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Basic Tips for Yachting Novices Apr 17

yachting novices

Are you just taking to the seas of your own accord for the first time? In that case, there’s probably a lot you don’t know, even if you’ve taken a course or two. Even if you think you know everything, there is more than likely going to be something you’ve missed, and even the most prepared of sailors can easily overlook one or two small things.

Here is a small list of some handy sailing tips – they can be useful for rookies and veterans alike, so read up and head out onto open waters more prepared!

Choose Your Waters Wisely

If you’re just starting out and not yet familiar with some of the basics of sailing, possibly the most important thing to do is to make sure that you always choose to sail in calm waters, preferably with few other boaters around.

You want light winds and minimal traffic – this will make things easier and less stressful for you while you’re getting to grips with the ins and outs of sailing.

Bigger Ain’t Better

A small boat is much easier to handle, and uses fewer sails and lines, meaning you’ll be able to captain it with less difficulty. A smaller dinghy is easier to manoeuver – don’t get cocky and try to steer a massive boat.

Start with a Single Sail

As an extension of the above point, if you really don’t feel too confident out on the water by yourself, try starting on a boat with only the one sail. Learning the basics will be much easier when there are fewer things to worry about.

Know the Fundamentals

There are some simple things that you should make sure you do each time you go sailing. These are performed in order to ensure that you are sailing in a safe manner. For a start, you should always tell someone you are going out on the water. This way, if the worst happens then someone at least knows where you are.

Make sure your boat is always fully equipped with all the necessary marine tools and floatation devices, and for goodness’ sake – don’t go out on the water if you don’t know how to swim! Maybe you think this is obvious, but it’s an all-too-common situation.

Also, in case something goes wrong, you should endeavour to learn all the basic sailing terms – this will allow you to give accurate descriptions of location etc., such as port and starboard.

The Boom Demands Respect

Beware the boom! Okay, so that sounds a bit like fear-mongering, but it is worth showing the boom some respect – too many people suffer injuries by not realising the boom was about to swing.

You can get a nasty bump on the head if you underestimate the boom, or if you’re really unlucky it can knock you overboard. Make sure you know when it’s going to swing and you’ll be safe.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You know what they say – practice makes perfect. After a bit of training and hands-on experience, you’ll be a master of the seas!

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