By: David Dellenbaugh  This sounds simple, but it’s not always so easy to do. A strategy is your game plan for how to sail fast up the first beat, a guideline to keep you going the right way. It’s not so difficult to develop a strategic plan – you just have to get out to the
 By: David Dellenbaugh  This is a sure-fire rule of thumb that works in any wind condition. Of course, you must be able to predict which way the wind will shift next. But if you can do this, all you have to do is sail in that direction and you will come out ahead (assuming you
Each charter destination offers its own special aspects. You may have nursed a life-long fantasy to loll on a snow-white beach in Tahiti or climb the ruins of the Parthenon. Advance research will inform you how to fulfill those dreams or where to go for new adventures. Travel books, boating magazines and charter company brochures
 By: Dave Perry, Chairman of US Sailing Appeals Committee Dave Perry presented the dos and don’ts of filing an appeal at the Sailing Leadership Forum last February in San Diego. Perry is the author of Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing and Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes. He is also a US Sailing Senior Certified Judge. When filing
By Rob Crafa and Lynn Lynch There are so many benefits for hosting and taking US Powerboating’s Safe Powerboat Handling Course. Find out how this course can improve the quality of your club’s programming: Hands-on, on-the-water–, practical application of all skills Professional textbook & online / digital teaching aids Boaters with no experience quickly gain confidence
By: David Dellenbaugh  When you want to go fast upwind, bad air is your enemy. So watch out for other boats, and look ahead for lanes of clear air. Wind shadows extend farther and slow you more in light air than they do in heavy air. So when there’s not much wind, don’t stay in

The Art of Rig Tune & Bend

By: Nick Turney of North Sails Prepared for the 2011 US Sailing One Design Symposium, this hands-on seminar will show you the proper steps of tuning a mast and also how to use mast bend to your advantage. These steps will assist in boosting performance and improving safety. The Art of Rig Tune & Bend

Outboard Motor Maintenance

By: Lynn Lynch, St. Francis Yacht Club Manager, San Francisco, CA Learn about outboard motor maintenance that every sailor should know, from spark plugs, to oil and filters, to gaskets, to batteries, along with the suggested tools you’ll need as well. Outboard Maintenance

How to Read Wind & Weather Patterns

By: Nick Turney of North Sails Learn how to read wind on a course and make appropriate tactical decisions to improve your performance on the water. Reading the wind, includes: types of puffs; reading the puffs and; predicting the wind. Predicting the wind, includes: data collection; weather maps and; isobar maps. Reading Wind & Weather
By: Stu Gilfillen, Training Director at US Sailing When I was a program director, one of the major questions that I always had was, “Where does my program compare to other programs nationwide?” While the question sounds like it was geared towards gauging what my achievements were, in reality it was more about seeing if
By: David Dellenbaugh  When you’re not sure where the next shift will come from, get onto the longer tack to the windward mark (the tack on which your bow is pointing closer to the mark). This is one of my most reliable strategies. Sailing the longer tack works because of probability. Your chances of success
By Joel Hanneman, Founder of the Rhode Island Team Racing Association Although team racing has been around for a few decades, it continues to develop into an up-and-coming sailing activity. When the concept of team racing came about it was essentially a group of boats fleet racing against each other. But as the courses, boats,

Sail Trim & Shape

by: Nick Turney of North Sails Learn the ins and outs of sail trim and how rigging and tuning affect the shape of your sails. The Mainsail Trim includes: Main Sheet, Traveler; Cunningham; Outhaul and; Vang. The Headsail & Spin Trim includes: Jib Lead; Jib Halyard and; Jib Sheet.  Mainsail Trim  Headsail & Spin Trim

Racing Tactics & Strategy

By: Nick Turney of North Sails Gaining information about the race course and your competition will help you gain an advantage. Then, learn the tactics to position your boat to implement your strategy. Racing Tactics & Strategy

When to Split Tacks

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs.  When to Split Tacks: You know the old adage: “Can’t catch ‘em if we follow ‘em.” So, when you are behind you’ve got to split tacks to catch

Trim for Waves

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs.  Each sail has three sources of power: angle of attack, depth, and twist. Proper trim means sailing at full power and with the proper mix of power. For a

Tacking Tips Part I – The Turn

As mundane as they may seem, good tacks are essential to good racing. Make each tack a little better and you’ll save a few boat lengths every race. Tacks can be divided into two parts: The Turn and The Acceleration. Surprisingly, after The Turn you are ahead in VMG of where you would have been
The Acceleration A proper turn is just the first part of a tack. Part II – The Acceleration will complete the tack. As noted before, all the losses from tacking accrue during this critical second phase. Typically, (on keelboats) losses are between one and two boat lengths. Our goal is to minimize losses. Coming out

Distance Racing Fundamentals

By: Bill Gladstone, Director of North U and author of the North U Racing Trim, North U Racing Tactics, and North U Cruising and Seamanship books and discs. When racing distances, there are several tactics to keep in mind: aim toward the finish line; sail fast and hard; keep your eye on the weather and; practice at
Watch Ken Read, President of North Sails Group, present “21st Century Sailing Innovation, Inclusion, Customer-Focus” at the 2014 US Sailing Leadership Forum.