The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sailing: Everything You Need to Set Sail on New Adventures

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sailing: Everything You Need to Set Sail on New Adventures

by Diane Selkirk

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sailing: Everything You Need to Set Sail on New Adventures by Diane Selkirk

The idea of learning to sail excites the imagination with fantasies of a carefree, simple way to relax. But in reality, a lot of work goes into mastering the technical aspects of sailing and learning how to get from one place to another without ending up in the water. Other sailing books go into more detail than the casual learner wants or needs. The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Sailing gives readers just what they need to know to get started and enjoy their time on the water. In it, readers get:
- A primer on the different types of sailboats and tips for buying or renting
- Detailed descriptions of the parts and controls of a sailboat
- The roles and jobs of sailor and crew
- How to get the boat into the water (if it isn't already)
- The mechanics of sailing
- Departing, anchoring, and docking
- Handling, navigating, and weather
- Sailing safety and emergency preparedness
- The rules of the sailing road
- Backup plans: engines and oars
- Storing, hauling, and maintaining a sailboat

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615643257
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Sold by: DK
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Diane Selkirk is a sailor who writes and a writer who sails. She is editor-at-large of Yachting Times magazine and a contributor to Yachting Times, Sail, Cruising World, and Discover Boating. After learning to sail as a child, she went on to race sailboats and teach dinghy sailing, coastal cruising, and coastal navigation for the Canadian Yachting Association. Her teaching credits also include working with a team of young disabled sailors in US Sailing's Junior Olympic Sailing Program. Diane and her family recently sailed their 40' catamaran 10,000 nautical miles from Vancouver to Mexico and across the South Pacific, taking a 36-month sabbatical to explore Mexico and the Pacific Islands before settling in Australia.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Getting Started in Sailing 1

1 Before You Set Sail 3

Speaking the Language 3

Parts of the Hull 4

Standing and Running Rigging 5

Nautical Words and Commands 8

Finding a Ride 9

Learn to Sail by Chartering 10

Racing as Apprentice Crew 11

Boats and Their Infinite Variety 13

Common Boats for New Sailors 13

2 Weather and Whatnot 19

Making Sense of the Weather 19

Where to Get the Weather 20

Weather Words 22

Reading the Sky 24

Working with the Wind 26

Wind Direction: Figuring It Out 26

The Beaufort Scale 28

Points of Sail: How the Wind Moves Your Boat 29

True Versus Apparent Wind 33

3 Tides, Currents, and You 35

Making Sense of Tides and Currents 36

Tidal Words 36

Learning to Predict the Tides 37

Using a Tide Table 37

Understanding Currents 39

Reading a Current Table 40

Navigating in Tidal Currents 40

Getting There from Here 42

Part 2 Basic Boat Handling 43

4 Basic Sailing Skills 45

Raising the Sails 46

Preparing the Main for Sailing 46

Preparing the Jib for Sailing 48

Setting Sail 49

Trimming Sails 54

Tacking Where You're Going 55

Jibing Onto a New Course 58

Reefing (or Reducing Sails) 60

When to Reef and How to Reef 60

Increasing Sail 62

Heaving To 63

Recovering from a Capsize 64

5 Heading Out 67

Developing a Predeparture Checklist You'll Use 68

Leaving the Dock 70

A Few Notes About Steering 70

Working With Wind and Current 71

Motoring Back to the Dock 72

Docking at a Mooring 73

Setting Off from a Launching Ramp 74

Returning to the Launching Ramp 76

6 Anchoring Your Boat 79

How to Choose an Anchorage 80

Choosing an Anchor and Setting It Right 82

Anchoring and Staying Put-Until You're Ready to Go 85

Anchoring Words 85

Setting and Retrieving Your Anchor 86

Helping Hand Signals 88

7 Sailing Safely 89

Take a Safe Boating Class 90

Legally Required (and Good to Have) Safety Equipment 90

Voluntary Safety Checks 92

Additional Safety Equipment 93

Personal Equipment 94

Don't Become a Statistic 95

Getting Out of Trouble 96

Calling for Assistance 96

Managing Bad Weather 98

Getting a Tow 99

8 Coping with Emergencies 101

Running Aground 102

Reducing Draft 104

Kedging Off 105

Taking On Water 106

Engine Problems 108

Lost Power 109

Overheating 109

Dead Engine 109

Bad Vibration 110

Tools and Spares to Have on Hand 110

Torn Sails and Other Rig Damage 111

Sail Damage 112

Sheets and Halyards 112

Broken Shrouds and Stays 112

Fire Aboard 113

Man Overboard 114

Step 1 Alert the Crew 115

Step 2 Get Buoyancy to the Victim 115

Step 3 Keep the Victim in Sight 116

Step 4 Return to the Victim Quickly 116

Step 5 Connect the Victim to the Boat 118

Step 6 Get the Victim Back on Board 118

Step 7 Call the Coast Guard 119

Abandon Ship 119

Part 3 Getting Where You're Going 121

9 Paper Navigating 123

The Tools of Navigation 124

Basic Navigating Tools 124

Basic Navigating Books and Publications 126

Chart Basics 127

Title Block 128

Latitude and Longitude 129

Scale 130

Chart Details 131

Using a Compass 131

True North and Magnetic North 133

Measuring Your Boat's Deviation and Adjusting the Compass 134

Getting Your Bearings 134

Dead Reckoning 135

Fixing Your Position 136

Setting a Course Using Magnetic Bearings Only 138

Converting True Courses to Magnetic Courses 140

10 Marine Electronics 143

Tips for Using Your GPS 144

Tips for Using a Chart Plotter 146

Getting the Most Out of Your Depth Sounder 148

VHF Radios 150

Gizmos and Gadgets or Safety Essentials? 154

Radar 154

AIS 155

SPOT 155

Autopilot 156

11 Rules of the (Watery) Road 159

Buoys and Markers 160

Lateral Buoys and Marks 161

Function (Bifurcation) Buoys and Marks 163

Fairway and Isolated Danger Buoys and Marks 163

Cardinal Buoys and Marks 164

Additional Buoys and Marks 166

Lights and Their Sequences 166

Rules of the Road 168

Types of Vessels 169

Crossing Situations 170

Sound Signals 173

Navigation Lights 173

12 Learning the Ropes 179

All About Rope 180

Rope Words 181

Rope Construction 182

Six Essential Sailing Knots and a Hitch 183

Figure Eight Knot 184

Reef Knot 184

Bowline 185

Clove Hitch 187

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches 188

Sheet Bend 189

The Cleat Hitch 190

Storing Rope 191

Protecting Against Chafe 193

13 Leaving Her Shipshape 195

Clean and Secure 196

Exterior Cleaning 196

Interior Cleaning 198

Developing a Maintenance Routine 199

Engine and Fuel System 199

Dinghy 200

Interior 201

Deck and Topsides 202

Electronics and Safety 203

Hauling Out 203

Washing and Inspecting 204

Painting 205

Longer-Term Storage 206

14 Common Basic Repairs 209

Repairing Fiberglass 210

Locating a Deck Leak 213

Repairing Common Leaks 214

Pre-Existing Holes 214

Hatches, Windows, and Ports 214

Chainplates 216

Stanchions and Deck Hardware 216

Replacing Electronics 217

Basic Boat Wiring Tips 217

Installing a New Cabin Light 218

Replacing a Halyard 219

Replacing an Impeller 221

15 Finding the Right Boat 223

Choosing the Best Type of Boat for You 224

What Kind of Boat Can You Afford? 226

Boat Loans and Insurance 228

Storage 229

Maintenance and Running Costs 230

Outfitting 231

New Versus Pre-Owned 232

Where to Find the Boat of Your Dreams 233

Boat Shows 233

Boat Reviews 233

Boat Brokers 233

What to Look For in Your Future Boat 234

Getting a Second Opinion: Surveys and Sea Trials 235


A Glossary 237

B Resources 249

Index 257

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