Advanced Sailing Courses Tips

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How do I learn high performance sailing techniques?

Using the Wind for High Performance Sailing

When you are just beginning to learn sailing, it might seem like the wind is coming constant from one direction. But, as you begin to learn advanced sailing techniques through sailing courses designed for experienced sailors, you will realize the wind is always changing. It comes from one direction and as soon as you utilize your know-how to deal with it, it changes just as fast as it came. That is fine as those with advanced sailing instruction know how to deal with changing wind. It is actually one of the more challenging aspects of learning to sail. A shift in the wind is called a header, therefore a boat has been headed or has sailed into a header. Here are some tips for handling wind once you have basic sailing lessons behind you:

*If the wind shifts more toward the stern of the boat, you can point higher than you were previously pointing or sail more toward the original wind. This wind is called a lift. Most wind shifts are 10 degrees or less, but when you are taking a sailing course, you might learn about wind shifts through diagrams where they are exaggerated so you can better understand advanced sailing knowledge.

*If a large shift hits a boat on port tack, to respond and keep the sails full, the skipper has to fall off to the new heading. But, a lift is a helpful wind shift helping a boat head more directly toward the desired destination upwind.

*If you watch high performance sailing races, you'll soon find that these experts know how to manipulate their given circumstances. For example, a header for a boat on port tack is a lift for a boat on starboard. And since a lift helps you sail closer to your destination, a skipper will often change tacks when headed. Racers almost always tack when headed if they want to come in first.

What will an advanced sailing course teach me?

Advanced Sailing Courses Should Cover Anchoring in a Storm

If you have signed up for an advanced sailing class, you probably already know the in's and out's of anchoring a sailboat. But, learning to sail should cover how to do basic techniques when a challenging situation--such as a storm--is likely You may feel comfortable taking a cruising sailboat for a long trip but will you know how to anchor when inclement weather is predicted? Make sure your advanced sailing classes cover this type of situation, as it is likely to occur. Also, study the particular characteristics of weather in the area where you anchor. Storms effects will be different from city to city, and country to country.

If you need to anchor when there are storm warnings, put out a second anchor for safety reasons. Ensure that both your anchor lines are in the direction of the anticipated storm and at an angle of 30-45 degrees to the bow. It is also good to practice running the engine in reverse to dig the anchor in. If you have a dinghy on a cruising yacht, climb in and drop a second anchor, shackle the second anchor on and row it out. Do this when you arrive so you don't have to do it in the middle of the night when it's storming.

There are differing philosophies on how best to anchor in a variety of situations. That's why taking an advanced sailing course with instructors who have a great deal of on-water experience is better than just learning from books. These certified instructors have likely anchored in storms and bad weather and can teach you the tricks of the trade.

What will sailing lessons teach me about winch safety?

Sailing Lessons on Winch Safety

If you are just beginning to learn sailing, you might still be confused about which side of the boat is port and which is starboard. But, if you are already competent in basic sailing instruction, it may be time to take a sailing course designed to teach you advanced sailing and high performance techniques. While you might learn about winches in beginner sailing lessons, in advanced sailing courses you might perfect those techniques and learn more detail about how to use them best in high performance sailing situations. Here are some tips on winch safety:

*If you are easing the jib sheet to adjust for a course change, put one hand on the coils without your thumb sticking out where it can get caught and injured. Then, ease the line with the other hand.

*Use the hand on the coils for control. If you don't, the coils can stick and then suddenly jerk out. This can also cause injury.

*Always wrap the winch clockwise. Before you tack or jibe, wrap the lazy side winch one or two times to prepare for the maneuver. When it's time to tack or jibe, be aware of the tension before you uncleat it and hold tight. After the tack or jibe, release the working side, remove wraps and pull in on the new sheet.

*To safely add wraps as soon as there is pressure, take the line in one hand and pass it around the winch two or three times allowing the line to ease through your hands as it goes. Don't ease enough to let the line slip on the drum.

What will a good sailing course cover?

Sailing Courses Cover Right of Way Rules

If you want to learn sailing, you must be ready to take on a large degree of responsibility. Sailing is fun and there is nothing like the feeling on a sailboat when it's cruising free and easy. But, it only looks free and easy. It's actually hard work. Sailing classes, if they are well designed, will teach you how to avoid collisions and what the rules of the water are for various types of vessels. Here is some sailing instruction you are likely to get in a good sailing course:

If a boat is heading your way and you don't know if it's on a collision course, use this sailing tip: Note the bearing of the boat and use a compass or line it up with some item on the boat such as a lifeline or starchion. In a short time, take the bearing again. If it has not changed, you are on a collision course and must be ready to react.

Whether you are just beginning to learn sailing or our signed up for an advanced sailing course, you should review the rules of the water. A stand-on vessel has the right of way while a give-way vessel must alter a course to avoid collision. A leeward boat is the stand-on vessel and has the right of way. The windward boat has to keep clear or give way. A starboard tack boat is the stand-on vessel and has the right of way. A port tack boat has to keep clear. When over-taking, the boat ahead is the stand-on vessel. The over-taking boat has to keep clear.

Can my spouse and I take private sailing lessons?

Take Advanced Sailing Lessons with Your Spouse

Many people would cringe at the thought of sailing with a spouse. Could just the two of us handle a sailboat? Can we really work together well enough to learn sailing as a duo? The answer to both questions is "yes." Some sailing classes--such as the Private Cruising Course for Two at Offshore Sailing School--are designed to teach couples to learn to sail as a team. When you first see the spacious, 41-foot sailing yacht on which you'll train, you may feel like you'll never be ready to sail it without an instructor. But, at the end of the week, after both classroom and on-water training, you will be qualified to dock, anchor, tack, chart, handle heavy water--all with just you and your spouse.

Offshore Sailing School offers these specially designed courses for those who want to master bareboat cruising or live aboard cruising. But, if you have not studied formally, you can take the school's unique fast-track instruction which combines a learn to sail course with bareboat or live aboard sailing instruction.

Also, you have plenty of time for other types of fun as you spend two nights at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa. These private sailing classes come with US Sailing certifications, textbooks and meals aboard. By the end of the week, the two of you will feel confident taking control of a sailboat and organizing your own cruising vacation.

What would an advanced sailing course teach me?

Advanced Sailing Courses Offer High Performance Techniques

What do you do if you're out sailing and the wind is rapidly rising? Hopefully you have had some high-level sailing lessons which taught you how to sailreef. One definition of a reef is a barely submerged line of rocks or land. Sometimes, in roller reefing, a sail is rolled around a wire at its huff or lowered a few feet and rolled around the boom. The time to try to sailreef is not when the wind is rising but in a well designed sailing course. If you properly reef your mainsail, this high performance sailing maneuver will help you keep your vessel under control and possibly minimize any damage to your sails.

Furling the jib is often the first step to sailreefing on sailboats with furling systems. The sail area must still be reduced. Newer sailors might furl in the jib, start the engine and then reef. But that will leave you in the mercy of the waves. Before reefing:

*Check that the boom vang is eased.

*Make sure all involved know the sequence of steps and the communication commands to get there.

*Make sure the person on the lines knows which is the main sheet and which is the main halyard.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran