Firstly let us remind the main benefit of hiking flat out. IT IS FASTER, you might ask yourself how much faster, below you can see a graph of a boat hiking flat out periodically, the peaks are top speed while hiking flat out, the rest is regular hiking, the average speed difference can reach as much as 2 knots which accumulates to over 20% in boat speed. (This boat has been doing a 30 seconds flat out 30 seconds regular hiking)
Downwind – Flat or Kite?
An important skill in downwind sailing is prioritizing weather to sail the boat flat or healed to windward by the lee referred to as kiting, Sailing by the lee means that the air is flowing into the sail from the leech towards the mast as opposed to normal sailing when the air is flowing from the mast towards the leech of the sail
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