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How To Guides

We’re here to help. North Sails has a wealth of information that we want to share with you. Whether it is tips on getting around the racecourse, trimming your sails or cruising techniques – we aim to document our knowledge to help improve your sailing. Use our How To section to search for content and read about topics of interest to you.

  We often see teams get a little too relaxed when sailing downwind, even though this is where you will make the largest gains (and losses) when racing your J/105…. Read More

Whether you are gybing your Viper in 5 knots, 15 knots or 25 knots, A LOT can be gained or lost. Having the confidence that your crew can nail a… Read More

Trimming the jib on the J/70 involves both technique and accuracy. Proper jib trim will help balance the boat and help in boat speed and pointing ability. While achieving the… Read More

What does an extreme event like the Volvo Ocean Race have in common with the distance racing most of us do? We asked race veterans (and North Sails employees) for… Read More

When I was about ten years old I starting racing sailboats on Cape Cod and the sound of the wind whistling overnight through the pine trees outside my bedroom would… Read More

February 2nd is Groundhog Day, a tradition celebrated in the United States and Canada. Its origins come from the popular superstition that if, on this day, a groundhog emerges from… Read More

The first two minutes of a race is arguably the most important. Those first two minutes will define where you start on the line, and how much space is around… Read More

Billy Sykes joined Matt Allen for the 2017 Sydney-Hobart. Matt won this race 34 years ago, and just last year pulled off the overall corrected time win, where he was… Read More

The Viper 640 class has seen a lot of growth in the last couple of years largely in part to its grassroots feel, its fun-loving fleet members, and its dedicated… Read More

Take some notes with Tim Healy, Will Welles, and John Mollicone on the fastest techniques for upwind and downwind sailing in the J/24. Crew weight placement, trimming techniques, and catching… Read More

After Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key won the 2017 J/111 Worlds on San Francisco Bay, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club. North Sails caught up with tactician Seadon Wijsen, North Sails… Read More

It is good to have the right number of crew onboard, but if no one can do bow,  you aren’t in great shape! Ask yourself, do you have the key roles covered?… Read More

One of many key positions on a race team, the sail trimmer takes responsibility for optimizing sail performance. While the most important time to shine is during the race, a… Read More

The tune of your rig needs to match the designed luff curve of your main and luff hollow of your jibs. It is often necessary to retune the rig for new sails, so if your boat’s performance is not all you hope for, especially in certain conditions, here’s how to adjust your rig tension, rake, and pre-bend.

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October 21, 2014. Leg 1 onboard Team Alvimedica. Day 10 brings the fleet into the ITCZ and the notoriously challenging Doldrums, an area of volatile and unpredictable weather. The clouds continue to grow in intensity long after the sun has set.

When a squall hits, a little preparation goes a long way toward helping your boat and crew come through it safely. Here are some things to do ahead of time, and when you first realize what’s coming. We’ll also talk about broaching, and how to respond to that when it happens.

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