February 1, 2016 “I have a Martin 242 that I sail in Northern Indiana. I am thinking about doing some long-distance racing and I am curious if we need any special sails. Also, what is the best way to trim sails at night? I was also curious about hiking out during distance races; do all boats do it the same as during short races?”

David Flynn

December 8, 2015 Quantum Expert Answer

Yes, distance racing does allow you to carry sails that are specifically designed for reaching. You might consider an asymmetrical spinnaker or a jib top reaching headsail. Either one of these sails would contribute greatly to your distance racing inventory. As for racing at night and trimming sails, a recommended approach is to spot check them with a flashlight. You can scan the luff, leech and draft stripes quickly and make necessary adjustments. We offer glow strips that can be applied to sails to help improve visibility. Using a light that shines brightly the whole time seems to quickly annoy most crews. 

Hiking out in a distance race is necessary. Many crew have spent hours catnapping on the rail of sailboats. On a 35' sailboat an extra 100 lbs. on the rail is worth about eight seconds per mile. Imagine the effect on your Martin 242---this may equate to 15 seconds per mile faster. This is a relative number, but you should get the idea. Good luck and have fun.

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