"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Ilfracombe yacht club

Four Basic Navigation Rules for Sailing Situations


1.Port-tack boat gives way to the starboard-tack boat – upwind or downwind. If two vessels might come close or collide, the stand-on vessel maintains course and speed. The give-way vessel alters course and/or speed to pass at a safe distance. (see Image 1 below)

2.Windward boat gives way to the leeward boat on the same tack, whether sailing upwind or downwind. (see Image 2 below)

3.Overtaking boat gives way to the vessel ahead, whether a sail boat or powerboat.

4.Recreational powerboats generally give way to sail boats. It's true most of the time. Stay away from working power vessels, fishing boats, ferries, tugboats, barges, and ships, especially in navigational channels.


Image 2

Image 1

Points of Sail


Sailing needs wind and water. Wind on the sails can push – and even pull – the hull through the water. The wind direction determines how to position the sails to keep the boat moving forward. Sailors should know where the wind is coming from and the wind angle relative to their boat for sail-trim purposes.


Once you know the wind direction, you can trim the sails for the direction you want to go. In the simplest form of sailing, a boat and its sails can be pushed "downwind," with the wind coming over the stern. But keep in mind that if you sail downwind, you will need to work your way back upwind to return to your starting place.


Directions of Sail Trim.


The No-Go Zone is roughly a 90° area that is too close to the wind to sail in effectively, but it is possible to sail on either side of the zone and zigzag your way to windward. For the rest of the wind circle you can match the correct sail position to the wind – sails are pulled in tighter for sailing upwind and let out farther for sailing downwind. Sailors can reach destinations in all directions.


Sailors divide the wind circle into six sections, one being the No-Go zone. The others are the five points of sail.


Upwind sailing is sailing toward the direction from which the wind is blowing. It includes two points of sail: Close-Hauled and Close Reaching.


Sailing across the wind is called Beam Reaching.


Downwind sailing refers to sailing in the direction to which the wind is blowing. It includes both Broad Reaching and Running.


The same five points of sail apply whether the wind is coming over the port or the starboard side of the boat.


See Image 3.


Image 3

Sailing Capsize Recovery: Scoop and Single-Handed Method


Once you know the basics of sailing, you should learn a few seamanship skills. Good seamanship helps you handle situations even when you're not sailing. Your boat may need to be towed for some reason. You may need to paddle from a dock to a mooring. As you may already have noticed there are specific knots for specific jobs on board!



Water safety is always important. Sailors can unexpectedly find themselves in the water. The best sailors in the world have experienced capsizing and falling overboard. Wearing a lifejacket and being comfortable in the water make sailing a safer experience for every sailor.

Capsize Recovery – Scoop Method

Most often, when a boat tips over it capsizes to leeward because the force of the wind overcomes the ability of the crew to hike or let out the sails. It is important to practice capsize recovery drills before you need to use them on your own. Once the boat is on its side and the sails are in the water, you should act promptly to right the boat. The Scoop Method of recovery gets its name because one crew is "scooped" into the cockpit as the other rights the capsized boat.


1. Tread water near the stern until the scooper has control of the


2. Move to centreboard trunk and free the main sheet, jib sheets, and boom kicker

    strap /vang if

    possible. If necessary, throw the windward jib sheet over the high side to the

    scooper to assist the Scooper in getting up on the board.

3. Hold on to a cockpit structure as the boat goes upright and get scooped in.

4. Balance the boat and steer it into the safety position.

5. Help the scooper on board over the stern

Capsize Recovery – Single Handed Boats

1. Boat capsizes and helmsman falls into water.

2. Helmsman uncleats main sheet and boom vang.

3. Mainsail should be lying to leeward of the hull in the water. If the mainsail

    is lying to windward of the hull, the boat can be either rotated so the sail

    lies to leeward or it can be brought upright which will result in the boat

    quickly capsizing again but with its sail lying in the water to leeward of the hull.

4. Helmsman moves to centreboard, climbs onto it, and while holding onto the

    gunwale leans back to bring the boat upright.

5. Helmsman climbs in over stem.


Just a few knots.

Founded 10th September 2011

Designed By C. Wood 2019