Talk:Tack (sailing)

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Red=Stop Green=Proceed[edit]

How old might this convention be?

The is a Navigation Act of about 1850.

Railway signals started using these colours around 1930.

Tabletop 06:29, 24 May 2005 (UTC)


The section on tacking as a maneuver is inaccurate to my knowledge, though only subtly. Tacking refers to the process of beating a course up wind, back and forth, while "coming about" refers to the actual method of turning (to be distinct from jibing, the other possible method). Modern sailboats (marconi rig) will sometimes tack heading downwind without coming about as well, due to their much greater speed on a beam reach. Unfortunately, my "source" on this is limited to the way it's been described by the sailors (yachters) that I've spoken to. Is there a source for the current version that I can investigate? siafu 30 June 2005 04:11 (UTC)

Yes and no, depending on the exact form of speech. "To tack" is a synonym for "to come about". "Tacked" is similar; it is used about equally for "came about" (as in "I tacked out of his path") and "beating to windward" ("I tacked up to the mark"). "Tacking" may mean "coming about", but you are correct that for this particular form it is more common for it to mean "beating to windward". The meaning is usually obvious from the context. Noel (talk) 18:15, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Can we add a comment about the racing tactic of "tacking on a header"? David (talk) RDS 16:40, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Beating without coming about?[edit]

As of 4/18/2007, the article says "Tacking or beating to windward may also refer to the process of beating a course upwind, back and forth, without actually coming about." I don't get this. How do you go back and forth upwind without coming about? Pirate Dan 15:17, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

You are certainly right that beating to windward is not the same as tacking. I think that Noel's answer makes sense in the context of responding to the original question, in the sense of "for this particular form it is more common for it to mean *changing tack* while 'beating to windward'". Siafu correctly points out that although when used alone, the term "tacking" is synonymous with "coming about", one can (and racing sailboats often do) also "tack downwind"; i.e., they change tack by jibing rather than coming about. I agree with you that the current article is somewhat confusing, and have undertaken to edit it slightlyJunckerg 04:51, 6 July 2007 (UTC).
To "tack downwind" is via head to wind due to the prevailing conditions (ie very strong winds) or the inexperience of the crew, or both. A boat can either "tack downwind" or "gybe downwind". Do race boats "tack downwind to the leeward mark"? Using 21st century usage of the words, "beating up to windward" is the same as "tacking up to windward". In a written article or using the spoken word, a boat is "beating to the windward mark" during which zero or one or multiple tacks may take place. We could also say the boat is "tacking up to the windward mark". Today "beating" and "tacking" are synonymous. The article needs proper definitions as indicated above and reference to 'popular usage' ie "tacking" is interchangeable with "beating". But I am not so convinced that "tacking downwind" means "gybing downwind". Boatman 10:02, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

"Procedure" section should be removed/edited[edit]

Wikipedia:NOT#HOWTO says that Wikipedia is "not an instruction manual, guidebook, or textbook".

Much of this section is just a "how to". Some is relevant info, but I don't know enough about sailing to pick and choose. Would someone clean this up a little if they have the chance? Thanks -M.Nelson (talk) 06:02, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

27 may 2012 If anyone ever is in the mood for cleaning up I suggest that the expression "To The Max" be purged from this article (and all others). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:31, 27 May 2012 (UTC)