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)
Though we have been discussing much about downwind sailing and ways to go fast, based on our experience the big money in sailing is on the runs, so there is always room for more gains to be made.
It is truly incredible the number of projects we have worked on where the sailors do not know how to recognise headers and lifts. When we ask them what happened to the wind during a training run, they can get it very wrong, and when we ask them what happened during a race, their impression is often at odds with reality, and completely wrong.
The Centre of effort of a rig can be best described by stating that the entire force of wind power generated by a sail can be considered to act through one point - in the same way that the center of gravity of a body is the point around which that body balances. In this blog, we explain the dynamics of the Centre of effort, how you can change it and WHY it needs changing, which is because if the center of effort of the rig isn’t directly over the pivot point of the boat, you need corrective rudder which will slow the boat down through drag in the water.