- Know what the Tide, Wind, and Weather are doing – They are constantly changing and are all strong factors that play into sailing. People tend to forget about what the tide is doing. Remember, if you are sailing against the tide, it will take much longer to get to your final destination versus going with the tide. Be mindful of all three and you will be able to maximize your time out on the water!
- Always be Aware of your Surroundings – Especially if you are sailing in a highly populated area. You always want to be aware of other boats around you, as well as shoals. Always be aware of the depth of water you are sailing in and remember that your keel is much lower than the water line. It is also helpful to remember landmarks, which can help you to find your final destination.
- Know “The Rules of the Water” and General Sailing Etiquette – This is very important to avoid errors, or collisions on the water. Know that a Starboard tack has the right away over a Port tack. This means that if you have the wind coming over the right side of the boat, putting your sails on the left side, then you have the right away.
- Be Mindful of the Sailing Equipment and always Keep an Eye on the Boom – If you have seen any of the Bob Hope flicks from the past, you will remember that almost always on a sailboat, someone gets booted by the boom and goes overboard. It is called the boom for a reason, because it does in fact go “BOOM” on whatever it hits (including your noggin). Keep yourself and those on-board safe by keeping an eye on the boom and the lines on board. Do not sit or stand on any of the lines and always remember to keep the sheets clean to avoid tangling.
- Familiarize Yourself with Basic Sailing Terms – A fun way to remember the difference between Port and Starboard is that Port has four letters in it and so does Left. Starboard has more than four letters in it and so does right. So Port refers to the Left side of the vessel, and Starboard refers to the right side. A few other helpful terms are bow, and aft/stern. The bow refers to the front and the aft or stern refers to the back of the boat. Do a quick Google search and you will be talking like a pirate before you know it, matey!
These tips are a great place to start for Beginner Sailors. Discover Sailing and remember to keep yourself and those around you safe. Happy Sailing!
We’ll Sail You Soon!