Downwind Sailing Quiz

Think you’re a master sailor? Try to answer these questions about downwind, light-air sailing. Answers to the questions are below.

1. Which boat is on the point of sail called a broad reach?

2. What boat is on the point of sail called running, or sailing with the wind dead behind you?

3.  Which boat is sailing with only one sail working at its best?

4. Is the jib on boat B “luffing?

5. Is the jib on boat B “sagging” because it has no wind?

6. What sail is blocking the wind from getting to B’s jib?

7. What should boat B do?

8. Which boat is sailing on a point of sail that requires super-careful steering?  Why?

9. If boat A wants to avoid sailing dead-downwind, what point of sail should she turn to?

10. Is a broad reach awesome because it is fast and fun, and also because there’s little risk of an accidental jibe?  Yes!



1. C

2. A

3. B

4. No

5. Yes

6. The Mainsail

7. Head down to Dead Down Wind (DDW) and sail with the jib winged out to weather, or head up to a broad reach and get that jib some air.

8. A. There’s a risk of an accidental jibe if there’s a small wind shift or the helmsman steers inattentively and sails with the wind coming from the port aft corner. Also, in light air, sailing DDW is pretty darn slow . .

9. A broad reach, like boat C.

10. Yes!

To sign up for a One-on-One lesson with CWB Sailing Instructor, Oliver Davis, please contact us at 206-382-2628. Or visit our website for more information about One-on-One lessons.

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