This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Large Keelboats Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. The Skipper Large Keelboats course is part of the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses, also teaching you how to master maneuvering under power and docking!

You can learn to sail and improve your sailing with NauticEd, the international leader in sailing education.

Helpful Hints about Wind

Since the existence of wind is the primary reason we can sail, it is prudent to know all we can about it. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Periodically take 1/2 second glances at the wind vane at the top of the mast or the wind meter.
  • Simpler signs of wind direction and velocity include flags, telltales, your hair, and birds. Birds, when given the opportunity, generally sit with their beak into the wind.
  • Ripples on the water form 90 degrees to the wind. If you can envision the ripples as horizontal lines, then the wind is perpendicular to the ripple lines.
  • If you put your nose directly into the wind, you will hear the wind equally in both ears.

There are many ways to judge how the wind is hitting your vessel, and these tend to become intuitive with experience—you simply sense the wind. This is when you truly have the “feeling” of sailing.


trimming the sails

Trimming the Sails

Don’t forget to take the free NauticEd Basic Sail Trim course – already in your Curriculum.

You can learn more in the Skipper Course....

Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses to also master maneuvering under power and docking!

Source: Skipper
Topic: Sailing Maneuvers
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.