yard angle for sail plans

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  • 02 Aug 2014 14:59
    Reply # 3062371 on 3062308
    Colin Bell wrote:

    So, if designing for a balance of 35%, what yard angle (range) would be appropriate?

    35% is rather too much balance, I feel. The sail will overbalance and snatch on, instead of feathering, when going to windward. 25% is safer, but still marginal.

    Derek Van Loan specifies an angle of 125 to the luff, 35 above horizontal, and that would be the lowest angle I'd want to use for a  junk sail with maximum balance. 

    (Except for special cases - split junk and my latest wingsail, for example)

  • 02 Aug 2014 10:24
    Reply # 3062308 on 3056188
    Deleted user

    So, if designing for a balance of 35%, what yard angle (range) would be appropriate?

  • 01 Aug 2014 07:23
    Reply # 3058402 on 3056188

    Yard angle is directly related to the amount of balance (part of the sail that projects in front of the mast) a sail has. The more balance, the lower the yard angle. This is because the the attachment point for the halyard to the yard needs to fall more or less vertically under the mast head halyard block. If this is not so, the sail will not hang naturally in its required position.

  • 29 Jul 2014 08:54
    Reply # 3056375 on 3056188
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi Ben

    For me the yard angle is basically a function of how big or little balance I want in the sail (with respect to the mast). Since I use cambered panels, I want a moderate balance and then it is natural to have a high angle of the yard. I have now more or less settled on 70degrees yard and 10degrees rise of the lower battens.

    I have found that the top section works very well indeed as a hard weather sail.

    Finally, the use of a tall top section on top of parallelogram lower panels, allows me to set a bigger sail on a lower mast. This last factor is important to me as there are so many bridges between islands in my area, ranging from anything between 5m to 25m in sailing height. For offshore sailors (I only do coastal sailing) I can imagine that it is desirable to avoid having a  tall mast when the weather turns nasty.


  • 29 Jul 2014 00:47
    Message # 3056188
    Deleted user

    I have been drawing sail plans and comparing them. Someone please educate me as to the advantages/disadvantages of yard angle. It appears to me that an advantage of a sail that is roughly a parallelogram and all of the battens are parallel would be better sheeting for the head of the sail. There must be advantages of a higher yard angle because you see it so much. It appears the halyard connection can be closer to the center of the yard, with a higher angle. Does the peaked head perform better in heavy weather as your storm sail?

    Thank you for any input!

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