How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Tack a Sailboat
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How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Tack a Sailboat

September 8, 2019

Okay, right now we are on a port tack and
what that means is that the wind is coming over our port side and the boom and the jib
are over on the starboard side and as, as we, in order to go upwind we have to tack
back and forth and change tacks and so we may want to go from a port tack, which we
are on there, where the wind is on the port side, to a starboard tack where the wind is
on the starboard side. And the way that we would do that, is there’s commands that you
need to communicate with your crew and make sure that they know what you’re about to do,
and the command is “prepare to come about”, and when they are ready, and I’ll explain
that in a second, what that is, when they’re ready, they will say “ready”, if they’re not
ready, they will say “no”, and as we, they will be ready when the person, you have a
working sheet, the one on, which is on starboard right now, where Ed is, and is, that’s where
the tension is on the jib sheet. And then you have a lazy sheet, or the one on port
right now, where Kelly is. You see how it’s slack by the jib and so what we are going
to do is, when we come about, Ed is going to have to release his side on starboard.
Okay. And Kelly is going to pull in on her side, and “ready about”. “Ready”, Ed is over
here, ready to release. “Ready”, and Kelly is ready to pull. And then the command is
“Helm, to lee”, I am going to put, turn the tiller as, or the wheel, so that the boat
turns into the wind. I’m turning into the wind now, and Ed releases and Kelly pulls
it in on the other side. And as soon as the main sail is on one side, we release, we stop
turning and we are sailing now on a starboard tack. And as you can see the wind is now coming
over the starboard side of the boat, and the sails are on the, have changed sides of the
boat and they are right now on the port side of the boat. “Helm to lee”. Okay, talk us
through it Steve, talk us through it. Okay, the sail comes over on the aft, I put my additional
wraps on at the very end. If you do it quickly, you don’t need to winch it in. I was a little
slow on that tack, so I’m going to winch it in a little. When you are around the winches
you want, you always want to keep the heel of your hand toward the winch, don’t point
your fingers down here, keep the heel in that direction.


  • Reply Nicholas Muller June 21, 2008 at 2:56 am

    um ah where am i?

  • Reply DynamicMentalFitness August 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    That was a nice bit of gust right there at the end – great sailing tip. Thanks, friend!

  • Reply wesleybec1 December 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    thank you this was very informative

  • Reply capitalsfan4ever July 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    How big is this boat?

  • Reply David Battle August 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks for putting this one up, old timer.

  • Reply bobtheowl2 September 23, 2010 at 1:53 am

    isn't the leech of the jib still luffing at the end? (and is that ok?)

  • Reply ozskipper January 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

    @bobtheowl2 The leech has stretched. A tug on the leach line may take most of that out. But also turn the leach in somewhat and cause it to stall .

  • Reply BobbieGWhiz July 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I thought you say hard alee on a tack and helms alee on a jib??

  • Reply BlueWaveDragon May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Because people can get hit on the head with the boom or also be tangled in the sheet (rope to sail)

  • Reply David Ott July 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

    holy shit that was super boring but informativeness srs fell alseep midway thro make a joke you fucking old ah god ty for the vid

  • Reply regino523 September 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    more like 'how to bore the bejesus out of your crew so that they'd rather jump overboard than sail with you'.

  • Reply magician5841 October 17, 2012 at 1:25 am

    lots of great info!

  • Reply dog9999cat September 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    ON first tack Kelly tensioned too early and caused some backwind

  • Reply Jimmy D April 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I noticed after you tacked the other way near the end of the video the training edge of the gib kept fluttering…who do you correct that?

  • Reply Shari Wynd April 9, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Informative.  Whilst you discussed the importance of keeping your fingers pointed away from the winch, you did not require your crew to wear gloves.  Leather gloves should be a mandatory piece of safety equipment – especially for novice sailors.

  • Reply VolDep45 July 20, 2014 at 4:33 am

    This video is useless.  Why is the video on the Captain and the background.  It should be on the crew and what they are doing to the sails!!

  • Reply Vicki Montclair September 7, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Informative, but I would like to see what the crew is doing to "release" the jib sheet on the one side while the other member is pulling it to the port side.

  • Reply John Rogan October 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    port tack….wind is coming from the left.

  • Reply John Rogan October 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    ready about…helms a lee.

  • Reply Merlin Man May 4, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Be nice to see how it's done in a very stiff breeze.

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