Category: General

Quick Guide for Sailing

Sailing is a favorite activity that hundreds of thousands of people around the globe engage in every day. There is a variety of ways that you can learn sailing. You can jump in a boat with a friend if you want, and learn just by listening, observing, and participating — learning by experience. Or, you can sign for actual sailing lessons at a formal school. There are sailing schools all over the world. Then, there is the hard way. You can learn to sail by simply buying a boat and going out on the water all alone — all by yourself. This last option is not the safe or recommended way to go about it.

However, regardless of which ever way works best for you, it greatly helps to have a good grasp and understanding of the boat and how sailing works as a whole. You want to understand how a boat works if you’re going to be on the water — and a dangerous situation arrives.

What are some of the basic steps to take to understand sailing? Sailing involves a plethora of basic, essential skills, and a broad range of knowledge. These following steps will outline the basics of learning to sail — and will include as much as you can learn while not being on a boat. However, if you already know the basics, you can just skip ahead. On the flipside, if you are completely new to sailing, it is recommended that you closely follow the steps that are about to be listed.

1. Develop a good range of knowledge with “sailor talk,” or basic “sailing terms.” To begin your introduction into sailing, you should begin by understanding the words that are used to describe sailboats and the skills involved in manning a sailboat. Start by looking up a list of sailing terms that are basic and study them until they are memorized.

2. Now you can begin learning the parts of the boat. Before you even set foot on the boat, you may want to know the parts that are actively involved in keeping your boat afloat and running. Instructors, especially, aren’t going to want to call specific parts an ambiguous name like, “that sheet, that rope, or that plank.” Instead, they will use the names that are well known, and they will expect you to know them accordingly.

3. You can even start an online course. Now that you’re somewhat familiar with sailor talk and the parts that sail boats are made up of, you can begin to learn just exactly how they work and do what they do. There are many courses online that can help teach you about the parts of the boat, and many will include photos that you can identify the parts with.

4. Rigging the boat is important, now that you’re familiar with all three of the beforementioned tips and such. Before you set sail, you want to rig the point. What does this include? Rigging the boat includes pre-sailing preparations, like setting up the sheets and making the sure all of the ropes are tied accordingly.

5. Now, evaluate and review the basics of sailing techniques. Now that the boat is all rigged up and ready, you need to know how to set it off in the direction that you desire. Make sure you look up more basic sailing techniques before setting foot in the water.

Health Benefits of Sailing

What are some of the health benefits that you can receive by sailing consistently? First, try putting yourself in this situation: clear, beautiful, open water as far as the eye can see, the relaxing, natural ocean air, a soft breeze from the wind gently caressing your face with its tender grasp, as you sail through the sea.

Sailing isn’t just a fun sport and activity that you can engage in with relatives and friends when you’re on holiday. It’s also a great way to stay healthy, fit, and muscular. There is a high chance that you do not realize how much work goes into manning your average sailboat. Sailing a boat is harder work than many perceive it to be. What is best about this? The fact that you’re exercising and engaging in heavy cardiovascular activity without actually being consciously aware of it!

Over-all muscle endurance and strength. Sailing involves many motions of pulling, pushing, hoisting, and tugging. All of these movements can add strong wiry muscle to your arms, shoulders, and back.

Not only does sailing recruit muscle endurance, but its also a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Of course, sports like swimming, basketball, sprinting, running, and soccer, all reduce the risk of illnesses like heart disease, obesity, and “hypertension.” Sailing, like these other intense sports, greatly improves your cardiovascular health. Why? Very large amounts of oxygen are uptook when the human body is forced to endure movements like this.

Mental focus and tranquility. Being out on the water has a numerous variety of mental health benefits — mainly because it just feels good and relaxing. There are two main factors that can attribute to the feelings of serenity and relaxation derived from sailing: the sheer calmness of the water and the saltiness of the air — believe it or not. Yes, the saltiness of the air. Peoples moods can vary greatly by cause of fluctuations of the hormone more commonly known as serotonin. Believe it or not, the saltiness of the ocean sea air is mainly composed of ions that happen to be charged — which in turn aids the body in oxygen absorption. When the body is able to absorb oxygen easily, the levels of serotonin will most likely become more and more balanced as time goes by — and we all know by now that higher, more balanced levels of serotonin and greatly increase happiness.

Back to relaxation. There are many factors that aid in the accumulation of relaxation, such as the simple motion of the waves underneath your boat, the sound of the water splashing against your feet, and even the sounds of wind rippling against the sails. All of these sounds and patterns can greatly aid in achieving feelings of relaxation. A stressed-out mind can greatly recover when exposed to these sounds, smells, and sensations.

Agility and quick thinking. There are many tasks that are associated with your typical sailing session which can help improve both your agility and your overall sense of flexibility. Motions and activities like hoisting the sails, pulling lines, ropes, and tying knots, can all improve your sharp sense of agility, increase your hand-to-eye levels of coordination, and fine-tune your motor skills.

Basic Aerodynamics of Sailing

Aerodynamics behind great sailing is very unusual as most people have misconceptions and might be misguided by the fact that all a sailboat needs to move is the wind. The wind does affect the movement of the sailboat, but the physics behind all this is what counts.

There are two main ways to analyze the aerodynamic forces acting on a sailboat. First and foremost, a sailor needs to check the forces that mainly affect the movement of the boat. Secondly, a substitute vector resolution evaluates how proficient the sail is.

The Lift Force Mechanism
When the wind is blowing in a certain direction at a particular angle from the horizontal, force is expended on the sails. This force is then broken into two directions. One perpendicular to the direction of the wind and the other parallel to the same. The sail, therefore, acts as some airfoil, creating an aerodynamic force whereas the hull, which is in the water, creates a hydrodynamic force. The perpendicular force is the lift force regarding airflow.

The flow of air on the sail is quite similar to airflow on a wing. To move the boat forward, one has to major on elevating airflow at the area. The sails are really flexible therefore getting that push effect is easier. The position of the sail hence depends on the wind direction.

After understanding the airflow, one can now conclude that the two main forces to consider. The one acting on the sailboat as it moves and the one working on the sailboat due to the wind pushing the sails. These two forces have to cancel out for the boat to move without unwanted acceleration.

The sailboat should however not move directly towards the wind as this would cause it to go backward. A recommended angle of sixty degrees should be the upper limit for the sailboat to travel at ease.

Sailboat Tilting
It is not at all times that the wind blows forward or against your course. When the flow is sideways, a torque is created thus tilting occurs. Consequently, a force is experienced, that is vertical to the center line of the sailboat perpendicularly. Due to this force. A clockwise roll affects the sailboat but is balanced by a resultant anti-clockwise torque and the buoyancy force in the water.

Understanding the aerodynamics behind sailing is more complicated than it looks. After mastering the physics behind sailing, it gets interesting and fun realizing you can sail in any direction just by using the ideologies of the aerodynamic lift and the resultant forces.

 

Best Places in the World to Sail

Sailing involves an act where the wind propels wing-like structures attached to artificial water vessels and thus making the vessel to move in a given direction. The containers may include ships or boats upon which their movement relies on the wind in motion.

For the circulation of the boat to be achieved, the sailor regularly adjusts the alignment of each sail with about the direction of the wind. Now, this also enables the sailor to make turns while on the water surface. The following world destinations are the epitome points for sailing activities.

World’s Best Destinations for Sailing:

1. The Grenadines
These are groups of islands located several miles to the south of the Caribbean country of West Indies having a beautiful scenery, copious marine life and white sandy beaches which are friendly to wider generation. The beaches are decorated as the world’s ideal places for sailing because the shores are spacious and never gets crowded. Charter boats are also offered for example in Port Elizabeth. There are numerous boat sailing options which are accessible.

2. Catalina Island, California
This area is located few miles to the southwest of Los Angeles and offers a good environment for boat sailing. Its proximity to the mainland favors the sailing activity as various guests go to the place for driving and sailing boats. It contains clear waters, good for sailing, and has sailing boats whose bottoms have clear glasses proving a beautiful view during the rides.

3. Croatia
The country of Croatia commonly referred to as “New Riviera” can be termed as one of the top upcoming world’s sailing destinations. Its shores are symbolized by a crystalline Adriatic which has several perfect beaches, lavish land slopes and some best towns of Europe. It has wealthy boat types as well as the traditional fishing villages which offer suitable sailing conditions.

4. Galapagos Island, Ecuador
This is a remote island in the eastern Pacific Ocean which attracts tourists all over the world for sailing activities and the surrounding wildlife located in the area. Cruising, therefore, becomes important activity as a way of accessing most islands here and the surrounding wildlife.

5. French Polynesia
The French Polynesia is an area made up of five major islands with lavish undergrowth cover and remarkable waterfalls. It is characterized by the presence of lagoons with rich traditional culture and great marine life. The islands are widely spread offering a massive space where abundant options for sailing are conducted.

Sailing requires a huge water body where the winds are present to power the boats for a motion to take place. Several parts of the world boarding oceans and seas now become suitable for such an activity. It is also carried out on other larger water bodies such as lakes.

The Reality of Living on a Sailboat

We all love a bit of exploring and some alone time. There are a lot of options out there if you want to get away from the daily hustle bustle of life. Sailboats are a wonderful way to explore and have fun. They provide you with the opportunity to live according to your wishes and means. They allow you to take a break from the usual daily struggles of life and relax and rejuvenate in peace. You get to fully absorb the beauty of the water and the skies and live in proximity to nature. You get to be your own boss, and all your timings are set by you. You get the opportunity to travel to different places which would only seem like a dream to many people. You would not have to pay bills for electricity and gas. You also would not have any responsibilities and live aloof from all worldly worries.

Thus there are a lot of perks and advantages of living on a sailboat. It might seem like a lucrative option for most people. But don’t start searching for sailboats right away. A lot of people opt to choose the lifestyle only to find later out that is just not their type of thing. Find out the honest reality of living on a sailboat down below.

Reality of life aboard a sailboat:
Living on a sailboat is more like an art than a science thing. Sailboat living requires you to have a certain approach towards life. This step can be a bit too far for the majority of people. If you can adjust easily in different situations and are prepared for change and make a few compromises, then this lifestyle can be richly rewarding for you. It can also be very cheap as compared to the lifestyle offshore. However, you must be prepared to sacrifice some of your favorite items for this experience. Down below we list some more cons of life aboard a boat.

You would not have a regular job anymore. At the same time, you would not have to pay any bills whatsoever. A lot of your fashionable items from your wardrobe will have to go.

Your lifestyle on the boat would seem exciting at first. Then it would gradually turn boring. There is only so much to do when you are aboard a boat cut away from the rest of the world. You would constantly have to find new activities to do. If you can afford a solar battery and a satellite you might still be able to watch television.

A lot of people living in sailboats mention that they feel cramped sometimes and long to see new places. Although you are definitely able to travel from one place to another, your surroundings become mundane and boring.

You have to learn to be responsible and work for your upkeep. All your laundries, washing and groceries have to be done by you. You will also have to cook your food. Knowledge about the boat, weather conditions and directions should be enriched.

You should be prepared for illnesses and getting seasick is not an uncommon thing.

Sometimes the cost of maintaining the boat can go sky high and your budget for the month can exceed by a huge amount.

Let’s look at some Cons to living on a sailboat:

Sailing Safety for Kids

Sailing with your family is the most enjoyable thing to do during the weekends and holidays. However, with kids on board needs some extra attention. There are a lot of things you should do to ensure that the children are safe. Consider the following things for the safety of the kids during sailing:

Kids should have life jackets
It would be ideal if the kids knew how to swim. Whether they can swim or not, life jackets are a must. It is obvious that everyone on board should have a life jacket, but it is unfortunate that at times, people are not instructed and warned about the necessity for wearing these life-saving jackets. A caring parent should ensure that he or she researches and plans to purchase correctly fitting jackets before the day of the trip. Doing this allows you to test the jacket for fit and comfort as they will have to wear it for hours. Be sure to allow your child to have enough time to wear it so he/she can become familiar with it. You can test it at a local pool so that you may know if it is of the right quality if need be.

Have the suitable sailing gear
The kids should have the correct sailing gear. Again, firstly they are to wear life jackets. Additionally, kids can have the same sailing gear as parents and other adults. Their gear may include gloves, non-slip shoes, sunglasses, hat, UV protective clothes, and of course the sunscreen to avoid sunburn and tan. The kids must be explained why all of this is important so that they don’t resist it. In some areas, it is legal, required for all the kids to wear the life jacket while sailing. Pick the right size and fit gear meant especially for your kids, and it will keep them comfortable and safe at all times.

Get the safety nets
You should have a safety net  or something that can be mounted on your yacht especially if it is private. We all know how kids behave depending on their ages. You happen to turn your back for some few minutes, and they are gone. By installing the safety net, you give your kids some independence, and you don’t have to worry every time you don’t see them. The net will be important for covering the side rails, but it’s not a guarantee, so it’s imperative to be vigilant.

Have sun protection 
If you have a young kid, sun protection is very necessary. Sun hats that have chin straps and some good sunglasses for your little kid is important. You should ensure that cabin windows are always open or use the fans. This is so because children cannot regulate their body temperature easily. Also you can purchase UV protection thin shirts for them to wear along with applying sunscreen on exposed areas of skin.

Energy and Water
Be sure to pack enough water to drink as well as a variety of non-perishable foods. It is to become dehydrated out on the water since the constant wind keeps you from feeling hot and dries any sweat from sitting in the sun for hours.

If you want to take your kids sailing, you should do everything to ensure that they are first educated and well provided for.

Carry-on Checklist For Sailing

A beautiful and breathtaking expanse in front of you, your companion beside you and a couple of days or weeks ahead of you; This is what sailing is all about.

Many reasons can spark one’s interest in sailing. For some, it may be for leisure, some for romantic purposes but whichever the reason, the experience is worth more than diamonds. Now, to guarantee that the memories you will create are complete and that you do not miss out on any moment, there is some preparation that must be done before the actual day of sailing. Above all, this preparation is to prevent one from forgetting anything to make the moment better. When preparing, the following are the things to put into consideration.

Your skin
You may choose to come from the sailing trip either with memories only or with memories and a nasty sunburn. There is no evading the sun once you sail out to sea. The only thing that you can do is to find ways in which to minimize the effect that the sun has on you. You can do this by wearing protective clothing including a big straw hat, and by carrying sunscreen. Learn about sunburn prevention here.

Medication
Even if you are very sure that you cannot get seasick, (through experience) you should pack some medication just in case. You should also consider bringing with you some sleep aid since the rocking of the boat does not work everyone to sleep. It’s wise to be sure your boat is equipped with a good First Aid kit.

Clothing
The best part about sailing is the dress code. You do not have to look for anything fancy. Just something large enough to protect you from too much direct sunlight and light enough to keep you cool. On top of clothing, you should not forget some swimsuits and snorkeling gear. You should also not forget to pack at least two pairs of shoes and a pair of flip-flops.

Miscellaneous items
There are many various items that one may need, and hence, it is important to keep a checklist to check against to prevent forgetting anything. Do not forget to bring with you a charger and some extra batteries for both your phone and your camera. You should also pack tons of memory for all the beautiful pictures you will take. A book or an eBook reader may come in handy along with a deck of cards.

There are many things that one needs for a one of a kind sailing experience. Even though some of them fall into place as you set sail, it is important to plan to eliminate any possibility of forgetting anything. Besides, planning is half the fun!

 

Tips for Sailing in Rough Water

Sailing in heavy winds can help you cover many cruising miles. Not only does it help you cover lots of water in short amounts of time, but it is also fun and exciting — and a good challenge as well. You are harnessing the infinite power of the wind, taking control of the rough waves, while staying in control and at the same time, sailing safely and well. Here are some tips for sailing in rough waters.

One of the challenges of sailing in rough weather is depowering enough to remain in control of the ship — not too much of course, but just enough to battle the big waves that come with high winds while maintaining a good speed. And of course, the slower that you go, the longer it will take you to ultimately reach your destination — and this is something that is a given.

Techniques included in depowering are reducing the ‘angle of attack,’ increasing or decreasing the twist, and flattening the sails. There are just a few of the steps of dealing with increasing wind power. When these methods aren’t doing enough, you should take up stronger more efficient methods to maintain safety and speed. Additionally, the larger waves that tend to accompany higher winds pose just as much as a problem as the winds do. Waves make everything difficult, like depowering and navigating. Sailing ‘underpowered’ in waves can be dangerous and frustrating, as it makes it harder to maintain control. The biggest part of the challenge lies in keeping an adequate amount of power to get you through the waves — while simultaneously staying in control. Not to mention, pounding while upwind against an ever-growing angry sea can also prove dangerous. The constant violent motion can endanger gear and anyone on the ship.

However, there is a variety of ways to stop the heavy pounding. One thing that you can do is add what sailors call “twist” to the trim for a wider steering. What adding twist to the trim does is it allows you to steer around bigger waves without too much resistance. After this, the next step would to be changing your speed. For instance, sailing faster might allow you to coast through the big waves easier — essentially smoothing out the ride. Then, you can ease the sails, and optionally, bear off a few degrees.

Of course, you can always just simply slow down. If your sailboat is flying off the waves like there is no tomorrow, all you have to do is shorten the sale and reduce speeds. This will most likely keep the boat in the water. As previously mentioned, slowing down even a little bit can dramatically increase the pleasure being derived, by increasing comfort and smoothness. However, slowing down is not always the solution that you are looking to find. Depending on the waves and speeds of the wind, you may just want to speed up so that you can easily soar through the waves. It all depends on the desired outcome of the ride and how fast you are trying to go. Read more in here for tips for sailing in rough water.

Different Types of Sailboats

Follow this easy sailing guide to look at the different types of sailboats to help you decide on the best to fit your brand of sailing!

Monohull Sailboats – Pros and Cons

Pros
Mono means “one” of something, so in sailing, a monohull means a sailboat that has just one hull. Most sailors on the water sail on boats with a single hull. They are easy to sail, cheaper to purchase, simpler to rig, and take up less room when docking or turning.

Most new sailors learn to sail on small monos called dinghies. Once they learn how to sail aboard a dinghy, sailors might move up to the larger cruising monohulls. These cruising sailboats heel over less than their dinghy cousins, have more room to move around and might have a head (toilet and/or shower), galley (small kitchen), and inboard or outboard engine. Cruising sailboats with single hulls have made successful voyages across every ocean in the world.

Cons
Small monohull sailboats like dinghies heel over a lot. If they heel too much, they can flip over. Larger monohulls heel over too, but most of these will not flip over because they carry extra weight in a “keel” below the waterline. The keel helps to counter-balance a lot of the heeling.

In breezy conditions, you will begin to heel a lot and the boat will become more difficult to hold on her sailing course. You will need to reduce sail–called “reefing”–when this happens to keep the boat balanced and easy to steer.

Single-hull sailboats can have limited space for supplies like food, clothing, sailing gear, water, fuel. You will need supplies like this if you go cruising for the weekend or longer. The longer you stay out cruising, the more supplies you need. So, on a monohull sailboat, you need to be careful to be extra careful to load the supplies the correct way so that the boat stays “in trim” (in balance and level).

Multihull Sailboats – Pros and Cons

Pros
Multihull boats have more than one hull, attached by cross members. Catamarans have two hulls with a wide flat area or cabin space between. Trimarans have three hulls. Both boats give you a lot more living space for supplies and living aboard.

Boats with multiple hulls tend to heel much less than monohulls because of their wide beam. This gives a much more comfortable ride in most calm to moderate sailing weather. Underway or at anchor, these boats give you more room for sleeping and offer more privacy for friends or guests that come aboard to cruise with you.

Below the water, these boats have less depth–of “draft”. That means you can poke into coves and shallow waterways where deeper draft boats could not go. And that opens up a whole new cruising world for you. Cats and Tris can skim across the blue-green waters in the Bahamas and Caribbean to explore new areas that other boats could not. That’s one reason these boats are so popular for island cruising.

Cons
Multihulls cost more than monohulls because you are buying two hulls (or three in the case of a trimaran), instead of one hull. Overall maintenance costs can be higher because you have two hulls to take care of. Marinas may charge more for boats with multiple hulls. They take up more dock space than a single-hulled boat.

Multihulls need more care when sailing. Because they heel less than their monohull cousins, you need to be careful not to carry too much sail. This could cause the boat to become unstable and in extreme conditions, cause the boat to capsize. Reduce sail sooner than you think on windy days to keep the boat balanced and sailing at peak performance.

At anchor, multihulls tend to sway back and forth because most of the boat lies above the surface of the water. Two or three hulls present a lot of surfaces for the wind to blow against. Rig an anchor bridle that looks like a “V” from pontoon to pontoon. Join the anchor line to the apex (point) of the “V”. This will help the multihull behave in a windy anchorage.

Learn to sail with more confidence when you understand the different designs available to sailors. This will help you decide on the best type of sailboat to meet your needs–wherever in the world you choose to go sailing!