centre of effort

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A point of the sail plan of a sailing vessel through which the resultant of all wind forces is assumed to act. In a sail plan of a vessel each sail is assumed to have its centre of effort at its geometric centre, and on a drawing of a vessel's sail plan the resultant of these forces is assumed to be the centre of effort of the whole sail plan. In practice, however, the sails are never completely flat as shown on the plan, and the actual centre of effort moves at every fresh trimming of the sheets.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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