Sailing Instructions

Sailing Safety

You are absolutely and totally responsible for the safety of yourself and others while sailing. These instructions are here for you to learn, however we take no responsibility for any injuries or damage resulting from your actions.

Here are a few safety tips and suggestions in no particular order.

  • When picking a sailing spot, make sure you have adequate space to sail, turn and stop. As your speed increases so does the size of the area you need.
  • Give your equipment an inspection to ensure there are no loose bolts, cracked frame members, frayed ropes, etc. It's also critical that you make sure the blocks and sheet are clear, without any twist in the lines that could bind when you need to sheet in or out.
  • Don't sail impaired or intoxicated.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear, a helmet and gloves is a good minimum.
  • Know your limits as far as what wind speeds you are capable of sailing in, sailing area, sail size, etc. Always err on the side of safety, especially when beginning. It's better to sail a little underpowered than overpowered.
  • Some basic landsailing safety principles, again in no particular order.

  • Never put your feet down to try to stop at any speed above walking. Not only will you not stop, you may lose control. Always slow down and stop by turning into the wind.
  • For beginners, I recommend only making turns into the wind, "tacking", as this allows the sail to luff and pass over your head as you go through the turn.
  • Turning downwind, or "jibing", should only be done after considerable sailing experience has been gained. Jibing is exhilirating if done right, but can dump you violently if done wrong. Jibing also requires a larger sailing area.
  • Keep a light touch on the sheet so you can sheet out if need be to reduce speed.
  • I realize some of these terms may not make sense yet, so be sure to read completely through the rest of the information to help you understand.

    Next: Terminology and Mechanics of Sailing