Headers and Lifts

Thread starter #1
I have a sailing test tommrow and I'm a little confused with headers and lifts. Could somebody explain what they are and how to react to them?

Thank you in advance.

it's funny, because different people will describe them differently.

If you are on starboard tack (wind coming over your 'right side'), and the breeze shifts to the right, it 'lifts' you higher.

If you are on port tack (wind over the 'left side') and the breeze shifts counter-clockwise to the left, this is also a left.

it's relative to your current point of sail!

so if you are on starboard again, but the breeze shifts to the left, then you are headed, you can't sail as high, you have to put the bow of the boat down to not stall out.

if you are on port, and the breeze shifts to the right, then you are headed again!

if you are headed (remember, it's relative to your current tack) you can tack the boat through the wind (from port to starboard tack) and then you will be lifted!

a left shift in the breeze will be a LIFT if you are on port, and that same shift will be a HEADER if you are on starboard.

hope that makes some sense, I'm sure there are others who have explained it better than I, but that's what I think of when I try to explain it.
I believe that headers & lifts in gusts are in the opposite way on the southern half, I mean in australia and areas around there, because "high pressure areas" (dunno if this is the right word for it but i hope you know what i mean) move anti-clockwise.
No Dutchlaser - headers and lifts work just the same down here in Australia. It has nothing to do with the direction of rotation of the highs and lows.


Active Member
"Lifts" are English elevators

"Headers" are what one prays for when approaching a layline

HTMLISHARD wrote "I have a sailing test tommrow ...."

We call that a regatta.