A point of sail where the sailboat is pointing as closely as possible into the wind. Also called beating. Most sailboats are able to point at 35 to 45 degrees. This is possible because the force is achieved not by direct pressure of the wind but rather from the lift effect of the sail.

When you watch sailboats, you can spot the ones that are close hauled in two ways:

  • The sails are trimmed in as close as possible to the center of the boat.
  • The boat will be heeling, that is, leaning strongly to one side.

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