In the last article of sailing newcomer, I went over some sailing conditions associated with rigging and raising the mainsail. In this sailing beginner article we are going to discuss how to sail from day one, this being the first day. Hopefully, the end is just at 5 or 6 knots, which makes it effortless to keep control of the sailboat, particularly when this is your first time at the helm.
Sailing Tip:Also to keep things manageable, I would suggest using only the mainsail for now, it’s best to wait until you’ve gained a certain amount of expertise by using the sails individually initially.
You’ll have plenty of opportunity to use both in a later time. Incidentally, a tiller is the steering control mechanism on smaller sailing boats. However be aware, the tiller steers in the opposite direction you’ll want to go. For instance, if you push the tiller towards the starboard [right side], the ship will steer to the left or the port side. If you turn the tiller to the port or [left] side of the ship, it is going to steer to the right or the starboard side. So unlike a car, the tiller works just the opposite! On the other hand, a ship wheel works precisely the same as the steering wheel on a vehicle. So depending on how your sailboat comes with a tiller or a ships wheel will determine how you will steer with this.
Sailing Tip:I would suggest learning how to sail with the wind for a little while before tacking or sailing upwind.
Just bear in mind that sailing downwind is much faster and easier than tacking! It is a good reminder to know about the time and allow a lot of time to return to your original destination. The boom block is a sailing term that is a set of pulleys that are connected to the end of the boom and allows you to position the boom in a variety of angles up to 90 degrees perpendicular to the mast.
Running or accomplishing is the sailing term for traveling downwind and depending upon the angle of the mainsail in relation to the wind, determines if you’re running or reaching. If running, the position of the mainsail is roughly 90 degrees to the center line of the hull.
Based on your natural abilities, you may be happy reaching at first. By experimenting with angling the boom, you will gain the necessary skills for conducting or reaching. But there a wide selection of boom angles between a beam reach and running downwind. Incidentally, reaching for modern sailboats is faster than running.
Next you will have to turn or come about. There are basically two ways to achieve this, by tacking or turning upwind is one way, or you can jibe or turn downwind that is faster than a tack turn. The reason being is that in a jibe turn you have the wind behind you pushing the sailboat through the turn, as opposed to a turning into the wind in a tack turn. I advise you to practice both ends the tack and jibe till you feel comfortable, as you will need this ability to tack or sail upwind.
Hopefully, this article on the best way to sail is going to be a fundamental building block in your lifelong endeavor of sailing. In my next sailing beginner article, I will be discussing tacking, until then Happy Sailing!