Speed & Smarts: In light air, go for better pressure

by David Dellenbaugh When you’re racing in light air, a three-knot increase in wind velocity might improve your boat speed by 30% or 40% (and you will point higher, too). But in heavy air, the same wind increase might improve your speed only 5% to 10% (and it probably won’t help your pointing). What this…Read More

Basic Cruising: The bilge system

Never let the bilge be "out of sight, out of mind." A regular visual inspection of the bilge should become a habit. You will quickly learn what is normal water in the bilge - rainwater coming down the mast, ice box drainage, and the drip from the stuffing box - and recognize water that indicates…Read More

Five Basic Navigation Rules for Sailing Situations

Courtesy on the water makes sailing more fun for everyone. But beyond courtesy, there are Navigation Rules - like traffic laws - that can be enforced by authorities. Navigation Rules help prevent accidents and apply to the smallest rowboat and the largest tanker. Less experienced sailors should stay clear of boating traffic and sail defensively.…Read More

Lake Sailing Tips

By Richard Feeny, US Sailing Junior National Coach, Finger Lakes Junior Laser Champion Introduction The shape of the land to windward of the race course will affect the wind. The first thing to look for is any low area that will let the wind onto the race course. In a flat country with no valleys…Read More

Pre-Sailing Exercises

Before any exercising, including sailing, you should warm up and loosen up by stretching. Keep yourself in reasonably good condition, and before heading out, stretch out. These flexibility exercises should be done for about 30 seconds. Do not stretch to the point of pain, only to increase flexibility. Sailing requires movements in many unusual positions.…Read More

Start Windsurfing Right: The Windsurfing Safety Code

Being safety conscious at all times, both on and off the water, is an attitude you will develop with your instructor's help. It will pay off many times over in safe, fun, relaxing sailing. Safety encompasses many things: dressing properly, wearing a life jacket, being courteous toward other boaters, being observant, sailing by the "rules…Read More

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…Read More

Junior Sailing Program Recruiting Tips

by: Chip Johns, Commodore of the Beverly Yacht Club and former owner of Vanguard Sailboats The process of recruiting and hiring staff for your junior sailing programs can be quite challenging. There are many factors to consider when trying to build an effective staff who are responsible for teaching fundamental skills to impressionable youth sailors. Chip…Read More

The Powerboat Certification Series: Towing Concepts

These towing concepts are from US Sailing's Safety, Rescue & Support Boat Handling. Observer: There should be a person on the safety-rescue boat who watches the tow and alerts the operator if any problems develop. This person will tend the towline and transmit information to the operator while picking up or releasing a tow. Speed…Read More

Tacking Tips Part II – The Acceleration

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…Read More