Laser Cunningham – How to Trim

Via SportVid

On a Laser, you have only a few trim lines you can adjust during sailing. You can change the shape, and therefore the power, in your sail with the sheet, vang, outhaul, and Cunningham.

Each option will change the draft (shape/ depth) of your sail, and therefore the power your sail will generate. In the video below you will learn how your Cunningham works.

How Does it Work?

When you pull at a corner of the sail, you will actually move a bit of fabric to the part of the sail you’re pulling. So in the case of the Cunningham, you’re pulling fabric to the front of the sail (to the mast). This has a direct influence on the draft and shape of the sail. Because there is more sail fabric at the front of the sail, you will also move the draft of the sail forward! This also means that the middle and back of the sail will flatten. As you can see in the image below.

The Top Part Flattens

As we explain in the video, the Cunningham has the most influence on the top part of the sail. Therefore in strong winds, the Cunningham is one of the most important trim lines to set up your sail correctly. Flattening the top of the sail, means less power, where the wind has the most leverage to push your boat over. This makes it easier to sail the boat, and faster! Check out how to adjust the Cunningham in the video below.

Perfect Sail Setup

As you can see, the Cunningham has a huge effect on the draft of the sail, and flattens the top part of the sail. To have maximum result, the Cunningham, vang, sheet, and outhaul should always be adjusted together. Depending on the conditions, you can arrange the power of the sail and create speed or height with the right setup.

SportVid is founded by Roelof Bouwmeester and Sietse-Jan Sietzema. Both have many years of experience as sailors at the highest level, coaching talented youth sailors and Olympic athletes, such as Roelof’s sister, Marit Bouwmeester, 2016 Olympic gold medalist in Rio!

For more information: