May 29th 2022
World Pond Yacht Day
Sailing Your Yacht
An in-depth explanation of how to do this would cover many volumes but here is a general outline of how to sail your new model yacht.
To sail your yacht successfully windward (into the wind) you will first need to trim your yacht, to do this you will need to haul the sails in on the horses/travellers or screw eyes by adjusting the bowsies on the sheeting cords. You should not tighten them so that the sails are not pulled dead flat but instead but a little loose so that they are able to fill with air and hence provide nice airflow over the sails.
Your model should sail windward with both booms parallel to each other when viewed from aft (stern). The luff of your sails should be as tight as you can get them as your model will not sail windward with a slack luff.
To run before the wind you will need to open up the sails so that the boom is allowed to swing almost square the mast, this is not possible on a lot of model yachts due to the way they are constructed, but let the boom swing as far as it will go. If your yacht has a rudder you can set less helm to help stop the yacht from running off wind. With steering gear, you can set the quadrant pins nearer to the centre of the quadrant or haul the sails in a little. If your yacht turns or broaches into the wind then more helm must be given or you will need to ease the sails off a little.
If your yacht self tacks (sails swing freely across the deck from side to side) then a turning pole is a handy addition to your outing as you can flick the bow of the yacht to turn and sail back across the pond. Older gaff rigged yachts will require you to lift the yacht out of the water before turning and swap around the sheeting holding the header sails, they usually have clew hooks fitted to help with this.
It will take several attempts before you learn how to get the best from your yacht, as we know from experience our weather is never the same on any given two days, this challenge is in part what makes the art of sailing pond yachts such a rewarding and absorbing hobby.
A French made Tirot 502 Pond Yacht