Learning To Sail: Tips For Newbie Sailors

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Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Brendan

learning to sail a laser dinghy on the ocean
Learning to Sail – Tips For Newbie Sailors

When you think of sailors and sailing, what springs to mind? Are you a beginner, or looking into learning to sail? Below I share some of my story and tips on how you can start sailing, so read on…

I am your regular 8-5 guy, but I am a very adventurous person. Whenever the monotony of office work sets in, I train my eyes on something new I could look into. There is something about an adventure that fascinates me. Even as a teenager I climbed mountains and camped in forests you wouldn’t set your foot into. I have tried parasailing and love the feel of the wind on my face. I am fortunate that I share my love for the outdoors with my dad. You see, life’s adventures become doubly exciting when shared with a loved one.

I remember moving to be close to the coast when I was a child. Where I was born was inland, with no beaches or lakes and only a small river. So moving to a coastal town was a very different experience for me. I remember going sailing with my dad for the very first time – I was only 6 or 7. I have to admit I was excited and anxious at the same time.

At the time this was an entirely new thing for me and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like or that I would end up sailing for the rest of my life. So I decided that, because I was given the opportunity of learning to sail, I would do my part and help others when I could to get others out on the water and experience the same as I did all those years ago. So here I am, excited and a little overeager watching and helping newbie sailors in their small sailboats as they also start their (hopefully) life-long journey in sailing.

Tips for newbies wanting to learn to sail

If you are learning to sail, or are completely new to sailing, a visit to a local sailing club may prove to be very helpful. The sailing folks are accommodating and are willing to share their knowledge with newbies. You will be introduced to all sorts of new things, and if you’re lucky you can check out one of the forms of sailing that is close to my heart – laser sailing.

I remember learning the ropes of sailing was a challenge and I appreciate the patience and dedication of those who introduced me to the sport. Now, I find fulfillment in teaching eager new learners the rudiments of sailing just as I was taught years before.

If you are reading this far I am pretty sure that you are itching to learn sailing too. So I am offering here some common tips that helped me out when I was like you. So please read on…

  • Join a sailing club. A sailing club is the best place for you to find experts and seasoned sailors who are willing to help you. Listen to them and benefit from their wisdom and expertise. Volunteering to be a helping hand for a skipper is a good way to learn, and some would be happy to accommodate you in their sailing dinghy.
  • Beef up on the theory of sailing. Learning to sail becomes easier when you understand the science behind it. For instance, knowing how to achieve the correct sail angles and how the wind works will make practice less frustrating.
  • Get to know the controls of the boat by heart. Knowledge gives you the confidence to get going. A laser dinghy may look small but not knowing how a boom vang or the cunningham works may cause you to make the wrong turns.
  • Remember your Boy Scout skills. Knot tying is one of the skills I most appreciate in scouting. If you have missed learning this in grade school, now is the time to harness your bowline and figure 8 knots to perfection.
Learn your sailing knots - click here
Learn your sailing knots

Sailors speak in a language that only they can understand because, for us, a sailing experience is something beyond words can perfectly describe. Sailors attest that the excitement of sailing far outweighs the challenges of learning. The feel of the wind and the confidence that we are able to navigate the waters with it brings so much fulfillment and joy. Your consciousness is filled by the rushing of the waters underneath, the stillness of nature, and the peace it provides.

The beauty of sailing is that anybody who loves the water or the sea can learn it. It doesn’t matter whether one is short or tall, smart or otherwise. Once you learn how to do it, you will surely fall in love with sailing. Haven’t you wondered why sailors stroll around with smiling faces radiating an aura of self-assured fulfillment? For a lot of sailors, sailing is not only a sport… it is a way of life. And what a way to embrace life! Join other sailors by learning to sail – it may just change your life.

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About Brendan

Brendan has over 30 years experience sailing dinghies, yachts, and windsurfers, but has recently started Laser sailing. "I found it difficult to find all the information that I needed when I started sailing my Laser, and I am sure that others have had the same problem. So I combined all the information I could into this website to help other Laser sailors get the most out of this sport. If you have any questions or comments, let me know... I will get back to you as soon as I can."

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