How much Wind Load can you safely manage?
By Shane Mummery, Alado Furler 

A distinctive feature of sailing is the limitless interplay of wind and various forces, which can lead to conditions ranging from benign to highly perilous.


Many of us have likely witnessed moments of Mother Nature's might, becoming humbled by its formidable force and the potential harm it can inflict on our surroundings.


Understanding the characteristics of wind and its application to rigging and sails is crucial for maintaining safety and security. While the physics of sailing can be quite complex, it's important to remember this basic fact:


The force of the wind does not increase linearly; it quadruples with each doubling of speed.


Example: Calculating Wind Load


A wind speed of 20 knots exerting force on a 300 square foot sail at a 60-degree angle produces 352 pounds of force. Conversely, a wind speed of 40 knots generates 1,408 pounds of force on the same sail.


Generally, a standard PET (Dacron) sail subjected to winds exceeding 20 knots is advised to undergo reefing for optimal performance.









In addition to the impact of increased loads on sails, it is crucial to consider the breaking points of other components of the rigging system, particularly the forestay on the Genoa and the tracks on the main and mizzen sails.


It is recommended that in winds exceeding 20 knots, reefing the Alado Roller Furler will help to not only lessen the load on the sail but also alleviate the pressure on the Luff.

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