How to Sail – Understanding the wind on a 2 person sailboat (Points of sailing)

How to Sail – Understanding the wind on a 2 person sailboat (Points of sailing)


This training video will help you to understand
the different points of sailing that a sailing boat can achieve, and the dynamics of the
wind on your boat. In short what makes your boat move forwards. Sails do not work if you point the boat straight
at the wind, they simply flap. The sail will only work if it sits at an angle of more than
45 degrees to where the wind is blowing from. The area where sails don�t work is called
the no go zone. You can sail in any other direction apart
from this zone. Any point of sailing where the boat has the wind on its left, is called
port tack. And any point of sailing where the wind is coming from the right hand side,
is called starboard tack. It�s very important to have an understanding
of where the wind is blowing from, and is fundamental to everything that you will do
in the boat. To help you, you can use a masthead burgee
which will point towards the wind. Flags ashore are another indicator. Ripples on the water also blow from where
the wind is coming from. A flapping sail works like a flag and will
lie in the same direction that the wind is blowing from. It�s useful to understand how a sail works.
If you sail with the wind behind you, it�s easy to see what happens, the wind simply
pushes you forwards, but how does a boat sail across or towards the wind like this? Here we see a cross section of a mainsail,
the aerodynamics of a sail work in a similar way to an aircraft wing. The air travelling
across the outside edge generates lift, which will blow the boat sideways. By pushing down the centreboard to suit the
point of sailing, the sideways slip is reduced and the boat drives forwards through the water. The closest angle you can sail to the wind
is on the edge of the no go zone. This point of sailing is called close hauled.
You should have the sails pulled in tight, with the centreboard pushed fully down to
prevent side slipping. And by probing with the tiller to find the
point where the sails just start to flap, you are on the edge of the no go zone. Close hauled is the point of sailing you should
use if you want to sail towards the wind. Changing sides is called tacking. Sailing on subsequent close hauled angles,
tacking between them, you will eventually end up at your upwind destination. Together,
a series of tacks is called beating. The next point of sailing is called a close
reach. To arrive here from a close hauled position simply pull the tiller away from
the boom for a short while, raise the centreboard slightly, and release the sails to find the
point where they just start to flap. And then pull them back in so they stop flapping. Turning slightly away from a close reach you
arrive at a beam reach point of sailing. Here you will be sailing at 90 degrees to the wind. A beam reach is the best point of sailing
for your first sail, as the sails and the boat are easily controlled. Adjust the sails as before, and you should
also raise the centreboard here so it is about half way up. Turning slightly away from a beam reach you
arrive at a broad reach point of sailing. Here you will be sailing at 120 degrees to
the wind. And raise the centreboard so it�s about
two thirds up, and let the sails out slightly as before. The next point of sailing is called a training
run. To arrive here turn the boat about 20 degrees
away from the broad reach position and you will be pointing almost directly away from
the wind. Release the mainsail so the boom is almost
at 90 degrees to the boat, and the centreboard should be about three quarters of the way
up. This is the best point of sailing if you want
to sail with the wind behind you, as there is less of a risk of the boom accidentally
flipping across, which is called gybing. The final point of sailing is a dead run.
This is when the boat is pointing directly away from the wind. As you learn, this point
of sailing is probably best avoided until your wind awareness has developed. It is very
easy for the wind to suddenly catch the wrong side of the sail, which can cause the boom
to flick across the boat very fast and capsize you. Turning back towards the wind you can get
back to any of the points of sailing by pushing the tiller gently towards the boom, pulling
in the sails a little more to stop them flapping, and pushing the centreboard down, until you
are on the close hauled point of sailing once more. Key learning points The no go zone is an area about 45 degrees
either side of where the wind is blowing from, and the boat will have no forward drive in
this zone. Close hauled is on the edge of the no go zone.
Sails are pulled in fully and the centreboard is pushed fully down. Close reach. Turn 20 degrees away from the
close hauled point of sailing. Sails set so they just stop flapping. Raise the centreboard
a quarter of the way up. Beam reach is about 90 degrees to the wind.
Release the boom so it�s approximately 45 degrees over the side of the boat, so the
sails don�t flap. Centreboard should be half way up. Broad reach is about 120 degrees to the wind.
And sails set so they are just not flapping. Centreboard is about two thirds up. A training run is a further 30 degrees away
from a broad reach. Boom is almost 90 degrees to the boat, and centreboard is three quarters
of the way up. Dead run is sailing directly away from the
wind. Boom is 90 degrees to the boat, centreboard stays at three quarters up. You must understand and establish where the
wind is blowing from, and adjust your sails and centreboard to suit each point of sailing. Next steps Watch this video as many times as is necessary
to get an understanding of the points of sailing and how to recognise them, and what to do
with the sails and centreboard on each point. Use the script and glossary to help you. Then on the water try to get a good understanding
of the wind direction at all times to establish what point of sailing you should be using. Glossary Beam Reach – A point of sailing where the
boat is sailing at 90 degrees to the wind Beating – Sailing towards the wind in a series
of tacks Boom – A horizontal spar attached to the mast
that supports the mainsail Broad Reach – A point of sailing where the
boat is pointing away from the wind at an angle of approx 135 degrees to the wind Burgee – Small flag at the mast head which
is used to indicate wind direction Centreboard – A large plate that pivots and
retracts inside the boat, used to prevent sideways slip (called leeway) particularly
when sailing close hauled Close Hauled – The point of sailing required
to sail as close as possible to the wind. This is the edge of the no go zone Close Reach – Point of sailing where the boat
is approximately 60 degrees to the wind Dead run – Point of sailing where the boat
is sailing with the wind directly behind Gybe (gybing) – To change course from one
side of the wind to the other, sailing downwind Mainsail – The main sail on a boat, the largest
sail (except for the spinnaker) controlled by the helmsman Masthead – The top of a mast No go zone – The area in which a boat won�t
sail, 45 degrees either side of where the wind is blowing from Point of sailing – Any direction of sailing Port Side – The left side of the boat when
looking forwards. Port tack – Any point of sailing with the
wind on the left hand side Starboard tack – Any point of sailing with
the wind on the right hand side Tack – The manoeuvre used to alter direction
by turning across the wind, the bow goes from one side of the no go zone to the other. Or
the lower front corner of a sail Tiller – Attachment to the rudder by which
it is controlled Training Run – Point of sailing where the
boat is travelling at 150 degrees to the wind PAGE Copyright � 2010 Sailaboat Ltd PAGE 1 www.sailaboat.tv �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��� ������������{��|��������������������Y��Z��[��o�������������t��u��v�����ɸ������������}���k��}k��Z�������������������������������
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6 thoughts on “How to Sail – Understanding the wind on a 2 person sailboat (Points of sailing)

  • April 19, 2017 at 8:35 am
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    Nice video, but I think it would be better to rotate the wind diagram (circle) and keep the boat fixed ( + dynamic sail) in your presentation. So it's more in line with reality when you are at the helm. I see this mistake a lot in videos and books. Result: there is always the tendency to rotate your head while watching those videos or when reading those books. In reality the different wind zones are the one that are constant changing, but the skipper reference toward the boat does not change. !! Creating a good visual map in your mind is important.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2017 at 10:22 am
    Permalink

    re-upload? I swear I have seen this video before on youtube…

    Reply
  • January 7, 2018 at 5:59 am
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    Raise the centreboard up a bit for a beam reach ????

    Reply
  • June 29, 2018 at 7:39 am
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    Great efforts

    Reply
  • February 14, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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    Give me a boat I’m ready to sail across the Atlantic

    Reply
  • May 4, 2019 at 7:40 am
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    excellent

    Reply

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