Photo Source:

Physics of Sailing
Christopher Eckerson
UAF Physics 212
Spring 2014

Having experienced the thrill of sailing on a small vessel, one marvels at the beauty of harnessing the power of the wind.  Sailing has been with humanity as far back as 4000BC when the Egyptians began using square sails to sail up the Nile River; where by 1200AD sailing vessels in the Mediterranean Sea had developed into the familiar design we see today that use two sails (Curley 1-7).   This website will explain the basic physics that lie behind sailboats.

What Keeps A Sailboat Afloat?

How Is Motion Generated?

Final Thoughts: Solar Sailing!