Basics of Sailing

A basic knowledge of sailing principles, sailing terminology and safe procedures. The purpose is to suit you to be smart to sail aboard without a tutor. Sailing is a life experience and a pleasant one at that.


To understand the interaction between a sailboat and the wind is to know the difference between true wind and apparent wind.

• True wind is the wind speed and direction of a stationary position like a flag flying in the breeze.

• Apparent wind is the original twist modified by the movement of the pontoon. An illustration is a motorcycle when you get on the motorcycle the right wind is zero, but once you start going, it is not, and that is apparent wind.


• One of the most important things to know before sailing on the water is your Points of Sail.

• It is important to know that no sailboat can sail directly into the wind. The wind will push you backward, and you will end up in the no-go zone. The no-go zone is a Point of Sail. It is also called In Irons.

• A Sail Boat has a port tack and a starboard tack. When the wind is coming from the starboard side of the sailboat (the boom is on the port side), the vessel is said to be on a starboard tack. While the wind is coming from the harbor portion of the ship (the boom is on the starboard side), the sailboat is said to be on a port tack. The starboard side of a ship is the right side, and the port side is the left side. Port is easy to remember because it has four letters and so does leave.

• The highest Point of Sail, where the sailboat is the highest point of the wind before the no-go zone is called close haul, it were where you had your sails full but trimmed as close as possible.

• This is also the fastest Point of Sail and the most fun. The next Point of Sail is a close reach.

• Then when the wind is coming over the beam or the middle of the boat, this point of sailing is called a beam reach.

• When the wind is coming in directly over the stern (from directly behind the ship) this is known as a run. The slowest Point of Sail and least efficient is a run, and it is also the most dangerous Point of Sail because you can do an accidental jibe, and the boom could hit someone aboard the boat.

Need to Know.

• Sailboats nomenclature

• Tack and jibe movements

• Ropes and line knots

• Passage right of ways.

These are all things that someone needs to know to put together a sail boat, sail the sailboat, and come back to shore safely.

Utilizing an alternate sort of sails is fundamental to accomplish the best results and empowers the cruising fledgling and old salts alike to have the capacity to voyage in whatever heading they pick. Cruising boats of yesteryear did not have this extravagance as they were hostage to the overall winds, as they were unequipped for attaching or voyaging upwind. However with current pontoons the sky is the farthest point particularly with the increasing expense of petroleum these days, it just bodes well to find that the future of boating can be found by looking to the past.

Happy Sailing!

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