Thursday, 27 November 2014

Headsails are designed to take advantage of varying wind condition at sea

The sailors need to equip themselves with a host of sails to sail the boat in different weather condition and wind speed. Headsails are secondary sails designed to play the primary role when the Mainsail is lowered down when the wind is smooth and the vessel is running very smoothly. Headsails are the first sails that the wind encounters in the boat. They are placed ahead of the Mainsail and further towards the end of the boat. The most common type of headsails is Genoa and Jib. The headsails are furled or brought down depending upon the situation. The position of the Headsail should be continuously adjusted depending upon the prevailing condition. It helps in controlling the boat and take advantage of the situation. If they are set right, can provide good speed and control to the boat and if not set properly they tend to hinder the progress of the boat and endanger the ship.

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Genoa, Jib, Genoa Staysails and Yankee Headsails are the common headsails used for cruising. Among them, Jib is the most common sail used during the maximum course of sail plan. Genoa is used for sailing in the light wind in the range of 10 to 20 knots. Jib is an all purpose sail that is used when the wind is in the range of 15 to 40 knots. Genoa Staysail is an overlapping sail used in strong weather and helps in boosting the average speed of the boat. Yankee Headsail is used in wide range of condition and especially in reaching and upwind sailing.

Competitive racing use almost five Headsails for different situation. Wind Seeker or Drifter, Light Headsail or code 1, Medium Headsail or code 2, Heavy Headsail or code 3, Code 4 Headsail, Genoa Headsail and Jib top are different Headsails used in racing competition.

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