Just the thoughts of casting off and sailing across crystal clear blue waters, with the wind in your face and the sun on your back are enough to get anyone excited about sailing.
For beginners to this wonderful pastime, the thoughts of taking control of your own vessel can be daunting. However, with the right information, training and practise you can soon be out on the ocean cruising driven by the power of the wind.
Starting out in the world of sailing, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Looking at yachts for sale and browsing the countless accessories and products at your local chandlery is exciting. But before you commit to a vessel or invest in expensive gear, clothing and equipment, you need to get a grasp of the basics. With a better understanding of the sailing basics, you will be able to set yourself up for success when you set sail with your friends and family.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can get started in the alluring world of sailing.
Take Some Lessons
Attempting to go sailing with no previous experience or instruction is a sure-fire way to land yourself in some really deep water. Sailing takes some real skill and you need to learn how to read the wind, waves and weather to ensure you stay safe. Mastering the basic skills, learning how to navigate, and operate the various mechanisms will allow you to take to the water with more confidence so your sailing experience is enjoyable and safe. Sign up for some lessons locally and start your sailing career off on the right path.
Understand The Key Concepts
Sailing relies on harnessing the power of the wind to safely navigate your yacht from one point to the next. While sailing comes with its fair share of technical lingo, jargon and slang, it’s important to read between the lines and gain a true understanding of what is happening. You need to know how the winds work, understand the positioning of the boat and know how to adapt your sails depending on the conditions. Take some time to study the key concept of sailing upwind and downwind to improve your understanding of what is involved in safely manoeuvring your yacht at sea.
Learn And Practice Your Knots
Sailors need to know how to tie knots and while there are literally hundreds of different knots, there is only a handful that you will use regularly on your boat. Watch videos or online or buy an instructional book and start practising some of the major knots such as a half hitch, stopper knot, bowline and cleat hitch. With these knots mastered, you will have the basic knot skills you need to set sail. You can build on your knowledge over time and learn more useful knots such as the clove hitch, sheet, bend, two half hitches and rolling hitch. Keep practising your knots until the process is committed to muscle memory. When you’re out on the water, you won’t have time to consult YouTube so be sure you are confident with your knot skills.
Start Shopping For A Boat And Set Sail!
If you have taken a few lessons and you know that sailing is definitely something you want to pursue then it’s time to buy a boat. Without practice and time on the water to hone your skills, you won’t build up the confidence you need to progress as a sailor If your budget won’t extend to buying a boat yet, then offer to crew on boats to get some experience. This is also a great way to meet other people in the sailing world, build up your contacts and maybe even get some advice to help you find the boat of your dreams. Once you have a boat purchased, all that’s left is to raise the sail, put all of your training and preparation to practice and head out on your maiden voyage ready for adventure.