Sail aerodynamics: on-water pressure measurements on a downwind sail

Ignazio Maria Viola, Richard G. J. Flay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pressures on three horizontal sections of a downwind sail were measured for several wind directions and sail trims. The pressure distributions were compared with wind tunnel tests; similarities and differences were found, the latter as a result of the dynamic effects, which were not modeled in the wind tunnel. A pressure distribution a: the head of the spinnaker resembling that from a delta wing was measured at an apparent wind angle of 120 degrees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ship Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • sail aerodynamics
  • downwind sail
  • asymmetric spinnaker
  • pressure measurements
  • full-scale tests
  • model-scale tests
  • wind tunnel tests

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