How to Sail a Yacht

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How to Sail a Yacht

How to Sail a Yacht - Xperience Florida Marine

Sailing is a different way to travel: a mix between luxury and camping- think of a high-end motor home on the water. The simplest and easily understood point of sailing is Running before the wind. As the term indicates, the boat follows the same course that the wind is blowing. The sail is set at approximately 90° angle to the longitudinal axis of the boat commonly referred to as Sail Angle with power derived from the push of the wind on the sails.

In Sailing off the wind, the wind reaches the craft from the side, or beam, and the sails are set at approximately 45° from the longitudinal axis of the yacht. In this sailing position the general principle of wind action is that the wind flows at a greater rate of speed along the forward surface of the sail, creating an area of lower pressure ahead of the sail. The actual force exerted by the wind is at right angles to the sail. This force would tend to drive the boat at an oblique angle if the hull of the boat were perfectly flat. Every sailboat, however, is equipped with a fixed keel or a retractable centreboard, which acts as a flat longitudinal plane to prevent the boat from moving sideways through the water.

Whether you just jump in with a friend and try to learn from experience or sign up for a formal course at a sailing school, sailing involves both specific knowledge and Skills. Here are some basic steps of learning to sail:

Know Your Boat
Familiarize yourself with every inch of the yacht you’re sailing on, including its engine, sails, lines and, most importantly, its emergency equipment. Make sure everything is in working order, paying special attention to the engine and safety gear.

Hold a meeting of the crew
Each member of the team should know their role and responsibility. The crew must be experienced in sailing basics and what to do in case of an emergency and how to send out radio messages. Assign each crew members a specific duty and position.

Set off under motor power and Set Sail!
Motor power gives you lots more control of the boat and goes a long way in preventing collisions in the close quarters of a harbour, then you should leave the slip and harbor under motor power, instead of under sail power. Set the sails once open waters have been reached. Turn the bow of the boat into the wind and raise the main sail. Once the main is up, raise your jib. Position the furling jib if one is available by turning to the desired tack and slowly unfurling the jib and set it.

Last, but not least: Stay alert
Be aware of the boat’s position in time to prevent possible encounters with other vessels. Be aware of weather conditions. Have all the on deck crew watch the water for obstructions and other potential collisions hazards. Careful observation of all aspects of the voyage and surrounding waters can help keep the yacht, passengers and crew members safe.