The Wingsailer Manual

- Let's Go Sailing
- Sailing Tacks
- Tacking your Wingsailer

- From Here to There
- Righting your Wingsailer
- Sundry Hints and Info

A Taste of Sailing
  - To the Experienced Sailor
  - To the Novice Sailor
  - Safety

High-Tech Talk
  - Aerodynamics
  - Angle of Attack






Wingsailing Basics


* Note from the website publisher:  The following sections, ("A Taste of Sailing" and "High-Tech Talk"), deal with the principles and tactics of sailing the Wingsailer.  Previous sections, ("Assembly Instructions" and "Transportation"), assist the owner in preparing the Wingsailer and sailor before going to the water.  To review  these sections,  CLICK HERE.


Sailing is one of the few places left on our Earth, where people, their machines, and nature can meld together into an aesthetic communion of the elements of all three.  We can enjoy the peace and serenity of silent motion or we can tease those three elements into a ballet of sea spray, hissing speed and exhilarating excitement.  Sailing can be sipped alone while becoming lost in one's own thoughts yet, on the other hand, it may involve social compatibility with others who sail or, enjoy serious, adrenalin producing competition.  It's all here in sailing and it's yours for the taking.

To The Experienced Sailor:

Though all the principles are the same with the WINGSAILER and the standard sailboat, things happen a little differently.  The rudder is a push-pull and takes some getting used to.  The wing requires a lower angle of attack to the wind than a standard sail under most circumstances.  Be pragmatic about it: do whatever works. Sometimes it pays to do nothing like releasing the main sheet and letting the wing seek its own angle of attack, then go from there.  In very light breezes when the slat tends to "back wind", cleat it in tight.  At other times, the slat should be about 1 1/2" open.  Because the heeling moment is so low, one tends to always keep the boat flat -- it sometimes pays to induce a little leeward heeling.  In other words, if it feels good, do it.

To The Beginning Sailor:

1. If all else fails, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
2. Don't listen to experienced sailors at the beginning - unless they have successfully sailed a WINGSAILER.
3. Read on.


Pretend that you are sitting in a canoe out in the middle of the lake and the wind is coming directly from your back.  If you stop paddling you will notice that the boat may slow down but it will not stop.  The boat and your head are causing drag in the wind and you are being dragged along with the wind.  You are sailing! (In sailing terms, when you are sailing with the wind to your back you are sailing "on a run", or "running before the wind").  You will not go very fast in this manner because your boat and your head do not cause much drag -- there is not much surface area exposed to the wind.  If you were to stand up in the canoe you will cause a little more drag by increasing the exposed surface area and you will increase your speed a little.  (Take our word for this:  one should never stand up in a canoe!)  If we were to stick a pole up in the middle of the canoe with a cross bar at the top and hang the Monday wash (socks and all) on that cross bar, your canoe would move right along.  In fact, the more "wash", the faster you will go.  If we stick a couple more poles up and hang all bed sheets on the cross bars you will have your own miniature "Spanish Galleon" and you can take on the British any day of the week… or vice versa.

To "run" in your WI NGSAILER, let the wing swing all the way out to port (left) or to starboard (right) so that it exposes the most surface to the wind and you will zip right along.

Now "running" is all well and good.  It is a nice enough way to sail, but the wind seldom blows directly toward where you want to go.  It's a bit random, actually and it is doubtful that you have enough clout to cause it to be otherwise.  It would seem logical then, that you learn to sail with the wind coming from directions other than your back.

The next diagram shows some of the other "tacks" that you can sail besides "running".




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