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Marine Glossary

Reaching

When the boat is traveling approximately perpendicular to the wind, this is called reaching. A 'close' reach is somewhat toward the wind, and 'broad' reach is a little bit away from the wind (a 'beam' reach is with the wind precisely at a right angle to the boat). For most modern sailboats, reaching is the fastest way to travel. Different boats have different performance characteristics: on some boats, the beam reach is the fastest point of sail; on others, a broad reach is faster.