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How Sailing Works


Sailing: Cheat Sheet
Ancient sailors first harnessed the power of the wind to power their boats.
Ancient sailors first harnessed the power of the wind to power their boats.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Stuff You Need to Know:

  • Sailing is ranked as the 17th fastest-growing sport in the United States, and an estimated 4 million Americans are recreational sailors.
  • The five essential skills every sailor should know are sail setting, boat balance, fore and aft trim, position of the centerboard and course made good.
  • Safety first: Be true to your skill level, determine the wind direction and file a float plan before setting out.
  • There are two types of sailboat races: team (fleet) racing, where two to four boats compete together, and match racing, where two boats compete head to head.

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