Assessing the wind-heel angle relationship of traditionally-rigged sailing vessels

William C. Lasher, Diana R. Tinlin, Bruce Johnson, John Womack, Jan C. Miles, Walter Rybka, Wes Heerssen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A program to assess the wind-heel relationship of traditionally-rigged sailing vessels has been undertaken with the eventual goal of being able to provide sailing guidance to the masters and crews. This program uses Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with full-scale experimental measurement to develop and validate a wind-heel model, as well as understand the nature of how these vessels respond to different wind situations. The CFD simulations are used to assess errors in measured wind angle and direction, and the experimental data are used to establish the CFD model uncertainty. The model has been validated against a limited set of data from Pride of Baltimore II. In some cases the agreement between the model and experimental values is excellent; in other cases there is significant error. The CFD-based model is computationally expensive, so a different approach for determining the sail forces is proposed. The experimental measurements indicate that the ship is almost never in static equilibrium, which raises questions about the validity of models based on equilibrium principles. These questions have not yet been answered and are the topic of ongoing future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2009
Event19th Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, CSYS - Annapolis, MD, United States
Duration: Mar 20 2009Mar 21 2009


Other19th Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, CSYS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnnapolis, MD

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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