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Stand by powerboaters.., this is a dissertation on sailing. For both cruisers and racers you might want to consider which is the best tack to get to your destination – be it a marina, port or a windward racing mark. A good rule of thumb is keep the angle to the destination less than 45-degrees (assuming your boat can tack from port to starboard at 90-degrees.) To keep the angle less than 45-degrees you are keeping your bow toward the goal. Otherwise you are sailing away from the mark.
There are other considerations, however. If there is a storm to the right side of your rhumb line course, you are better to head for the stormy area – usually winds from that storm will give you more pressure and probably a better wind shift. If there is a persistent shift to the right, again you would forget the 45-degree-to-the-bow idea and head in the direction of the persistent shift.., or go to the right side of the course.
When the winds are simply oscillating, and if your boat tacks easily, use the 45-degree rule. Racers will get to the weather mark faster to win the race, and cruisers will get to port earlier for that cocktail you had been dreaming of.
This helpful boating pointer is provided by Catamaran Sailors Magazine, http://www.catsailor.com/.These tips are useful to boaters of all types.
ABA assumes no responsibility or liability for events that occur due to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given. You are proceeding at your own risk.