Curriculum, Other


Sailing gives examples of physics: Newton's laws, vector subtraction, Archimedes' principle and others. This support page from Physclips asksHow can a boat sail upwind?How can boats sail faster than the wind?Why are eighteen foot skiffs always sailing upwind?We introduce the physics of sailing to answer these and some other questions. But first:A puzzle.


  • Science > General
  • Science > Physics

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12
  • Higher Education
  • Graduate
  • Undergraduate-Upper Division
  • Undergraduate-Lower Division


physics lift sail wind boat speed



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial


Physics of Sailing
This resource has not yet been aligned.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 2, as of 2014-08-07.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 1
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

This lesson is best classified as a creative writing assignment, as the science instruction is rather weak. While there is a nod to the science of imprinting, the content is partially incorrect (imprinting is not only to “prevent animals from wandering off” from their parents).  Science aside, there is a nicely described play-writing process, with an opportunity for students to create their own stick puppets, write scripts, and peer-evaluated each other’s performances.   However, the entire project may be best suited for students a bit younger than the intended audience of 5th grade.

Not Rated Yet.

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467