Riding sails

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Riding sail in use on a small sailboat (photo courtesy Banner Bay Marine).

Some vessels will 'sail' at anchor, which means they will continually ride up on the rode then fall back, or career from side to side. The problem is caused by an unstable windage profile, a bit like an arrow without a fletching. A high profile bow or a forward located superstructure tends to contribute to this problem, and a shallow or flat hull profile will allow it to persist.

One solution is to provide some wind resistance farther aft, and this can be accomplished by way of a riding sail. These are available designed for both sail and power boats, as differences of rigging are required, or they can be fashioned from an old sail. On a yacht with a backstay, it is hanked onto the stay, lifted by a halyard, and and sheeted forward as practical.

Dampening the sailing effect does not help only with comfit, but it reduces the peak loads applied on the rode and anchor.