Definition of close reach in English:

close reach


  • A situation in sailing in which the wind blows from slightly in front of the beam.

    ‘we sailed on a close reach directly for Sharp's Island’
    • ‘We were on a close reach and it came charging at 20 knots plus across our bow.’


  • [no object] Sail with the wind from slightly in front of the beam.

    ‘the yachts close-reached for home’
    • ‘On the way to the show we close-reached at speeds in excess of 11 knots.’
    • ‘We had fresh east-northwest winds, so we close-reached along as I spent four hours jury-rigging the broken exhaust pipe with tin cans and chemical muffler bandages.’
    • ‘Her extra length, sail area and mast height would give her a quicker time off the start as we close-reached in cold water with the possibility of more wind aloft.’