What are the 5 essentials of sailing?

by Chris Kameen on November 12, 2013

If you haven’t done a sailing course before then you will probably think that the 5 essentials might be something like:

  1. Sunscreen5 Essentials of Sailing
  2. Sandy beach
  3. Wind
  4. Sailing Boat
  5. Friends to sail with

And we have these 5 essentials in abundance at Sydney Sailing School but they aren’t the 5 essentials that sailing instructors talk about! Instructors talk about the following:

  1. Balance – a dinghy should be sailed flat, not healing over, though this is good fun
  2. Trim – sit too far back and you’ll do a wheelie, too far forward and you’ll be pushing water
  3. Centreboard – this allows the boat to sail ‘upwind’ but we need it less and less as we head downwind, pull it up half way on a reach and 3/4 on a run
  4. Sail setting – Remember “if in doubt let it out” and “a flappy sail is an unhappy sail”. You shoudl be constantly adjusting your sails to ensure that they are working optimally
  5. Course made good – don’t forget that whilst you are getting the other 4 essentials correct, you need to steer where you want to go. Whilst steering is affected by all the 5 essentials the rudder has a great impact especially in a dinghy.

In this video Shirley Robinson gives us a quick overview of these 5 essentials in action

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