Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to sail: basics about sailboat before you leave port

I have found that there are not as many information about basic sailing on the internet about sailing and some of them are even confusing or misleading so I have decided to post some basic "how to sail a sailboat" manual. All skippers and amatuer sailors are welcome to post comments.

First of all I would like to mention that it is smart to have some experienced skipper on the sailboat when you are going sailing for the first time. However there are some things that you can learn before you step on the sailboat.

How to easily stop a boat
You gain your confidence when you know how to control the boat and best thing is to know how to stop it. If you know how to stop it there are not any barriers to stop you with trying something new. None of the boat has a switch that can stop the boat immediatly. You can stop the sailboat if you turn the boat against the wind. This will stop the boat. Even better is to lower your sails and turn the engine on because it is easier to manouver.

On the water there is additional problem. Be careful on currents. If there is strong current best thing is to turn the boat away from the current and put the boat slightly in a reseverse so the boat will not move.

5 Things you need to do before you leave the port:

  • check wether forecast
  • prepare navigation plan
  • brief crew
  • check engine and if there is enough fuel
  • prepare sailboat (sails, ropes...)

Those are basics thing that you need to take care of. And if you are going out from the port for period longer then 2 hours it is advisable to take care of food and beverage for the period that you will be on the open sea. Weather forecast it is one of the most important things. Although it look sunny it can get messy really fast on the open sea and the storm can make a nice sailing day awful.

You need to know where you are going and especially what is your destination. Maybe this destination is not reachable in time and you will need to sail during the night - do not forget to prepare the navigational plan.
No mather if you are taking with the sailboat friends or some people that you have never seen before you need to brief them and tell that sailing is serious and that they need to cooperate with you by controling the sailboat, because especially in leaving the docks and going back you will need their help.

What is boat without the source of power? Is nothing more then a raft. This is why you need to take care that your engine is working and that you can control steering.

Check also other part of the boat that everything is working. If the sails are ready to sail, which ropes are tighten to the docks and if the boat has moorings or anchor? If you are going on longer trip check also refrigerator, radio and power generator. Do not forget about the water tanks.

This is only the beginning and will write about more basics in furter post.

No comments:

Post a Comment