How To Sail A Boat
Do you want to know how to sail a boat? Sailing is one of mankind's first complex activities. It's been the base of commerce and exploration for dozens of centuries, but sailing is still evolving and improved sailing techniques require permanent seamen training.
What you need to sail a boat:
- A sailboat (Not necessarily big or fancy)
- A body of water (Deep enough to fit the boat)
- Familiarize yourself with the boat. Walk and crawl around the deck and memorize the placement of sharp edges, the mast, boom and other hazardous parts of the boat. Memorize the location and instructions of use of safety devices on board.
- Clip in the sails. If you are in a two-mast boat, start by using just the big mast. Start clipping the main sail and then clip the headsail. Locate and tie the halyards to the tops of both sails.
- Release the lines that bind the boat to the shore and head for open waters. This is better done using a motor, as it allows easier steering and handling of the boat.
- Once on open waters, make the boat head straight to the wind and raise the sails. First raise the main sail and then the headsail.
- Both sails will tend to flap against the wind. Tighten the sheets, again starting with the mainsail. As you make the sails tight, the boat will start to move.
- Steer to keep the point on the horizon where the wind comes from not closer than 30 degrees from the tip of the bow of your boat. If you face the wind too much, the sails will stop pushing the boat.
- As you get practical, try improving in terms of speed and performance by steering softly. Keep in mind that the rudder, when turning, is literally slowing down the boat, so the least you steer the faster you will go.
- To go back to port, slow down the boat by lowering the sails. Again, it's better to use a motor to avoid hazardous maneuvering.
As with any other activity, start slow and small. If you own a boat that seems too big, try starting off with a smaller boat that you can lend from the club or a friend.