An important element in sailing would be the “Wind”.
The wind powers all boats. Before a sailor decides to leave his/her dock, they should perform a variety of checks on the wind. Here are few checks every sailor must do:
- Does the wind have any shifts?
- What is the current speed of the wind?
- Is wind blowing in a specific direction?
- Does the water have any windy movements? Or, is the water glassy and flat?
Over the years, many techniques have been developed to understand the shifts caused by wind. In fact, skilled sailors can predict wind shifts based on the color of water. Windpuffs and shifts create dark water patches.
You must tighten or loosen the sails based on the wind puffs and shifts.
Understanding the Wind!
The boat needs the wind just like how the airplane needs it! The moment wind passes through the airplane’s wing high pressure gets created below the wing. Next, pressure above the airplane’s wing decreases. This effect happens on sailboats too! The curved sail works just like the airplane’s wing. The curved sail creates a life and pushes the boat forward.
Entering and Leaving the boat
Do you know that stepping into and out of the boat is art?
Sailors must be aware of how to enter and leave the boat. With boat rigging, the boat should be pointed towards the wind. This way the boat will flutter or luff in the direction of the wind. This will make sure the boat doesn’t sail down the wrong path. After you board the boat, you must turn it away from the direction of the wind. Next, the sails must be trimmed. This change will give your boat an immediate lift! This is definitely a great way to kickstart your journey.
You must ease the mainsail and release the jib when you get back to the dock. Now, you should move in the direction of the wind. Next, you must slow the boat gradually.
At all times, you must release the sails smoothly. This is the best way to slow down the boat and reduce the risks of collision.
A Skilled Sailor
Any skilled sailor would know the difference between apparent and true winds. By definition, apparent wind creates an illusion of movement. And, the true wind is what you feel when you stand still on the dock. Movement is created as a combination of true and apparent wind. However, sailors should understand the differences between true and apparent wind. Apparent wind gives plenty of information about the boat’s power source.
Moving on, you must be aware of many wind terms. Here are few critical terms you should understand:
- Falling off
- Heading up
Next, there are two critical types of tacks: jibing and tacking. The mainsail and jib should be parallel all the time. This maximizes the lift experienced by your boat.