Top 5 sailing tips
Here's a quick and handy guide to help you brush up your sailing skills.
If you're feeling a little under the weather don't struggle up into to the top bunk. The best way to help you feel better is to stay low! The motion is less evident there. Try to stay horizontal, and if there are no sea berths on-board, throw some cushions on the floor and lie there. You'll feel better in no time.
Your tank may look full, but many yachts will come to a surprising halt even when the fuel level gauge looks full to burst. The best thing to do is to run a column in your log book for your engine. Keeping a check of fuel fills and oil changes means there will be no more guess work.
Bad weather is a common worry for sailors. The most effective method of avoiding the effects of bad weather at sea? Avoid sailing altogether. Check local weather forecasts before setting out and try not to sail for a few days after a storm. Inevitably there will be times when getting caught in bad weather is unavoidable. So, it's therefore essential to know how to keep your crew and boat safe.
Look no hands
You'd be surprised how many people only use auto pilot on passage. Having a free hand to stow a sail or prepare lines is really useful, especially for a small crew. Just remember to make a point of keeping an eye on what's going on around the boat at all times.
It's important to respect the boom. The most common sailing injuries are a result of not being aware when the boom is about to swing. To avoid injury or being knocked overboard, remember to be conscious and respectful of the boom at all times.
A steady course
You're out at sea and a ship is approaching. You are the give way vessel. All you need to do is make a slight alteration to ensure a collision does not take place. But imagine how the skipper of the other ship feels. He's wondering whether you've made the safest decision. The answer? Show him your sidelight if it's dark. If it's light, 20 or 30 degrees and a steady course should put his mind at rest.
Knot to be forgotten
Good sailing knots are essential to sailing. The figure eight knot is a good stopper knot. The figure eight will ensure, especially in windy weather, the jibsheet and the mainsheet remain in the cabin. Other useful knots to learn are the bowline, clove hitch, round turn and two half hitches and the reef knot.