Sails, and their makers, seem to be taken for granted. Perhaps, the whole thing is considered of lessor intellectual fare.
Too, though, this little paper by a student at MIT was intriguing: How a sail boat sails into the wind.
So, we will need to look further at all things nautical; but, the land people will have their say, too. Case in point. From a common point that the Oregon Trail has with the Santa Fe (old culture) trail, one can follow the latter toward SF in a car. What we can do now in about three to four hours took the hard-working travelers of that time three weeks (21 or so days of 8 hours of labor, each) to cover.
You see, on the boat, you laze about, if you are not part of the crew. On land? There is minute by minute solving of difficult problems albeit sometimes your work may be abetted by animal power (however, not, as we know from the Mormon cart experiences).
Remarks: Modified: 03/22/2015
03/22/2015 - Gardner's Beacon, Vol. II, No. 2, had the theme of Gardners and the sea.