How To Guides

We’re here to help. North Sails has a wealth of information that we want to share with you. Whether it is tips on getting around the racecourse, trimming your sails or cruising techniques – we aim to document our knowledge to help improve your sailing. Use our How To section to search for content and read about topics of interest to you.

J70 Women's Keelboat Championships 2016 Rye, NYJ70 Women's Keelboat Championships 2016 Rye, NYJ70 Women's Keelboat Championships 2016 Rye, NY

If the angle of the downwind leg requires an immediate jibe, you’ll need to learn how to do a jibe set. Jibe sets are more difficult than bear away sets,… Read More

steering with weight downwind

It happens almost without words. As the puff hits, Heidi and Jeff move off the cabin top to the rail. Tom trims back on the guy and David eases the… Read More

Photos taken at the 2015 North U/Offshore Sailing Performance Race Week on Captiva Island

Our divide and conquer approach provides a good framework for analyzing jibes. The job of the trim team—driving and trimming through the jibe—changes little from one technique to the other,… Read More

Nothing takes as much teamwork and practice as spinnaker handling. Here we’ll cover the skills and techniques needed to handle and control conventional spinnakers, set from poles. Throughout the discussion… Read More

Organize your crew club racing

If you want to drive the boat, trim the sails, watch the instruments, read the compass, track the fleet, and call tactics—then race singlehanded. If you want to race with… Read More

J70 Women's Keelboat Championships 2016 Rye, NYJ70 Women's Keelboat Championships 2016 Rye, NY

Sport boat asymmetric spinnakers (also known as “kites”) trim differently from conventional spinnakers. And due to their extended, fixed position bow sprit, they differ from a cruising asymmetric flown from the… Read More

reefing system

There are a number of effective reefing arrangements, but all have two common elements. The first is ease of use; the reef should be easy to set and shake. Second,… Read More

safe jibes for cruising boats

When your destination is downwind on the opposite tack, then a jibe is called for. A jibe has three steps: Starting from a broad reach, initiate the jibe with the… Read More

North U performance and trim solutions

[Excerpt Taken from North U Cruising Book] If boatspeed seems poor, you may need to add power. Try deeper sail shapes, and bear off a couple degrees. You can also… Read More

how to sail safely through a storm

Compared to the quick response and sudden nature of a squall, sailing through a storm in open water is an endurance contest. In addition to big wind, you’ll have to… Read More

techniques for heavy weather sailing

We covered the Basics of Heavy Weather Sailing already; now it’s time to look at techniques to help you sail well in strong winds, which will increase your range and… Read More

First of all, heavy weather is not an absolute wind strength. It’s whenever the wind and waves are such that you risk losing control of your boat. This may happen… Read More

how to trim a genoa

There are three sources of genoa power: angle of attack, sail depth, and twist. Our goal is first to get the correct total power and, second, to achieve the correct… Read More

sailing downwind heavy air

The following tips are taken from the North U Cruising and Seminar Course book written by John Rousmaniere, author of the Annapolis Book of Seamanship. These tips are meant to… Read More

steering upwind techniques

There are a number of guidelines to help you steer effectively upwind. There is also information you can learn from the feel of the helm that will help you find… Read More