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Boat Trim

Go To: Sailing - Learn To Sail

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009 6:42 PM

Boat trim is the balance of the boat, fore and aft. Get it wrong, and you won't sail as fast as you could.

Boat trim is the balance of the boat, fore and aft (ie running along the length of the boat). In light winds, boats should usually be balanced with more weight slightly towards the front of the boat, dropping the nose; the bow of the boat is usually more pointed than the back, and cuts through the water easier, whilst raising the big flat surface area of the back of the boat out of the water, reducing drag, as seen in Diagram 1.

 Sitting too far forward in a boat

Diagram 1: Sitting too far forward in a boat

In stronger winds, the crew weight needs to be moved slightly towards the back of the boat, between the middle and back of the boat. If the wake of the boat is too rough, you are sitting too far back, as in Diagram 2.

 Sitting too far back in a boat

Diagram 2: Sitting too far back in a boat

When the weight balance is correct, the nose of the boat is raised slightly out of the water, and the stern drops into the water more; the large flat area of the stern makes it easier for the boat to plane, or skip over the top of the waves, if there is sufficient wind.

 Sitting in the correct position in a boat

Diagram 3: Sitting in the correct position in a boat

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