Boatspeed IQ Test
Evaluate your speed ‘smarts’!
by David Dellenbaugh

General Sail Trim

1. When you want to point higher, a tighetr leech is usually better than an open leech
2. A deep sail creates more drag than a flat one.

3. Which of the following may require that you trim your sails differently from tack to tack?
a) the presence of cross-current
b) an improperly tuned rig
c) the existence of wind sheer
d) waves not aligned with wind

4. In which wind/sea condition would you want the least amount of twist in your sails?
a) moderate air and flat water
b) heavy air and slight chop
c) light air and lump

5. Which of the following does not indicate the possible presence of wind sheer aloft?
A difference from tack to tack in
a) apparent wind angle
b) boatspeed
c) sail trim or sail behavior
d) true wind direction.

6. Which of these is the least effective in depowering your main?
a) ease the sheet to increase twist
b) increase vang tension
c) add more backstay tension
d) pull harder on the cunningham

7. Which of the following is a good time for trimming your sails on the tight side when sailing upwind?
a) inexperienced helmsperson
b) the wind is shifty
c) the seas are lumpy
d) you are almost overpowered

8. In choppy conditions you should generally sail with more twist in your sails
9. The reason why sails need twist on both tacks is because of wind sheer aloft.
10. Trimming a sail tighter is one way to increase the amount of its lift, or power

Boat Trim and Steering

11. When you’re having trouble finding the “groove”, which of the following are good ideas?
a) ease the jib sheet slightly
b) tighten the backstay
c) bear off a couple of degrees
d) trim your mainsheet a little

12. When you are about to hit a couple of bad waves, which of the following is not a good idea?
a) bear off a couple of degrees
b) add some twist to your sails
c) move your weight forward a bit
d) ease your sheets slightly

13. You are permitted to move your body to help steer the boat through waves.

14. How many degrees of windward helm do you usually want when you're sailing upwind?
a) 0°
b) 4°
c) 8°
d) 12°

15. When sailing upwind, which of these should be the lowest priority for the helmsperson?
a) looking at the jib telltales
b) watching speed of other boats
c) watching the boatspeed display
d) looking at waves ahead

16. More leeward heel increases windward helm

17. Which of the following will not reduce windward helm?
a) flatten your mainsail shape
b) move the centerboard forward
c) reduce the angle of heel
d) slide crew weight forward

18. You don’t want the front of your jib to be rounder when;
a) the helm can’t find the groove
b) you need to accelerate
c) you’re having trouble pointing
d) you are about to hit waves

19. When you get a “velocity header” you should usually:
a) bear off immediately to fill jib
b) sail straight until your speed
drops a little -then bear off
c) head up slightly and trim sails
d) none of the above

Photo by J.H.Peterson

Rig Tuning

20. Which of the following things might you do to increase the amount of pre-bend in your mast?
a) move the mast butt forward
b) move mast forward at the deck
c) angle your spreaders aft
d) tighten the lower shrouds

21. If possible, you should always tune your rig so the mast is perfectly straight from side to side on both
22. One good method for gauging how much rake you have is to measure the length of your forestay.
23. If you cannot trim your sails identically on each tack, your rig is not tuned correctly.
24. The primary way to get more rake is by pulling harder on your backstay or runners.

25. If you have large overbend wrinkles extending from the mainsail clew toward the mast, you might consider:
a) easing the runner or backstay
b) tightening the boom vang
c) loosening the cunningham
d) moving mast aft at the deck

Spinnaker Trim

26. Trim the spinnaker sheet hard enough to keep the sail from curling along the luff.
27. If you are reaching and you want less power in the spinnaker, lower the outboard end of the pole.
28. Which of the following is not a good guideline for setting the height of your spinnaker pole?
a) both clews are level
b) the luff of the chute rises vertically from the pole’s outer end
c) luff curls evenly top to bottom
d) the center seam of the sail angles to leeward

29. You should not let your mast go farther forward than vertical when racing downwind.
30. Acenterline sprit pole should be fully extended whenever the spinnaker is set.
31. When running in breeze, the tack line of an asymmetrical chute should rise vertically from the outer end of the sprit pole
32. The tack of an asymmetrical chute should be pulled down to the end of the sprit.
33. It is permissible to fly your spinnaker without a pole for the entire run
34. You are allowed to pump the spinnaker sheet to promote surfing or planing.

35. On a heavy-air run, which of the following are not ways to gain more control?
a) ease your vang tension a little
b) sail a slightly higher angle
c) over-trim your chute slightly
d) lower your centerboard a bit
e) move crew weight forward

Jib and Genoa Trim

36. A tighter backstay makes your headsail flatter.
37. If the leeward luff telltales are stalled, you should either ease the jib sheet or try bearing off a little.
38. In a typical headsail, how far aft should the position of maximum draft normally be?
39. When you want to point higher, one of the first things you should try is trimming your jib sheet tighter.

40. You should set the fore-and aft position of your headsail lead so that:
a) the front of your sail luffs evenly from top to bottom;
b) your luff telltales break evenly from top to bottom;
c) The sail’s foot and leech reach maximum trim at the same time.

41. On most boats, you should tension the luff of your jib or genoa until you eliminate all the wrinkles.
42. You can usually point higher by pulling harder on the jib luff btension.
43. If you add more pre-bend, you will usually be able to sail with a fuller headsail.
44. The primary way for a jib trimmer to “change gears” is by moving the lead position.

Mainsail Trim

45. When you ease the backstay, this moves the draft in the main farther forward.
46. You should almost never position your traveler car above (to windward of) the centerline of the boat.
47. When you loosen your cunningham control line:
a) the mainsail draft moves aft
b) the mainsail gets flatter overall
c) both of the above
d) neither of the above

46. The primary reason for tensioning the cunningham is to get rid of wrinkles in the lower part of the mainsail.

47. When you loosen your cunningham control line:
a) the mainsail draft moves aft
b) the mainsail gets flatter overall
c) both of the above
d) neither of the above

48.. 48The primary reason for tensioning the cunningham is to get rid of wrinkles in the lower part of the mainsail.

49. The telltale on your top batten should normally be stalling about half the time in:
a) light air and chop
b) flat water and medium breeze
c) survival conditions

50.. In most conditions, a good rule of thumb is to trim your main so the top batten is parallel to the boom, both upwind and when you’re running.
51.. When you ease the outhaul, it closes the lower leech an increases windward helm.
52.. You should always keep the mainsail at maximum hoist with the top of the headboard at the black band.
53.. Telltales on the main don’t help much on a run, so ease the sheet until the main just starts to luff near the mast.

54. You normally need to use a lot of cunningham for:
a) a new mainsail
b) an older mainsail
c) light-air conditions
d) heavy-air conditions

55. In a mainsail, how far aft (distance from luff to leech) should the position of maximum draft normally be?
a) 35-40%
b) 45-50%
c) 55-60%

56. Which of the following will not help reduce excessive backwind in the main?
a) move the jib lead outboard
b) tighten the backstay
c) ease jib luff tension
d) trim the mainsheet harder

Boat Performance

57. On a beat, you should try to go for speed first and then work on pointing.
58. You should never heel to windward upwind.
59. 59An upwind “target” is the boatspeed that will give you maximumVMG to windward in the existing
wind velocity.

60. In light air you often move crew forward on a run to:
a) reduce wetted surface
b) increase windward helm
c) let the chute fly farther away
d) make the boat more stable

61. The most accurate way to gauge how well you are performing upwind is to:
a) watch your knotmeter
b) monitor your VMG readout
c) compare speed to nearby boats
d) use your sense of feel

1. True 2. True 3. B, C, D 4. A 5. D 6. B 7. D 8. True 9. False 10. True 11. A, C 12. C 13. True 14. B 15. B 16. True 17. B, D 18. C 19. B 20. B,C 21. False 22. True 23. False 24. False 25. A, D 26. False 27. True 28. D 29. False 30. True 31. False 32. False 33. True 34. True 35. A, E 36. True 37. False 38. B 39. False 40. A, B, C 41. False 42. False 43. True 44. False 45. True 46. False 47. A 48. False 49. B 50. True 51. True 52. False 53. True 54. B,D 55.B 56. C 57. True 58 .False 59. True 60. A,C 61. C



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