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Sailing Upwind - Hairdryer And Sailboat


To illustrate how a sailboat can sail upwind.


Toy car with sail and hair dryer, as photographed.




A sailboat is modeled by a toy car; the car wheels allow motion only in the forward/backward direction, thus performing the function of the keel. When the sail is set at the proper angle on the boat, and the wind blows at the proper angle onto the sail, the boat will move with some velocity component in the direction from which the wind is coming.


Halsey C. Herreshoff and J. N. Newman, The Study of Sailing Yachts, Scientific American, Volume 215, #2, August 1966, pp. 60-68 Paul G. Hewitt, Sailboat Demonstration, TPT 6, 79-80 (1968). A. D. Franklin and R. Stoller, Equipment Note: Use of the Air Trough to Illustrate Sailboat Motion, AJP 40, 626 (1972). Janet Bellcourt Pomeranz, Boating, anyone?, TPT 15, 416-420 (1977). R. E. Benenson, Andrew Hmiel, and Kathleen Kowsky, Air Track to Demonstrate Sailing Into the Wind, TPT 16, 505-506 (1978). P. J. Jackson, Letter: Sailing into the Wind, TPT 17, 80 (1979). Sabinus H. Christensen, Letter