Showing posts with the label angle of heel

How Much do you Heel?

Heeling is a way of life for monohull sailboats. Heeling is, not only natural, but in most cases essential for making good speed under sail. There's a lot physics that go into heeling and determining the proper angle of heel for a given set of conditions, but allow me generalize: Sailboats with narrower beams tend to tolerate larger heel angles than beamer boats. Modern hull designs tend to be faster when sailed flat (heel angles less than about 15 degrees) because they often have less drag with the deep high aspect ratio fin keels and spade rudders. In older designs, heeling increases the waterline length of the hull and helps produce more speed. Again, in general, 15 degrees of heel can be near optimal for many boats. After about 25 degrees of heel on my personal boat, she develops fairly major weather helm. She also has a tendency to want to round-up (turn the bow to windward) from say 20-30 degrees of heel. So how do I know my angle of heel? I have two clinometers installed o