How To Rig A Small Sailboat

You should know how to rig a small sailboat if you want to be adept in handling your own sailboat. Whether you own a sailboat or simply want to rent one for an afternoon of oceanside relaxation, rigging a sailboat is fairly simple and can be done in an hour or two.

To rig a small sailboat, you will need

  • A sailboat
  • A skipper
  1. Most sailboats have their sails protected in covers when the boats aren't in use, and sometimes the mainsail also acts as a cover for the rest of the boat. In either case, start by separating the mainsail from the boat or cover, and spread it across the hull of the ship, smoothing it out as you do so. Ensure that no part of the sail touches the water, as salt water can damage a sail in the long run.
  2. Now you will need to attach the mainsail to the boom. The boom is a heavy pole that is used to hold the mainsail parallel to the deck of the boat. The mechanism for attaching the mainsail to the boom differs boat by boat, but generally you need to feed the foot (the bottom edge of the sail) into a groove in the boom. Your skipper can show you the method if your boat requires a different method.
  3. Continue by pushing the top of the mainsail into the groove in the mast. Now attach the halyard (the lines used to pull the sail up to the mast and hold it in place) to the head of the sail. 
  4. Before setting sail, check the lines to ensure they are all tangle-free, and ask your skipper to check if the mainsail is installed correctly. If so, then set sail, and have fun!
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