Crewing skills

Tacking a sailing boat

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Tacking is the sailing manoeuvre used to change a boat’s direction through an oncoming wind. Tacking a sailing boat calls for the crew to work as a co-ordinated team and is one of the first sailing skills to learn. When a sailing boat is heading in the direction that the wind is coming from, it has to sail a zig-zag course in order for the sails to work. This...

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Points of Sailing

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The course on which a boat is sailing can be described by its angle to the wind, not to be confused with its compass heading. The different angles to the wind are known as the points of sailing. A number of sailing terms collectively known as the points of sail are used to describe a boat’s course relative to the wind direction. On each point of sail, adjustments...

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How to operate a winch

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Winches are drum shaped mechanical devices used to handle halyards, sheets and control lines. One of the important crew skills to learn is winch handling and knowing how to operate a winch correctly. The sails of a large yacht exert considerable force on the ropes which control them. As a result, hauling the ropes tight requires considerable physical effort. Knowing...

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Competent crew skills: mooring lines

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Mooring lines are used when arriving or leaving a berth. One of the most important competent crew skills is to know how to handle and tie mooring lines securely and safely. Mooring lines may be tied to a variety of purpose made objects ashore, including cleats, rings and posts. It is best to tie the end of a line to the shore and feed back the rest of it to the boat...

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