Physics of Sailing
UAF Physics 212
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.
Keeps A Sailboat Afloat?
Is Motion Generated?
Thoughts: Solar Sailing!