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Parts of a boat How a Sail Works Points of Sail Manoeuvres Five Essentials Give Way Rules Glossary Links Back

The Five Essentials

These are just five basic points that are useful to remember when learning to sail. You will begin to act on them instinctively without thinking after a bit of experience.

Sail Trim: Keeping the sail nice and taught, without allowing it to flap, but not too tight. If you let the mainsheet out slowly, the first part of the sail to start flapping is the luff. Bringing the mainsheet back in until the luff stops flapping gives you the best position for the sail and a trim sail.

Boat Trim: Keeping the boat, fore and aft, level. With some smaller dinghies you have to sit in different positions depending on the point of sail (sit forward on a beat, in the middle on a reach and at the stern on a run).

Boat Balance: Keeping the boat, starboard and port, level. This means hiking out on a gust and keeping in with low wind (and while on a run).

Centreboard Position: The correct position taking sideways drift into account.

Last Updated February 1st, 2008 QUB Sailing club