Learning to navigate a sailboat is one adventure that is fast becoming popular among all ages of adventurers. Learning the correct sailing techniques and skills are essential.
Kids still in primary/elementary school all the way up to retirees are learning the sailing techniques and skills requires, adding a great asset to their own skills register.
Sailing requires numerous skills to learn which includes team work, learning to gain yours and the vessels balance, hoisting and trimming, learning all about the winds as well as the general rules of boating.
The majority of sailing techniques and skills to learn are very hands on and can take time to learn, but like any skill in any endeavor these skills can be learnt and then mastered.
Mastering these skills is a rewarding experience and helps to build confidence, knowledge and will also help grow your sense of adventure. After all the world’s first adventurers and explorers were sailors.
In a nutshell sailing basically uses the energy of both the wind and the currents which allows the sailboats sheets to catch the wind to propel the boat.
Knowing how the sheets work is an important skill here. For example if you were sailing upwind you would use a zig-zag motion called tacking to use the wind to your advantage as much as possible. Generally this works better and is much easier on a crewed sailboat and working as a team.
Finding the sailboats right balance known as keeping it trim is yet another skill to master when learning these techniques and skills. Basically this is keeping the vessel upright with an even keel which in turn reduces any drag caused by the winds.
Trimming the sheets is the skill of mastering the actual sail-sheets. Trimming the sheets in and out with the purpose of capturing the wind to propel the boat is what this skill is all about.
If your sheet is flapping out of control you would need to tighten the trim to create smooth conditions.
Yet another skill to learn on the actual sails of the boat, is knowing when you should reduce or increase the sail. If you wanted to slow down for example you would reduce the sail so that you are not picking up as much wind.
The above are the general skills required to sail however learning to sail the many different sail boat types requires various skills.
For example sailing a tall ship with a crew of say over 20 will be a completely different set of skills to a two-manned sail sail-boat.
Some of these different sail boat types include sharpie, skiff, sailing dinghy, clipper ships and catamarans. Each have their own unique set of skills although all follow the above general rules and methods of sailing.
If you’re learning the sailing techniques and skills make sure you choose the best option for you. If you want to get together with a large group of people then learning on a tall ship may be better for you.
If you are learning to sail for the reason of buying your own sail boat then learning on one of the smaller sail boat options may be best for you.