A watersail is a sail hung below the boom. It is used mostly on gaff rig boats for extra downwind performance when racing. Often a watersail will be improvised from an unused foresail. Its psychological effects may be more effective than its aerodynamic ones.

Because they are so low down, they do not pull as hard as you might hope, but in races they have a shattering psychological effect on the opposition. To see a long boomed gaffer overtaking from dead upwind with spinnaker on one side, and main, topsail and watersail on the other, is devastating. She seems to fill the sky, while the air for 50yds ahead of her is so still that the victim's pipe-smoke goes straight up as his yacht is inexorably overhauled.

—Cunliffe, Tom, (1992). Hand, Reef and Steer, Adlard Coles Nautical, London

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.