.
Does anyone do this?

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