For beginners, the world of sailing can be both fun and exciting. It’s not just considered a physical activity. When you sail, it’s like a vacation in motion. This is especially true if you like to enjoy under the heat of the sun, feel the breeze on your skin, and hear the waves of the water. However, to do those, you need to equip yourself with the fundamentals of sailing.
Thus, if you’re looking to enjoy a great day of sailing for the first time, here are a few things you need to learn to help yourself navigate a boat trip:
Learn The Common Sailing Terms
Before anything else, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the common sailing terms. The more you know about these terms beforehand, the easier it’ll be to learn and apply them to your sailing lessons.
Below are some common terms a new sailor like you should be aware of:
- Stern: Also known as the aft, it refers to the back of the boat.
- Bow: It refers to the front part of the boat.
- Port: It refers to the left side of the boat when facing the bow.
- Windward: It refers to the direction where the wind blows.
- Starboard: It refers to the right side of the boat when you’re facing the bow.
- Leeward: It refers to the opposite direction where the wind blows.
- Helm: It refers to the wheel being used for steering the boat.
- Knot: It refers to the term used for measuring distance or speed per hour.
- Tacking: It refers to a process of maneuvering the boat by using the bow to turn, allowing the boat to change direction.
- Jibing: It refers to a process wherein the stern of the boat is turned to change its direction.
Take A Boating Safety Course
Another important thing to do when you go sailing is to take and complete a boating safety course. It’s designed to provide essential boating knowledge to anyone who wants to go out in the water and enjoy a sailing trip without compromising safety. As sailing can be a risky undertaking, a boating safety course is mandatory in almost all states.
In most cases, when you pass this course, you’ll be given a boating license that allows you to go on a boat trip without getting in trouble with the law. Luckily, several courses are available throughout the country for beginner boaters of all ages.
Hence, if you’re planning to operate a personal motor boat in Oregon or wherever you may be, then taking an Oregon online boater safety course can be an excellent decision.
Understand Some Basic Sailing Rules And Regulations
While you can learn some knowledge about sailing when you take a course, it’s still important that you know and understand the following rules and regulations as a beginner boater:
- Be sure to keep a safe speed to always have full control of the boat throughout your sailing trip.
- If you’re sailing with companions, they should wear their life jackets when they’re aboard.
- Always watch out for another vessel in the area to prevent collision.
- When there’s another boat which isn’t under command or is restricted in terms of moving, then you should keep a safe distance from it to avoid an accident.
- If you’re heading toward another boat, and there’s a risk of collision, you should know how to yield and give the other sailboat a right of way. This is especially true if the other vehicle is on your right side.
- Don’t forget to service your boat on a regular basis to ensure it’s in good condition when you go sailing.
Use The Right Clothing And Equipment
If you want to get the most out of your sailing experience, then you should prepare some sailing essentials. With the right clothing and equipment, you can ensure your comfort and safety throughout the boat trip.
The following are the sailing essentials you may need to purchase from the get-go:
- Sailing jacket: As the wind can be strong in the sea, you may need this clothing to avoid getting wet and to protect you from cold.
- Sailing gloves: If you want to have more dexterity in navigating your boat, you may need a pair of sailing gloves. If you also want protection for your hands from getting wet and cold, full-length gloves can be a good option.
- Deck shoes: To protect your feet from cold and getting wet, it’s best to use a pair of shoes that is light, has a good grip, and is quick to dry.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, sailing can be a great way to enjoy the turquoise water in your area. But, just like other outdoor adventures, knowledge and skills are necessary to ensure your safety and that of your passengers during the boat trip. This is especially true if you need to prepare your boat for bad weather and other dangerous situations.
Therefore, if you have plans of sailing for the first time, keep this beginner’s guide in mind to become more confident and safer in your first sailing adventure.