You have always wanted to own a yacht. Thanks to a great financial year, you finally made your dream reality. Now you have to learn how to sail that puppy. Going out on the water without getting at least a basic education in sailing is way too risky. You could damage your boat or, worse yet, hurt yourself or others.
The best bet for anyone wanting to learn how to sail a yacht is to undergo formal training with an organization like NauticEd. Formal training includes both theory and on-water courses that prepare new sailors to be safe on the water. NauticEd makes training as easy as possible through online theory and certification courses that sailors take in advance of their on-water training.
If you cannot go through formal training for whatever reason, there still is no justification for going out on the water ill-prepared. At least make the effort to learn as much as you can before you go it alone. The following 5 steps should point you in the right direction:
1. Learn the Different Parts of Your Boat
You have very little chance of succeeding as a sailor if you do not first learn the different parts of your boat. You have to know what the various parts are called, how they function, and the purpose they serve. Otherwise, you will not know what to do when that experienced sailor you brought on board to help starts talking about the transom and jib.
2. Learn the Different Kinds of Boats
There are different classes of sailing vessels in the nautical world. Boat classifications depend on hull type, length, and the number and placement of masts and sails. Why do you need to know this? Because your yacht falls under one of those classifications. Some of what you learn will apply specifically to your class of vessel.
3. Learn Sailing Terminology
Next, it is important to learn sailing terminology. Basic terms like port, starboard, bow, and stern help you find your direction on the vessel. Terms like leeward, tacking, jibing, and luffing all pertain to the actual process of sailing.
Learning how to sail your yacht you will undoubtedly include conversations with more experienced sailors. If you do not understand the terms they are using, any bit of advice they can offer you will not go very far. You need to learn to speak the language if you’re going to glean from their experience.
4. Learn How to Prepare Your Vessel
Taking a yacht out on the open water is a lot more complicated than getting in your car and driving to work. The boat has to be prepared in advance of departure. Therefore, you have to learn how to make those preparations. You have to learn how to conduct a visual check, gauge wind direction and speed, and get the boat pointed in the right direction.
5. Practice with an Experienced Sailor
The final step of learning how to sail a yacht is to go out on the water and practice with an experienced sailor at your side. Yes, there is a lot you can learn from books and online training videos. You can learn a lot by having conversations with other sailors. But nothing is as good as a trainer as practice as long as you know the theory first otherwise you might frustrate the experienced sailor. The more time you spend practicing, the more quickly you will learn.
Learning how to sail a yacht is no small undertaking. Do yourself a favor and invest the necessary time and resources into learning as much as you can. After all, you do not want to ruin that brand-new boat you worked so hard for.