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Sail Trim and Stability


A dinghy can capsize, that is to say it can heel over until the mast touches the water.
Unless the mast is buoyant it will sink until the boat is completely upside down. To prevent capsizing, the crew must compensate the force of the wind on the sails by sitting out to windward. In the extreme case the whole body weight is positioned at the furthest distance outwards by means of the trapeze.

The principle of obtaining stability by positioning the weight of the crew. Cg is the resultant centre of gravity of crew and boat, Cr is the centre of effort of the boat’s buoyancy. The distance between these two points produces a correcting movement. If the boat heels, Cr moves to the right and Cg is moved to the left by the crew sitting out further and thus producing a stabilizing action.

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