Sailing, like everything, takes time to learn. Once you learn how you will wonder why you waited so long to learn.
First and foremost make sure you choose calm and less crowded waters. Choose a small boat as it’s more responsive and ideal to practice capsizes.
Basics of Safety
Safety is extremely important in sailing. Always carry a flotation device so that, if you fall off the boat, you can stay afloat in the water. It can be either a life jacket or a tube.
Know the Weather Conditions
Research the tide and wind conditions before you sail. A calm tide and a gentle wind are best for sailing.
Most importantly know the direction of the wind before you start. You can use a device called a wind vane, usually a cock-like structure. You place the weather vane on top of the mast and ribbons.
Familiarize the Sail Control
The sail of the boat has to be adjusted according to wind and water conditions. A good sailor sails his boat when the wind is light or strong.
Sailors call it capsizing when a boat turns upside down. Practice capsizing on purpose before you sail so that you know how to tackle the situation if it happens. Practicing in a controlled, safe environment trains you to act wisely and instantly when it’s the real thing.
Learn the Basic Terms
Acquaint yourself with sailing terms. Here are a few to know:
- Aft – Sailboat’s back
- Bow – Sailboat’s front
- Port – Sailboat’s left side
- Starboard – Sailboat’s right side
- Leeward – Direction opposite to the wind
- Windward – Direction towards the wind
- Rudder – Metal used to steer the boat
Attend Sailing Courses
Join a good sailing course. It helps to get instruction from professional sailors who can share their knowledge and skillls. You can also learn from your friends by going sailing with them and observing.