Sailing

Sailing is a thrilling water sport. The ecstasy of sailing a boat in a fresh puff of air draws thousands of sailors to seashores, lakes, and rivers in all parts of the world. Many people like the stimulation of competiting their boats against other boats. For some, sailing brings the pleasure of relaxed time on the water.

Boats

Sailing boats can be classified into two types:

  • Sailing dinghies
  • Yachts

The difference between sailing dinghies and yachts is that the dinghy uses a centreboard and a yacht has a permanent keel. Ballast is used to neutralize the heeling force caused by the pressure of the wind in the sails, which causes the sailing boat to lean away from the wind when sailing. In yacht, this ballast is built into the keel; in the dinghy, the human crew perform as ballast.

Drills

There are three fundamental sailing drills:

  • Sailing into the wind
  • Sailing across the wind
  • Sailing with the wind

Sailing into the wind is called tacking to windward or defeating to windward. No boat can sail openly into the wind. If it does so, the sail wags like a bunting and becomes futile. But a boat can sail upwind by tacking, or go after a crisscross course. Sailing to windward requires great ability. The wind almost never blows regularly with the same strength from the similar track. The swiftness with which a sailor's tracks depends on the sailor's ability to sense the little shifts and changes in the wind, and to regulate the sails and the boat's direction accordingly.

Sailing across the wind is known as reaching. Sailing boats can generally move quicker when sailing across the breeze than in any other way. Some light boats with smooth bottoms can go fast enough in a good breeze to sail on the water like a speedboat. This gives a great feeling of pace though the boats rarely go more than 32 kilometres per hour.

Sailing with the wind is called running. Different to what may be expected; running is not so rapid as reaching. In running, the sail is just pressed along by the wind and makes its personal confrontation. Numerous racing boats employ spinnakers for supplementary speed when running.

Skills

Trimming and tacking are two indispensable expertise that sailors must be trained to handle their boats successfully.

Trimming means adjusting the sails to obtain the full benefit of the existing wind. A sailor must always know the wind direction to trim the sails accurately. When the boat is sailing into the wind, the sails should be trimmed nearly parallel to the boat's direction.

Tacking involves turning the boat so that the wind comes at it from the opposite side.