Sailing Tips for Beginners

Sailing Tips for BeginnersDid you know that most beginners can go off on their own after just a few days of lessons? Sailing isn’t as hard as it may seem – you can learn the basics fairly quickly.

Essentially there are three main skills you need to get started, which will be introduced below:

Wind direction

The first skill you need is to be able to tell which way the wind is blowing. Some people find this a little difficult at first, while others pick it up quickly. Once you get used to identifying the wind direction, you will find it starts to come more naturally. The boat will always have a way to tell the direction of the wind also – ribbons or yarn tied to the rigging and a wind vane at the mast are very helpful.

Steering accurately

This essentially means being able to steer in a straight line. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to get the hang of! Once you know how to steer accurately, you will be able to properly trim your sails.

Recognize the Trimmed Sails

This is when the sails stop fluttering. To do this, you first need to be sailing in a straight line. Ease the line that controls the sail (the ‘sheet’), until the sail’s leading edge (known as the ‘luff’) flutters slightly in and out. Now, pull the sheet just enough so that the fluttering stops. and there you have it, your sail is trimmed. Keep doing this every time you change direction.

Now that you know the basics of sailing, you can dive in! Once you get used to it and get a taste for the open seas, it will be good ideas to go on an advanced sailing course. Especially if you will be taking people with you, or going for long periods of time, it is a good idea to be prepared.

Happy sailing!