Sailing Fundamentals

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In fact, that was the inspiration behind their invention. Take note of the wind direction.


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It will tell you what your first move should be when you jump aboard. If the Wind is blowing toward the beach, decide ahead of time what tack you have to take to sail toward your target. Then, just slip aboard the boat, sheet in, and have fun. Although launching through the surf can be intimidating, it is not terribly difficult if the proper steps are taken.

Launching through the surf should only be done by experienced skippers, it requires some fast movements and beginning skippers may not be able to anticipate fast enough.

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Turning into the wind, or coming about, is the most common sailing maneuver. When coming about, the object is to pass the bows of the boat through the eye of wind and over to the other side. You would first move the tiller toward the sail to move the bows through the wind coming from noon. Then you would straighten the tiller once the boat is heading on the desired course.

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Notes: Move the tiller firmly, but avoid sudden, jerky moves. Try to carve a smooth arc in the water.

Forcing the tiller all the way over will put on the brakes and put the boat in irons or stall it. Let go of the tiller, or the boat will straighten out before you want it to. When tacking a catamaran with a jib sail, keep the jib sheet cleated until the bows are fully through the eye of the wind. Then release the jib sheet and pull it in on the other side. Turning away from the wind, or gybing sometimes spelled jibing , is changing course while sailing downwind.

Just think of gybing as the opposite of coming about. When coming about bows cross the wind.

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The sterns cross the wind when gybing. When gybing in light air, you will probably have to give the boom some help in swinging across to the other side of the boat. To gybe, just pull the tilter extension toward your body with the same smooth motion as when coming about, grab the mainsheet just below the boom, and, when the sterns cross the wind, warn the crew and swing the boom across. As soon as the sail begins to fill with wind, move to the other side of the boat and off you go. Gybing in heavy air can be more difficult since everything will have to be speeded up correspondingly in heavy air, the boom can snap across with a lot of force.

You should be especially aware of wind shifts in heavy air. If the wind should suddenly change direction as it blows across the stern of the boat, it could grab the sail and swing it far out to the other side very quickly.


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This is an unplanned gybe and could damage the boat if the wind is strong enough, or it could cause injury to unaware crew members. Landing your boat, whether at a dock or on a beach is not difficult if the proper procedures are followed for the various wind conditions you are likely to encounter.

If a choice is available to you, it is always best to land at the dock from the leeward or downwind side with your bows heading into the wind or pointing.

ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing - Learning to Sail

The trick is to be able to head into the dock with just enough speed to be able to turn at the proper moment without stalling yourself before you get there. To land, let the sail out slightly to reduce your speed; come about just before the bows hit the dock; let the sails out and grab on to the dock. If you are approaching the dock on a reach, follow the same basic procedure being sure to point the boat into the wind slightly before you reach your destination and let your sails luff so that you can simply glide into the position you want.

When landing on the windward side of the dock, approach at an angle at a reduced rate of speed. Then head up to point your bows into the wind and allow the sails to luff. The wind will then blow you back into the dock. Although this is the least desirable way to land a boat, it is certainly nothing to be afraid of and practice will cure any problems you may encounter during your first few tries.

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Sailing Fundamentals

Two of the greatest joys of owning a Hobie Cat are the ability to land at your favorite beach without having to dock the boat and being able to take off again without any trouble. There is just no need for a dock so availability is never a problem. Beware of sailing into isolated coves, bays and beaches, however. Including foreword by Dame Ellen No reviews yet, but you should totally write one. It's easy, just put some words and stuff in those boxes over there and everyone will be super happy.

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