Sailboat Racing Trim — Part 14

In Chapter 14 of his book Racing Trim, Bill Gladstone talks about boat preparation. The following post shows a short summary of the highlights I got out of from that chapter.


Bottom Preparation

  • Make sure that your keel is fair and smooth — and that it matches the design of your boat.  The leading edge should be round trailing to a parabola and the trailing edge should cut off at an angle.
  • Make sure that the bottom is sanded smooth and finished with an appropriate racing finish.

Below Deck

  • Remove excess weight from the boat.  Make sure any other moveable weight is stowed low and amidships.

On Deck

  • Color code lines so that it easy to know which line is which.
  • Make a mark on the head foil about six feet above deck.  Raise each sail and put a mark on it to match the head foil mark when the sail has the appropriate halyard tension. *** This is my favorite tip from this chapter.  It has really helped me when I’m working pit so that I know the sail is all the way up.
  • Double end the foreguy / downhaul so that it can always be adjusted to windward.
  • Lead backstay adjustment forward to keep weight out of the stern.
  • Make sure that the topping lift line is long enough that it can be left hooked up when you tack after a spinnaker takedown.

This is the fourteenth in a series of posts based on Bill Gladstone’s book Racing TRIM from the North U. Series.  Periodically, I post about a chapter or two.  This will be my short summary of what I’ve read.  You can read the posts to get my abbreviated summary; or you could read through the books with me.  Your comments can help point out what you find most interesting, or even poke fun at what I do and don’t know.  If you are interested in getting this book, you can find it in the online store section of for $25.