Not everyone is born with great sailing knowledge. As many beginnings, sometimes it can be tough and requires some time and patience to get you more involved and enthusiastic about sailing. But do not be afraid. We can guarantee you that sailing is wonderful. Once you get in after your first sailing experience you will only think about your next sailing trip!
The feeling of freedom, relaxation, and adrenaline will make you look at your life in a new way and a life change coming from this sport is guaranteed. Sailing may seem complicated at first, but you will get a hang of it quickly. Of course, it will take some practice to make you become a good skipper, but the basics can be learned fast. That is why we decided to give some good tips for beginners in sailing!
How to make your learning process pleasant and fun:
- Read books, blogs or watch sailing clips –and get informed!
There are many great books about sailing and navigation to recommend, here are just a few of them:
1. RYA Day skipper handbook
2. Reeds skipper’s handbook
3. The Complete Sailing Manual, 4th Edition
- Take professional sailing lessons in an official sailing school or participate in an online course
1. RYA organization
2. RYA Training Centre in Croatia
- Beginner sailors should learn to sail in calm waters and in low traffic areas (ideally in Croatia in April or May)
- Recommendation is to use a smaller boat for learning (not too small though) – ideally between 37 and 41 feet. For example: Dufour 382
- Before sailing it’s important to check weather conditions
in the area, wind, and tides, so they don’t surprise you when you sail out.
- Check your boat and safety equipment on board, lines, fenders, life jackets, tool kit, fuel, water, anchor and chain, conditions of the sails, charts and pilot books, navigation instruments, compass, first aid kit, VHF radio, navigation lights, flashlight, flares, bilge pump and any other equipment to make sure it’s there, it’s easily accessible and in a working condition.
- Wear anti-slip shoes, waterproof clothing, sailing gloves, hats, and sunscreen, protect personal water-sensitive technology such as cameras and cell-phones, empty your pocket items (items like phones or wallets often end up lost overboard, trust us on that!)
- When you are at the deck, be careful and do not stand on ropes or sheets and always hold onto something to prevent falls or injuries
- Do your best to learn key terms in sailing, which will ease your communication with other people on board. As a beginner, start with the basic ones: bow, starboard, port, stern, windward, leeward, rudder, keel, tacking, jibing…
Overall, using your common sense, putting safety first and following rules and regulations will make your sailing experience a pleasant one. With each new day sailing at the sea your knowledge will continue to grow. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from others, more experienced sailing enthusiasts – their advice will also help you improve. And, above all, don’t forget to have a great time doing it. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.
For all those who are ready to start sailing, we recommend getting more informed with RYA sailing programs at our RYA sailing school
at NCP & mare Sibenik.
BATTEN: a stiff strip used to support the roach of a sail, enabling increased sail area. BOW: the forward part of a yacht. Knowing what is the bow paves the way for defining two other important sailing terms – port and starboard. - Starboard – When you’re facing the bow, starboard is the right side of the boat; sailing requires this definition because "left" and "right" tend to become confusing when used in open waters - Port – The left side of the boat when you’re turned towards the bow.
BOOM: a spar attached to the foot of a fore-and-aft sail; the movement of a sailboat depends on adjusting the boom to the direction of the wind.
BIMINI TOP: A bimini top is an open canvas structure that sits over the cockpit of the boat, supported by metal frames. Biminis create shade and cover allowing you to enjoy a hot summer day without getting sunburnt, also allow you to enjoy the sailing in the rain by providing you cover from the rain.
FENDER: an air or foam filled bumper used in boating to keep boats from banging into docks or each other.
FURLER: the spool mechanism to furl or reduce the genoa.
GENOA: a large jib, strongly overlapping the mainmast.
HULL: the actual body of the boat.
LAZY BAG: allows to pack the mainsail once it slumped, thus protecting from the sun and other elements.
MAINMAST: The basis of all rigging is the mast, on modern yachts mostly made of metal ( in "old" days from wood). The mast is supported by stays and shrouds. The masts and forestays support all the sails.
- FORESTAY: long lines or cables, reaching from the bow of the vessel to the mastheads, used to support the mast.
- STAYSAIL: a triangular sail hoisted on a stay with hanks. - Shrouds - a cable serving to hold a mast up from side to side.
MAINSAIL: the principal and largest sail on the yacht; the most important sail which is placed on the mainmast
STERN: the back part of the yacht.