Light-Air Crossover Sailing

s/y Charlotte Hanse 388 Crossover Sailing

Less than a week now, until we will embark on our third summer sailing adventure! We still don’t know where we will go, but this post isn’t about that. This post is about a short solo trip I did last week. During that trip, for an hour or so, I got some good data for light-air crossover sailing, so I thought it would be nice to share that data. (And also confirm and re-confirm that our Hanse 388 really is quite a nimble boat!)

The Track and the Weather

First a picture of the sailed track. A bit before the red arrow I out from the lee of the islands and to some more open water. The whole route with all the data can be viewed by clicking on the image or by clicking here.

From Turku (in the north, not visible in the picture) to my favorite anchorage next to Högsåra. The relevant crossover sailing section of the trip is colored yellow.

Next, the wind speed.

The true wind speed ranged between about 5 – 8.5 knots (2.7 – 4.4 m/s), averaging about 6.8 kt (3.5 m/s) — light winds, that is!

The true wind angle ranged between about 85 and 110 degrees, and the apparent wind angle between 43 and 60 degrees. (Note the big difference between the apparent and true wind angles, already revealing that the boat speed component wasn’t insignificant.)

Boat Speed

With the crossover (or code zero as others call it) hoisted, here’s how fast we (I and the boat) went compared to the wind speed.

In the graph above, you can see the true wind speed (in knots, gray area) compared to the boat’s speed through water (green area), and at times they were very close!

During the highlighted area, for example, the average true wind speed was 6.39 knots, and the average boat speed was 6.24 knots. This means that boat speed was about 98% of wind speed! (Maybe too many exclamation marks, sorry 😀)

Overall, with a true wind speed of a bit over six knots, the boat did around six knots. And when the true wind jumped up to eight knots, the boat went all the way to … well, not to eleven, but to seven!

The average for the whole leg was boat speed about 93% of wind speed — which was pretty darn good.

Comparing to the Published Polars

So, how did this stack up against the promises Hanse makes in their marketing material?

My speed on top, the polar comparison speeds beneath. Usually the polar speeds reach up higher from the background, but this time I had them covered!

Better than well, apparently.

We were going 6-8% faster than the speeds Hanse publishes in their speed guide. It was just me aboard, of course, and the speed guide assumes more people (but maybe also less gear), and it uses a spinnaker instead of a code zero.

An encouraging result, anyway!

A polar diagram for the one hour crossover sailing.

Video Evidence

One of the videos I shot during the sail.

Rock on!


  1. Very good data ! I wonder how this compares to my MPS Furlstrom ? Will try that on GPS data, or SOG since I cleaned my transducer last week, it seems that I lost a full knot in boat speed ….

    1. Thanks! And I really don’t know how these differ. The crossover/code zero we have is made by Elvström as well, so they might be really close (if not the same sail). What is the size of your Furlstrom?

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