Some simple things you should know about sailing


Things you might want to know.

First, we must get to know the more important parts of our yacht and the correct terms used to refer to them. The front of the yacht is the bow and the back is the stern. The terms fore (forward) and aft (aft) refer to the front and rear sections of the yacht respectively; the center is the midships portion. When facing toward the bow, the left-hand side is the port side (There is no red port left in the bottle) and the right is the Green starboard side. The point of greatest width is the beam. The main shell of the yacht is called the hull, the top edge of which is the gunwale (pronounced gunnel) and the center piece running lengthways under the hull is the keel (jj.boat has 4 ton of lead in it's keel), this helps to stop the yacht 'slipping' sideways in the water and turning over.

The Rigging

The term rigging is used in connection with the ropes, with which a sailing yacht is equipped. The running rigging is used to control the movement of the sails and yacht.

The sails are hoisted and lowered up the mast by means of the halyards, attached to the head of the sail:
Main Sail halyard
Genoa Sail halyard
Stay Sail halyard
These do not have to be adjusted as jj.boat has roller reefing.

The Running Rigging

The sheets, which are attached to the aft end of the sail, this enables the sail angle to be adjusted to suit the wind strength and direction:
Main Sail sheets (On Port Side)
Main Traveler sheet (Port & Starboard)
Genoa Sail sheets (Port & Starboard)
Stay Sail sheets (Port & Starboard)
Kicking Strap (On Port Side)

Main Sail out haul (On Starboard side)
Main Sail in haul (On Starboard side)

Topping lift, holds the boom up when the sail is not hoisted (On Port Side)

Why yachts tack

The first thing we must remember about sailing is that a yacht cannot sail directly into the wind. In the head to wind position the sail simply flaps and is unable to propel the craft forward. You might ask what happens when you wish to sail from point X to point Y when the wind is blowing from Y to X? The answer is that you must steer a zigzag course first to one side of the wind direction and then to the other, keeping as close to the wind line as you can with the sail full and not flapping. If it starts to flap, the angle of travel must be increased until it fills again. Eventually, after a series of such maneuver's you will reach your aiming point at Y.

Zigzagging in the manner described is known as beating to windward or tacking. While sailing in this way the yacht is said to be close hauled, and this is one of the three main points of sailing. When the wind strikes the sail on the port side with the boom angled over to starboard we can say we are on the port tack; wind from starboard and boom to port is the starboard tack. Normally, an angle of at least forty degrees to the wind direction is as close as an average yacht will sail.

Some useful knots

The great advantage of seamen's knots is that whilst they are perfectly secure when tied they can be untied, or cast off, quickly and easily. A seaman has no use for the common 'granny'. If you really intend to take your yachting seriously you should make yourself familiar with the most important knots which are illustrated, if you are visiting jj then the first 3 you must learn.

Bowline is used to make a loop. It has many purposes, one of the most important being a safety line fitted round a crew member's waist

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches will make fast a rope any bar, ring and tiring on fenders.

Clove Hitch rope can be tied (made fast) to a mooring post, ring and tiring on fenders.
Sheetbend is used to tie a rope end to a loop and to join two ropes of unequal thickness.
Sheep Shank this shortens a rope. I use it on the anchor trip rope. You must lean this, so when I say dive in and check the anchor, you can shorten the rope. It has to be done under water.
(Looking for a picture)
Only learn these when you can do the above blind folded

Figure of Eight. A stop knot tied to prevent the end of a rope from slipping through a pulley block or other small space.

Reef Knot. Used for tying together ropes of equal thickness. The end of the left-hand rope is taken behind he right-hand piece, brought forward and tucked under to make the first twist. The end now in your left hand is placed in front of the right and brought forward through he loop. Now pull the ropes tight.

Rolling Hitch would be used on a horizontal bar.