The Retractable Daggerboard

OK now for a sailing tip, you may have noticed already that

it can be difficult to sail downwind in a wind above force 3,

what you need to do is use the daggerboard to your advantage.

The Daggerboard

Firstly, before setting sail, make sure your daggerboard is fairly friction free, sand in the daggerboard casing can make it difficult to move, and it becomes double the effort on the water in a strong wind.

To retract the daggerboard sheet out (use your back hand to decrease the power in the sail) and use your back foot to adjust it. Pushing the daggerboard head towards the front of the board will retract it and pushing it down and back will place it in a vertical position.The daggerboard can be used in three advantageous different positions:

  • number 1 Vertical: This position should be used when sailing upwind on a close haul.
  • number 2 Semi-retracted: Use the daggerboard semi-retracted when sailing across the wind on a reach or directly downwind in winds under force 3.
  • number 3 Retracted: The daggerboard should be completely retracted when the wind is force 3 or above when sailing in all directions except upwind (when the daggerboard should be vertical).

Practise changing the position of the daggerboard in lighter winds without looking at it so that in stronger winds it comes more naturally and your time in the spent in the water is decreased!