Is ocean sailing harder? Detailed insights from pro sailors


Sailing is hard. It is not very fancy and glossy, as shown in videos, and it’s not just sitting and sailing. However, there is a lot to do if you sail with a sailboat. Watching youtube videos can help you get an idea about sailing and the life of a sailor.
Along with watching videos, you can also use some e-sail simulators with challenges and sailing lessons to understand and even memorize sailboat parts and techniques. However, this will not help you sail on your own but can significantly help overall understanding of the process of sailing.

Sailing is rewarding as it gives the feeling of accomplishment along with fear. Over time you can overcome your fears and mistakes and enjoy the quiet journey.

How to learn sailing

If you are interested in learning sailing, you can never stop learning, and there are so many things to know. However, it requires more time and attention if you want to do it properly. So start with a smaller boat if you want to understand and learn better. But knowing your limits is essential while learning to sail.
We listed some safest methods here,

  1. Taught by people who know how to do it well, people with sailing backgrounds and who will sail often can provide the safest path to be a good sailor.
  2. You can take a Sailing course to master sailing.
  3. Joining the sailing club is also the best way to learn to sail safely.

Is cruising right for you?

First, you need to know how much are you interested in repairing things?
Now that doesn’t mean you need to hold a degree in engineering from some business school or be an expert mechanic, but if you have no interest in learning how to fix things and repair a boat, this probably isn’t the right thing for you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new or old boat. They all need lots of attention. If you aren’t able to fix your boat, it’s not the right choice for you to own one. If you say, I’ll take it someplace and have it repaired, that’s fine as long as you can afford it. There aren’t enough skilled workers to take care of the boats. You have to be hands-on.
Also, it might take up to six months to get something repaired by somebody else. So that’s a big issue in the marine trades right now.
In general, you need to do a lot of troubleshooting here and there to trace a wiring diagram, use a multimeter, or troubleshoot the fuel flow into a diesel engine. But, of course, if the engine has such significant problems that require a mechanic, you will not be able to do it anyway. Most of the stuff is easy to learn over time, but it takes interest and curiosity.

Owning and maintaining a boat is a series of to-do’s cost a lot of money. Having your finances in order is a good idea before you head off. Your boat value diminishes if you don’t spend that money on repairs and upgrades.

Overview of Boats

Here we go through some points we think you need to know about boats and sailboats.
Sailboats are slow. It is the most important thing to consider. It’s all about the journey and enjoying the ride rather than where you are going and reaching your destination on time.
In big boats with autopilot mode, you can take a little nap; if you are sailing on your own and having a small boat, you are going to be working most of the time when it’s moving, and also you have to do maintenance of the boat when not sailing.
Compared to Bigger boats, we can spend less on investment and maintenance, with less repair cost and time on small boats.

Sailboat vs. Powerboat

On the other hand, power boats are much faster than sailboats. Therefore, you can prefer powerboats to reach the destination on time.
Check the comparison made by us to get a good knowledge of how fast sailboats can go,

In the case of a powerboat to travel 10 miles away, we can cruise at a medium speed of 30 miles an hour at 26 knots. We can cover 10 miles in 20 minutes.
But sailboats will cover 10 miles at around 3.5 knots or 4 miles an hour, so overall it calculates about 2.5 hours.

Sailboat Motor:

Sailboats have inboard and outboard motors, but you don’t need a motor. That’s the beauty of sailing by a sailboat.
A smaller boat won’t have a motor. So you need to know the wind direction put up the sail right out the dock, and then make way.

Role of Wind and Wave in your Journey:

Sailboats nowadays apply various principles harnessing the power of both wind and wave.
The wind is the power source that pushes the boat is a common thing to understand, but boats can also go into the wind by using aerodynamics.
Just like an airplane, a wing sail can lift the boat into the wind, which allows us to go almost any direction we want to go except for directly into the wind.

Guide to Find wind direction:

Boats come with wind instruments to know the direction of the wind.

A wind arrow will be on top of the mast to show direction.

Wind Arrow points wind direction.


There are flags around the boat to show wind direction

Here pointed flag shows the wind direction


You can even find a smokestack if you have that option and
don’t forget the waves as well. It’s the wind that makes the waves. They can also tell. If you have nothing in your hands that points to the wind, you can look around with your head and try to find the point where you have equal amounts of wind in your right and left ear, and then you can know you are facing the wind.

Boats and Wind:

Sailboats can go in all directions except not straight into the wind. Therefore, the sails and sailors must be in different positions depending on the boat’s position to the wind.
To understand sail, you must first understand your boat’s relation to the wind.

For that, let’s consider a clock, for example,


If we are at the middle of the clock and the wind hits us from 12, then moving from the center to 10 and 2 is considered to be a no go zone where the wind is going to hit you straight if you try to move in that direction sails are going to luff in the wind called being in irons where you can’t move anywhere.
Between 2 and 3 you can move its called closed haul
And you can also go at 3 o’clock it’s called beam reach,
And between 4 and 6, it marks broad reach you can move anywhere there, and you can also go straight opposite to wind direction at 6 o’clock mark which is known to be as running or dead downwind
The same goes for the other side
You can reach the fastest point of sail in the clock above example. While wind is hitting us from 12, you can travel at a 90-degree angle, i.e., at 3 o’clock with wind and water reacting with each other, and you can achieve the fastest sail.

These are some basic things a beginner in sailing needs to know.

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