Friday, 27 February 2015

How Trysails can save you from storms

Sailing through the storms is challenging and even the most experienced sailors can become unnerved. The type of Storm Sail you are using does determine how easily you can keep the situation under control. Trysail is one of our favorites for off-shore sailing, be it cruising or racing.

We have often come across customers, seeking a good quality storm sail but have never heard of a Trysail. In fact there are sailors who will debate in favor of reefing a mainsail instead but the fact is a reefed main cannot help you beyond a certain wind condition and a Trysail will essentially be your savior.

Many sailors call it a bullet-proof sail only to indicate how remarkably it can take the vessel through a very gusty wind blowing at more than 40 knots/ hour.

The unique shape of a Trysail is the key factor. It comes in a triangular shape, made of heavy dacron. Its luff length is below 20% of a mainsail luff and the foot length is below 30-40% of a mainsail foot.

Setting it is easy for a mainsail luff groove system. After the mainsail has been flaked on the boom or removed entirely the Trysail is fed into the mast. The process is little difficult on track systems. Many cruising boats install parallel tracks just off-center so that Trysails can be hoisted without any hassle.

If there is no such track, the luff slides need to be removed before hoisting the Trysail. For boats with reasonable righting moments, Trysails are most viable options in a very gusty wind condition where you will need a high boat speed to maneuver. 

These are all the basics about a Trysail and if you want to know more reach out to us anytime. We love to chat with those who are passionate about sailing.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Types of Asymmetric Spinnakers

There are a number of asymmetric spinnakers which are popularly mentioned in codes. Sometimes new sailors get confused with these names since those are only numbers. If you too have faced the problem, please go through this post. 

 Here we have tried to simplify.

spinnakers -

Before getting into the classification, let us reiterate the definition of an asymmetric spinnaker.

An asymmetric spinnaker is a sail which is not attached to the forestay along the luff but it is attached on the corners only. It does not require a pole since it’s fixed to the bowsprit. It is easy to gybe and highly recommended for the fast planing dinghies.

Asymmetric spinnakers are classified on the basis of their roles at different wind conditions. The nomenclature of 0 to 6 which is normally used to code-name the asymmetric spinnakers follow the rule of odd and even numbering.

What makes people confused is that the numbering is not consecutive for reaching and running sails. We have got code 1, 3 and 5 for reaching sails, code 2, 4 and 6 for running sails and code 0 for the most upwind capable tight reaching sail.

So if we count from 0 to 6 keeping in mind the wind conditions and the usage of the sail we shall get the following order--

Code 0-- The tight reaching sail, a hybrid of genoa and spinnaker, most suitable to sail upwind

Code 1-- A reaching sail for light air, where the apparent wind angles are less than 90 degrees

Code 2
-- A running sail for medium air, meant for apparent wind angles of more than 90 degrees

Code 3-- A reaching sail for medium air, meant for the times when the apparent wind angle is near 90 degrees

Code 4-- A running sail for the heaviest wind conditions, but not storms

Code 5-- A reaching sail for the heaviest wind conditions

Code 6-- A perfect storm sail

Friday, 20 February 2015

Pros and Cons of fully battened Mainsails

There is a good deal of debate on whether fully battened Mainsails are good or not. These sails have become an in-thing over the last few years and there are solid reasons behind the trend.

Still there are certain criticisms. Sailors do differ in their opinions. By speaking with some of our old as well as new customers we have learned about a number of points both in favor and against the full-batten mainsails.

Being a sail supplier we cannot make any comment since we are supposed to build sails according to our customers’ needs. If they prefer full-batten we are on, if they don’t that will not make any difference to us.

So we are putting it neutrally. Below are the pros and cons. 

Mainsails for sale, Mainsails -


  • Battens help to hold the sail in shape. 
  • The usable sail area is more via larger roach.
  • Suitable batten hardware and matching lazyjacks make these sails easy to handle, can be stacked neatly on the top of the boom. There will be no blowing all over the deck if you lower the halyard.
  • An ideal choice for large boats
  • Full batten sails flog less, providing you with a quiet sailing experience. 
  • Less flogging means the stress level on the rig is low. The sailcloth lasts longer.
  • If racing is in your mind, full-battens are good as these help in generating more speed.
  • Full-battens are highly useful for motor-boats 


  • Apparently the biggest drawback of full-batten is its cost. The sail becomes expensive since added expenses incur for incorporating batten pockets and batten cars.
  • Because of the locked-in shape it’s hard to slow down or stop if there is a man-overboard situation.
  • In case of boats with angled spreaders, the battens rub and anti-chafe patches are difficult to put since no one knows exactly where the battens will be in contact with the rigging.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tips to plan a sailing trip

Whether you are going to have a weekend sailing trip or planning to spend weeks on your boat, a good sailing plan can keep you away of worries and make the trip as enjoyable as possible. It starts with placing an order for custom built sails well ahead since these sails take time to get delivered.

custom built sails, custom sail -

It is not that buying a custom sail is necessary but it has got its own advantages. You can customize the design, the color scheme or put an emblem of your choice to make it special for you and your co-travelers. You can buy stock sails as well. Only make sure that those are of good quality.

Below are certain tips on planning a sailing trip.

  • Decide your itinerary even if you are going for a simple lake sailing and then buy a cruising guide for that area. You need to know how much fuel you will require considering the estimated average vessel speed, common for that zone at that time of the year.
  • Read voraciously the sailing blogs and articles of experienced sailors. Increase your knowledge, learn about tricky situations that may appear and how to solve them.
  • Make a proper float plan that has got all the details of your boat and a complete itinerary. Send the copies to people you can rely on, those who will not be on board with you.
  • You should always keep an extra ignition key. Get it made before anything else.
  • It is needless to mention that you need to triple check the mechanical and electronic system. You should have enough PFDs, more than in number than the total number of heads to be on board.
  • Buy more than enough food stock, check the fresh water supply, keep enough medicines and first-aid items. 
  • You need to watch the weather conditions. Take out a printed forecast for next ten days minimum and keep provisions to get internet-connected throughout the journey.

Do make an exhaustive check-list and before setting out, tick out all the points at least twice.

Sail for love, spend your Valentine’s Day on board

Have you ever sailed for love? No? Try it out this year. What more you can ask from life when the day of love falls on a Saturday. We have got the whole weekend this year to celebrate and don’t just let the opportunity pass by. Unpack your headsail , brush up your boat, check the equipment and set out for a romantic journey.  

It doesn’t matter how far you go, what matters the most is being on board with the people you love the most. The Valentine’s Day is all about making everything special for those who have made our life beautiful. Throw a surprise boat party, make them go “wow!” with your idea and give them a memory, never to be forgotten.

Does it sound weird? Well, it may but as passionate seafarers, we actually love to connect every aspect of our lives with sailing. This is the reason why we started the journey of National Sail-- a very strong excuse to get busy with the sails, the boats and other equipment round the year. 

If you too are that passionate about sailing like we are, do sail for love. Not every time you will get a weekend around this day. The Valentine’s Day 2015 deserves to be something different.

Think of a nice theme. If you are a family person with kids, ‘Pirates’ will do good but if you are seeking a ‘two-of-us’ time, ‘The Love Boat’ can be a nice one or else you just put it simple-- your favorite music on, a bottle of wine of your choice and your partner by your side.

Love steps in places where peace prevails and flows between two souls, unmasked and uncomplicated to each other.