Showing posts with the label how fast are sailboats?

The Speed of Sail - Does it Matter How Fast You Go?

"Sail the main course, sail it in a simple sturdy craft. Keep her well stocked with short stories and long laughs. Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see. Moderation seems to be the key." Lyrics from Barometer Soup by Jimmy Buffett Does speed matter when you're sailing? I suppose that question depends on why you're sailing in the first place. Racing? Yes, speed matters. Day sailing to enjoy time on the water? Speed probably doesn't matter. Cruising? Sometimes speed matters.  When acting as weekend warriors or taking a 2 week summer cruiser, we've taken passages of between 6 to 90 nautical miles at time. Speed doesn't really matter to us on the short port hops of say less than 20 nautical miles, but when we're approaching hour 12 of a 90 nm passage, I admit that I start tweaking the sails to coax another 1/4 knot of boat speed from the wind gods. Doing a bit of math, if I would have found that 1/4 knot when I first raised the sa