Sail Performance
C. A. "Tony" Marchaj

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This is one of those wonderful books which really is written by someone who knows what they are talking about in depth.  This isn't a book by someone who has just read a bunch of magazine articles and put what they've read all together into another over simplified book.  This is the type of book in which you read and find out that what you've read over and over again in the magazines, often isn't true at all.  The world is full of theories that may apply to one thing, but then are assumed to apply to another and are then interpreted and built upon until "everybody knows" that they are true.  Mr. Marchaj has gone back and done the math and the real world tests to find out what is really true and what isn't.  You will design, build, or have built very different rigs once you've mastered this book.

It was especially gratifying to me to see that the excellent performance of some of my cruising rigs, which I was quite shy of admitting due to the apparent contradiction with theory, despite what seemed good results in the real world, is backed up and explained by this book.

Conversely this book has freed me to experiment along lines that I never would have dared explore and has introduced me to other books on aerodynamics which have taught me more and more over time.

In a sense this book does for rigs what his earlier book "Seaworthiness - The Forgotten Factor" did for the design of offshore vessels in general.  That is we are freed from generations of poorly thought out theories originally invented to justify the strange distortions of vessels designed to meet racing rules.  As with hulls the rigs as well have gone through more than a century of heavy distortion by the racing rules at the very time when we have developed the scientific tools which should have allowed us to develop much better rigs.

Instead we have allowed half-baked theories promoted by yachting writers and racing rule makers who have read and misinterpreted various studies in other fields to determine what we create for rigs.

This certainly explains why the rigs of my childhood were easily handled by quite young children and somewhat elderly types, whereas today sailing is actually considered an athletic endeavor requiring strength.

If you want to know about real sailing performance versus popular theories so that you can design, or ask a designer for, a really excellent performance rig that is easy to handle, you will be very happy you've read this book.  (401 pages) (tm)  $54.95

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