A Beginner’s Guide to Sailing

There are several ways you can learn how to sail. You can simply jump in a boat with your friends and start learning from experience, sign up for a course with a sailing school, or borrow or buy a small boat and learn on your own. Regardless of which one you choose, it will help to know what’s involved in sailing and understanding the boat first before heading out onto the water.

The Basics of Sailing


You will need specific skills and knowledge to successfully sail a boat. We provided the following steps to assist you in learning how to sail. You don’t need to be in a boat to start learning. By reading through each of our steps, you will be quite prepared to sail a boat just by reading through the basics. If you are new to sailing, we highly recommend that you read through each step and understand it before going to the next step.

1. Understanding Sailing Terms

When you get into sailing, you will need to understand certain words used when talking about sailing and the skills you’ll need to use when sailing. Don’t stress about learning everything immediately as most of the concepts and terms will become clearer as you start using it while sailing.

2. Learning Parts of the Boat

Before heading out on a boat, we highly recommend that you learn every single part of the boat and the words that correspond with each of them. Even if you decide to learn from an instructor, they won’t tell you to “grab a rope and pull it”. Instead, they will use the terms “Haul in the jib sheet”. If you don’t know what they are referring to, you might be in trouble.

3. Begin With An Online Course

Once you have a better understanding on sailing terms and the different part of a boat, you can go more in-depth by learning how the different parts of a boat is used. The best way to achieve this is by enrolling into a sailing course that will provide loads of photos on how the parts of a boat are actually used.

4. Rig the Boat

So you ready to go sailing? Well, if you don’t know how to rig a boat, you won’t go anywhere. There are several preparations involved and putting on sails to successfully rig a boat before you go out sailing. Therefore, its vital that you learn this first before going out onto the water.

5. Basic Sail Techniques

There are loads of sailing techniques that you will need to learn and understand to ensure the boat goes in the direction you want it to go. The best way to achieve this is by reviewing basic sail techniques to ensure you know what to do with the sails.

6. Practice Tying Knots

There are multiple ways to tie a knot and its extremely important that you learn how to tie knots on a boat if you want to go sailing. Therefore, we highly recommend learning at least the basics of tying knots before you attempt to sail.