Crewing skills

Seasickness – how can you prevent it?

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Seasickness is a common problem at sea and affects both seasoned sailors and novices. What are the causes and symptoms of seasickness? How can you prevent seasickness and what medications can you take? It can take time to acclimatise to a boat moving around beneath you when you are at sea. This is especially so in rough weather, where there is usually a lot of...

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Gybing a sailing boat

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Gybing is the sailing manoeuvre used to change a boat’s direction through a following wind. As with the tacking manoeuvre, gybing a sailing boat calls for the crew to work together as a team and is one of the first sailing skills to learn. When a boat is sailing downwind, with the wind blowing from behind the yacht, it may need to alter course so that the...

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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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