How Are Sails Made?

Of course, the sailboat is distinguished from other craft by its sails. A sail is simply a piece of fabric that is used to catch the wind to drive the boat across the water. Most modern sails are made of Dacron, a polyester fiber. Because the fabric is heated to meld the fibers together, the wind cannot escape through pores like those in woven cloth, and the surface has a very low friction factor. Polyester sails are also lightweight with little stretch.

Sails fall into two major categories and then into many subclasses. The two major categories are square and triangular sails. Square sails are mounted across the main axis of the boat to use the wind pressure to power the boat. Wind strikes only the back, or afterside, of square sails. Triangular sails follow the same axis as the boat, with fore sails at the front or bow of the ship and aft sails at the rear or stem. Both sides of triangular sails are used for forward motion, and they can be adjusted to make the best use of the wind’s force.    Well, it still starts with pencil and paper, just as it always has! What´s next? Check out this video!

Sailing Tips: GETTING A HANDLE ON MAINSAIL TWIST by QuantumSails

…interestingly funny how the public tries to figure out how “Sailing” works!

The Physics of Sailing

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