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Introduction to Sailing

Sailing is both a fun recreation and serious sport. Regardless of the many differences in size and type, all sailboats work the same way to harness the wind for propulsion. Learn how sailboats work, common types of sailboats, and where people go to sail.
  1. Glossary of Sail Terms (30)

Basic Sailboat Terms
Learn the many special terms used for the parts of a sailboat and sailing equipment on a boat. This will help you learn to sail and enhance your communication on a boat.

Basic Sailing Terms
Learn the many special terms used in sailing.

Learn About Sailboats and How to Sail
Getting started sailing involves learning about sailboats and number of skills needed for sailing. Start here for an introduction to sailboats and basic sailing techniques. Also included are safety on the water, including required safety gear and equipment, and sailing laws and regulations.

Coast Guard Boating Courses
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary conducts a number of boating courses at many locations around the country, including a comprehensive Sailing Skills and Seamanship course. Additional classes are offered for kids. For those who want to learn more about sailing, this is a good place to begin. Check here to learn about the different courses and locate a course near you.

How Sails Work
Ever wonder how a sailboat can actually sail at an angle into the wind? Because of the shape of the sails, the boat is actually pulled windward, not, as most people think, simply pushed along by the wind. It’s fun to learn the science of how sails work.

"The International Marine Book of Sailing" by Robby Robinson - Book Review
This is a great all-in-one book for those learning to sail or improving their beginning skills to an intermediate level. Essentially everything you need to know to get aboard and cast off with confidence. Read the full review.

Learn How to Sail a Small Sailboat – 1. The Parts of the Boat
The first step in learning how to sail a small sailboat is to learn about the different parts of the boat and its rigging.

Best Websites for Boats for Sale
Start here for the best places online to find the right boat or sailboat for sale.

"Three Ways to Capsize a Boat" by Chris Stewart - Book Review

Types of Sailboats and Rigs
Over history, dozens of sailboat rigs have been developed and used for different types of boats in different circumstances. The "rig" refers to the combination of mast(s) and sail(s), which may vary considerably among boats of different sizes. Here is an introduction to the most common types of sailboat rigs found on the water today.

How to Buy a Sailboat
If you're thinking of buying a sailboat, it's important to consider many issues and questions about your needs and future activities before selecting a type and size of boat, and deciding whether to buy a new or used sailboat.

Nautical Trivia Quiz for Sailors
Here are some interesting facts about maritime history and sailing - see how much you know in this nautical trivia quiz!

"Maiden Voyage" by Tania Aebi - Book Review

"Sailing There" by Patricia Vellinga - Book Review

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