20 Essential Terms and Tools for a New Sailing Enthusiast

20 Essential Terms and Tools for a New Sailing Enthusiast

Expert sailors always know the right sailing terms and they have the right tools on board. These days, newbie sailing enthusiasts are luckier since they can just Google for the terms and get boat supplies online. These essential terms and toolkit items are crucial even though you and your buddies are just sailing for an hour.

For newbie sailing enthusiasts, sailboat terms and jargons can be intimidating. But as a newbie, you don’t really have to memorize them all just to survive your first sailing experience. Here are some of the terms you need to familiarise before your first sailing experience:

Bow – The front part of the ship. Remember this term as you learn about other common sailing terms.
Aft – Also known as Stern, it can be found at the sailboat’s rear part.
Port – The left part when you are facing the bow.
Starboard – Always known as the bow’s right part.
Leeward – May also be called as “Lee.” It’s known as the opposite direction of where the wind is currently blowing.
Windward – The direction where the wind is blowing. Obviously, it’s the opposite of leeward. You have to remember this term as sailboats usually move with the wind.
Tack – The opposite of jibing, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack or a jibe.
Jibe – A maneuver technique that describes the turning of the boat’ stern with the help of the wind so that it changes from the boat’s one side to the other side.
Boom – The horizontal pole that extends from the mast’s bottom. When you adjust the boom towards the windward, the sailboat is now able to get the wind power to move in any direction.
Rudder – It’s a flat piece of wood or metal that’s utilized to steer a sailboat. Bigger sailboats control the rudder through a wheel, while smaller ones have a direct steering mechanism.
Toolkit items correspond to the boat size. Some boat supplies online usually indicate the type of boat that a toolkit usually suits the best. For instance, a keelboat needs items such as lines, hooks, and fenders that can be found on specific boat supplies online. A keelboat is a yacht with a permanent keel instead of a centerboard; they are perfect for high-performance sports. A keel is a fin-like structural element that protrudes below the central line of a boat.

In this list, the following are items that a 9-metre keelboat can make good use of:

Boat hook – an aid for docking and undocking.
Chart – For sailors in Western Australia, nautical charts for sailors are highly recommended to bring on sailing and can be downloaded for free here: www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine/nautical-charts.asp. You may check on your state government’s website if they have any available.
Fenders – These are plastic cylinders and tires that hang over a ship’s side as a protection against collisions.
Extra engine fuel or extra paddles – In case your engine fuel runs out and your main paddle gets broken.
Toolkit with spare parts – Make sure to Google for the standard equipment and tools required by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Extra dock line – It’s usually tied from the aft and to a dock, to prevent the boat from moving forward. An abrasion-resistant keelboat line can be bought for as low as $1.84.
Binoculars – Binoculars help sailors see of an impending danger such as a storm. Standard binoculars can be bought for $40-49.
Anchor line and chain – Since keelboats are heavier than dinghies, you’ll need an approximate range of 1″- 9/16″ of a 30strand nylon diameter, while a chain diameter ranges from 1/4“ PC- 5/16″ PC/BBB or 1/4″ HT. Experts recommend that for high-performance cruising applications, sailors should use a mix of nylon line and galvanized chain.
Bucket with retrieval line – This can be used as a makeshift toilet. Australian boat supplies online usually offer buckets with no retrieval line, so you may have to look harder or buy them separately.
If you’re more than excited to sail and buy boat supplies online, you may try visiting http://www.bosunslocker.com.au/ for quality and reasonably-priced boat supplies online Australia has these days.

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