Learn To Sail, Kids And Adults

Like most things in life, learning to sail can be relatively easy, but learning to master the art of sailing can take a lifetime. Sailing is a mix of specific knowledge, honed skills and a gut instinct for the wind and the feel of the boat. To get the basics, expect to learn on many levels

10 Basic Steps of Sailing

  1. Understand Basic Sailing Terms. To get into sailing, you have to understand the words that are used to talk about the sailboat and the skills used to sail. Start here with a review of basic sailing terms. Don’t worry about memorizing everything as many of these terms and concepts will become clearer as you read on about how to do it.
  2. Learn the Parts of the Boat. Before you go on the boat, it’s helpful to know the words used in different parts of the boat. Even if you have an instructor, he or she won’t say “Grab that rope over there and pull it,” but instead will say “Haul in the jib sheet!” Review the basic boat terms you’ll need to know.
  3. Start an Online Course. Now you’re ready to learn more about what all those parts of the boat are used for. Here you can start an online learn-to-sail course by learning more about the parts of the boat along with a lot of photos, so you’ll see what to do.
  4. Rig the Boat. Read to go sailing now? Hold it a minute- you have to rig the boat first by putting on sails and making other preparations. Here again are a lot of photos of what to do on a typical small sailboat used by beginners.
  5. Review Basic Sailing Techniques. OK, now you have the boat ready- so what do you do now to make it go? Manage the sails to go in the direction you want by learning basic sailing techniques.
  6. Discover How to Manoeuvre. Sailing in a set direction is reasonably easy, but eventually, you’ll have to change direction. That often involves tacking and gybing. Take a moment to learn what’s involved in these critical manoeuvres.
  7. Recover From a Capsize. Now you’ve got the basics down. But did anyone ever tell you that small sailboats often tip over if the wind is gusting? Be prepared and carefully see how to recover from a capsise.
  8. Dock or Anchor the Boat. Now you’re out there sailing and you’ve got the boat under control. Learn how to go faster, dock or anchor the boat and use some of the equipment you’ve ignored so far. Take a look at some of these additional sailing skills.
  9. Practice Tying Knots. For thousands of years, sailors have used times where it is cold or raining by doing things like tying knots. Knots are important on a sailboat and you will need to learn at least some basic sailing knots to sail at all.
  10. Sail Safely. At this point, plus practice on the water, you’re good to go. However, it’s good to remember that water is a dangerous place. Learn the basics about sailing safety. Staying safe makes it easier to keep having fun out there.

TBSC organises coaching for all levels of sailors. Our dinghy programme is delivered on Saturday mornings in the dinghy park. It is available to existing and prospective members. It is not essential to own your own boat but you should turn up with suitable kit such as a wetsuit and a lifejacket. We may be able to help with some items. Contact Cormac for full details and schedule.

Formal sailing courses usually running for a week or over a weekend are provided by Wild Water Adventures in the School premises next to the dinghy park. Click on the button below for full details



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Tralee Bay Sailing Club


Co Kerry,


V92 T270