Why Attend A Sailing School

Sailing is an enriching activity that can ultimately become a lifestyle. Learning how to sail from trained professionals at a sailing school is something that you won’t regret you did once you get on the waters.

 

There are actually a myriad of good reasons why you should learn how to sail. As we know, sailing is one of the oldest ways to travel and it’s amazing that people’s desire to sail has never vanished until this moment. Why can’t people resist what the adventure on the ocean brings?  Sailing on the high seas actually brings a unique, indescribable feeling.  This is perhaps one of the sweet reasons why sailing has never been an old thing and sailing schools never stopped teaching.

 

Alternatively, it’s possible to learn from friends, but trial and error might only end up with costly mistakes. Those who attend a sailing school are generally trained based on a well-developed curriculum and often, learning takes place in a safe and controlled setting. Therefore, it’s the most beneficial way to learn.

 

Though, sailing schools differ in terms of courses offered. There are schools that specialize on small boats training, while some schools may teach on large boats. The teaching usually varies on the types of sailboats you like to be trained on. There are also schools that offer certification while others don’t, so you have to make wise choices.

 

Most sailing schools have instructors that are certified professionals, which allow you to learn the proper training in a detailed yet efficient manner. Accredited sailing courses combine classroom and on board training which give you the chance to acquire skills and knowledge and put into practice what you have learned. Learning sailing theories and putting them into practice is the best way to become confident when you’re already on the waters. Individuals who attend a sailing school learn skills effectively than learning from friends. The training they get from professional instructors can boost their confidence when they finally set foot on their own sailboats.

 

If you’re serious about sailing, it is best to get a proper training and you can only get it from certified sailing schools. The American Sailing Association (ASA) (www.asa.com) and US Sailing (www.ussailing.org) are both reliable sources of accredited sailing schools information.

The Benefits Of Sailing

Whether you make it a sport activity, hobby, pastime or career, sailing can give you a lifetime of benefits. Here’s how and why.

Health benefits

A cool outlet to relax

Hearing the sound of the water is known to alter the rhythm of the brain which in turn helps relieve stress and worries. For people who suffer from any kind of stress, sailing could be a great activity to relax and take a break from the daily routines.

Boost oxygen absorption

Sailing allows you to enjoy fresh air which brings in healthy ions that helps improve the ability of your body to absorb oxygen.

Improve strategic thinking and physical ability

Navigating a sailing boat requires strategic thinking and physical ability.  This sport could be a perfect choice for people at any age to develop mental and physical ability.

Personal benefits

Improve decision making ability

The responsibility involved in steering and being in control of a boat demands good decision making ability. During times of challenging weather, you may need to make quick decisions to stay on course. Doing these responsibilities on your own helps you build the ability to make quick decisions, which is empowering and a great way of maturing quickly.

Help build resilience

Smooth sailing requires the ability to manage your equipment and team. It also requires strength of mind to recover when you’ve made some mistakes without losing your focus.  For children, improving resilience is a good thing to help them make the best out of unpleasant situations, bounce back and recover from whatever challenges in life.

Improve leadership, communication and teamwork

Large types of sailboats can accommodate more people on board which also means more crews are needed. Getting your crews to work as a team requires leadership. The confined space of a sailboat also calls for crews with different personalities to work and communicate as a team to manage your boat and/or fix a problem.

Build social relationships

Cruising gives you the opportunity to interact and socialize with other people on board. The same thing happens with sailing as you get to meet like-minded people and interact with them as well. Sailing is a great outlet for people with low self-esteem.

Tips On Choosing The Right Sailboat

types of sailboatsThe selection is one of the most crucial decisions in buying a sailboat. The best one for you doesn’t have to be expensive because there’s a variety of sailboats and purchasing options to choose from.

 

The many types of sailboats help a lot in making the right decision. But how do you go about choosing the best one? What are the criteria involved in the selection process?

 

Each type of boat has its own style and characteristics. You can determine the specific type of sailboat by its size, number of sails, keel type, hull configuration, and by how it is used. In addition to the style and characteristics, you also need to look at some details in order to filter out which specific type of boat is best for you.

 

Your sailing activities

Day sailing, competitive racing, cruising, or charter vacations are some sailing activities that require wind power to travel. Whether you’re into offshore, near shore or coastal cruising, the boat you choose should ideally be capable for your activity and distance from your home port.

 

Number of passengers

Cruising or sailing with many passengers on board requires a larger model that has the capacity to carry more weight and passengers. The total weight and passenger capacity are vital details for safe cruising. Ask for an expert’s assistance in case you don’t have any idea on how to calculate the weight and passenger capacity of a sailboat.

 

The size and the cost

The size and the cost are two very important details to know when selecting a sailboat. The size will affect your cruising costs because you also need to consider the outfitting cost. Outfitting your boat with the essential equipment for cruising will mean additional expenses and there are usually other expenses along the way.

 

Purchasing a sailboat needs proper planning. If you can afford, why not splurge on a custom built sailboat. Just make sure to get it from a marine-industry certified dealer.  However, if you have a fixed budget, the best approach would be to consider a well-built used one. By carefully choosing your purchase option based on your budget, you can also make a good purchase.

 

 

 

Sailing Basics – How Sailboats Work

types of sailboatsAlthough it can take a lifetime to perfect a sailing skill, but the basics are easy to learn.

There’s actually a lot more to learn about sailing. Learning the skill should start with the basics. Of course, theory is not enough because the best way to become a professional sailor is through your sailboat experience.  This sailing basic is intended to help aspiring sailors with fundamental knowledge before they go sailing.

 

What you need to know about the sails?

The two sails of a sloop (the mainsail and the headsail or jib) when adjusted properly on a boat, they are considered balanced and ready to propel the vessel forward. Remember that each sail is, at the same time, working individually to turn the boat relative to the wind. The mainsail turns the boat downwind (termed “windward”) and the headsail turns the boat away from the wind (termed “leeward”). Air pressure is the key to pushing a sailboat forward. The wind pushes on a sail that remains almost flat and the boat moves along.

 

The hull

The hull or body of a sailboat affects performance based on its shape and number. A monohull is a boat with a single hull.  If a boat has more than one hull, it is called multihulls. Catamarans and trimarans are types of sailboats with multihulls. In terms of speed and acceleration, multihulls are the best. However, this advantage in monohulls may turn into a disadvantage because in the event that the wind pipes up, and the windward hull starts to fly off the water due to the sideways force of the wind, the danger of flipping the boat becomes much greater than on a monohull.

 

The keel

The keel is basically a flat blade attached to the hull of a sailboat. It basically serves as a basic foundation or spine of the structure and prevents the boat from being blown sideways by the wind. The mass of the keel should be taken into consideration so you don’t run aground.  Keels are made in different styles. Fin keels have been known to provide ballast, but are also more efficient at preventing “leeway” – sideways movement of the boat caused by the wind on the sails.

 

The rudder

Sailboats steer by means of the rudder, a vertical, blade-like device mounted either on the transom – the flat surface of the stern or beneath the boat. This device is controlled with a wheel or a tiller.  The rudder works by blocking the water flow so that when the helmsman turns the rudder, the water strikes it with increased force on one side, decreased force on the other. The rudder moves in the direction of lower pressure. As the rudder goes, so goes the stern, and the boat turns.

photo by: babasteve

Types of Sailboats

types of sailboatsThere are several types of sailboats. Whether you’re into competitive water sports, fishing, cruising, charter vacations or day cruising, there’s certainly a type that’s right for you.

 

Sailing is a challenging activity for all age levels. Whether you’re doing it within your territory or on the magnificent waters beyond your boundary, it can give you the chance to get a unique, empowered feeling. The feeling is totally different when you’re on a wind-powered boat gliding peacefully through the waters.  It’s one of the reasons why many people love to share this activity with friends and family.

 

Sailboats are unique from other vessels. They are propelled partly or entirely by the wind. Sails are used to move the boat through the water. Each type of boat has its own style and characteristics. You can determine a specific type of sailboat by its size, number of sails, keel type, hull configuration, and by how it is used. Before you think of getting a sailboat, the best way to go about deciding which boat is best for you is to learn the basic types of sailboats first.

 

Dhoni

A Dhoni or Doni is a type of sailboat traditionally used by Maldivian fishermen. Early dhonis were built from coconut wood. Today, they are handcrafted with the use of fiberglass materials and built with either a motor or lateen sails. A motorized dhoni has a steering wheel with furnishing as well. This sailing boat can be used for a variety of purposes.

 

Fractional Rig Sloop

On a fractional rig sloop, the headstay is attached to the mast at some point below the masthead. This makes the performance of the boat better in certain conditions where it is necessary to flatten the sail.  The big mainsail does the job on most of the drive, while the small headsail is easier for a short-handed crew to manage.

 

Catboat

A catboat is a single-sail boat with one mast mounted near the front of the boat.  The easy operation and large capacity made it popular among sailing enthusiasts. The catboat basically consists of these components -   a broad beam, a centerboard and a single mast and sail. Today, any sailboat with a single sail carried forward is referred to as a catboat.  The Barnegat Bay, Sanderling and Beetle Cat are among the well-known catboats.

 

Ketch

A ketch is a sailing boat with two masts and two sails. The second mast is called a mizzen and the sail is called the mizzen sail. The second mast is located forward of the rudder and typically shorter than the main mast.  Ketches are generally smaller and narrower in size than other vessels. These boats were traditionally used for trading purposes as well as for bombing during the 17th century.

 

Sloop

A sloop is the most common type of sailboat. It has a single mast and two sails. The position of the mast determines whether a sailboat will be classified a sloop or not. The forestay on the sloop stretches to the outboard end of the bowsprit, placing the bowsprit in a fixed position. A modern yacht is called Bermuda sloop due to the Bermuda rig – a rig, ideal for upwind sailing.

 

Dinghy

A dinghy is a smaller version of sailboat typically made up of three or less sails namely – the mainsail, jib and spinnaker. Sailing dinghies are generally easy to handle and fun to sail, making them popular among youngsters. These small boats are further divided into different subcategories namely – classic dinghies, catamarans, skiffs, high performance dinghies, cruising dinghies sports dinghies and racing dinghies.

 

Schooner

A schooner is a large sailboat and generally has two or more masts.  The aftermost mast is taller than or equal to the height of the forward mast. The schooner rig consists of the bowsprit, fore, the main mast and their sails. Schooners were first used by the Dutch and later adopted in North America to carry cargo and for fishing. The Clotilde is among the most popular schooners also known as the last ship to carry African slaves to the U.S and the USS Hannah, the first armed American naval vessel.

 

Cutter

A cutter has one mast and more than one headsail. The staysail is usually positioned directly in front of the mast. This vessel is ideal for small crews or groups of people. Most cutters are easy to manage because they don’t require complicated tackles or winches.

 

Yawl

A yawl has similarity with the ketch. The mizzen mast is shorter than the main mast and the mizzen mast is carried astern of the rudder post. Generally, the mizzen on a yawl is smaller than the mizzen on a ketch and is used more for creating balance at the helm rather than for propelling the vessel.

photo by: ronnie44052