Things You Need to Know Before Starting Sailing

Things You Need to Know Before Starting Sailing

Before we get started with this article, we first want you to keep in mind that everyone has a different sailing experience. The purpose of this article is to tell you some useful things that you should be aware of before you start sailing. Majority of the sailors will tell you that the things featured in this article are some things they wish they would have known before they started sailing. Check out our essential pre-sailing tips today...


The Terms

Most sailors start out having no clue what some of the basic boat terms are. This is something that you are going to wish you knew before you try to master the craft of sailing. Below we have provided you with the basic terms that beginners should know:

  • Aft – in the back of the boat
  • Abaft – in front close to the stern
  • Stern – the after end of a vessel
  • Bow – the front of a vessel
  • Port – left of the boat when facing the bow
  • Starboard – the right of the boat when facing the bow
  • Leeward – opposite direction of the wind
  • Windward – direction of the wind
  • Spars: what holds the largest sail
  • Boom – the horizontal pole at the bottom of the largest sail
  • Rudder – use to steer the boat
  • Tackling – when the bow needs to be chanced due to the wind shifting
  • Jibing – the opposite of tackling
  • Sheets – rope
  • Abeam – 90 degrees
  • Furl – fold the sail


Nothing would be more embarrassing than going out on the boat with someone and having no clue what they are talking about.



How a Sailboat Works

Sailors love sailing because the rush you get is majestic. However, when newbie sailors come around they often have no clue how a sailboat works in general. Below is the process that explains how a sailboat works:

  • When the wind blows over the sail, high pressure is created on one side and a lower pressure on the opposite site.
  • The two pressures combined provide a forward force
  • As the wind continues it forms a drag
  • Sailboats are equipped with keels that go under the boat so the boat goes forward

This means when you get on the sailboat the wind is not just going to blow you in the direction it wants you to go. Instead, you have control over the sailboat.



You Need to Take a Sailboat Course from a Certified Instructor

Just because your friend or relative knows how to sail you should not go out with them on the boat with the hopes that they will teach you how to sail correctly. Certified instructors are the only ones who can insure that you know the ends and outs of sailing and would be able to maintain during any type of weather.



Before Going Out You Need to Research the Tide, Wind and Weather Conditions

Unbelievably some people think that they can go sailing just because the current weather conditions are great. Even if it is sunny outside, you still need to see what the upcoming hour’s project because a storm could arise out of nowhere. Making sure that you know what the wind and tide forecast is very important too. Whenever you go out sailing, it is important to make sure that you are putting your safety first but if you join an adventure tour you will get all these taken care of.



Before Purchasing a Boat You Need to Experience Sailing with Someone Else

People tend to think that when they purchase a boat they are going to enjoy the sailing experience. However, if you have never gone sailing before you may find out after you purchase your boat that it is not an experience for you. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you go out sailing with a friend or family member who already has a sailboat before you waste your hard-earned money on something that you are not going to put to use. View our sailing holidays around the world.



Upkeep of a Sailboat is Required

When new sailors get their boats, they think that they are free to sail as much as they want. This is true however; you have to upkeep and maintenance your sailboat just as you would your car. Your boat will require servicing at least annually for the main checks and some of the minor things will require you to get your sailboat service every three to six months. Overall, you have to make sure that you take care of your sailboat of you will find yourself cutting your sailing experience shorter than you expected. 



Sailing is Not Hard

The first time you go sailing you may think that the trip is not going to go as you hope. Many sailors, when first starting out, are afraid that when they go out alone for the first time sailing is going to be hard because they have to keep in mind all of the things that they learned in school. However, the truth of the matter is you can be an intermediate sailor by just spending eight hours a day for three days practicing. The three main things that you need to know are listed below:

  • Which direction the wind is blowing – This can be determined by looking at the clouds and observing the direction that your flag is blowing. Determining the wind direction will be easy as pie and will be a second nature to you as you go out to sea more.
  • How to Steer Properly – With the help of an instructor you will be steering as if you have been doing so for years in no time. It is very simple to learn the proper techniques and it is nothing that you should be afraid of.
  • How to properly trim the sail – This is something else that you will learn from an instructor.


Now that you have made it through this article, you know the basic things that you should know before you start sailing. You are one-step ahead of most and we wish you the best of luck with your sailing endeavors. Are you an experienced sailor? If you have something to add that, you think we missed feel free to share it with us. You might also like to view our worldwide sailing holidays.