New to sailing? Let us help you master the basics with these navigation tips and instructions for beginners.


The most important advice to keep in mind for beginners is to practice in ideal conditions of light winds and little traffic.
Follow safe boating guidelines – there are certain basic principles for safe boating that go without saying, no matter how experienced you are.

Research wind and weather conditions – check the weather forecast and be prepared for what the weather may bring. (See different forecasts,, Be sure to bring adequate provisions, clothing and basic equipment as needed. The basics of sailing mean always being prepared. Conditions may change in a short time. Maintain VHF Radio channel 16 to follow the parts.

Familiarize yourself with sail control – the best sailors are those who are able to adjust sail settings to take full advantage of different wind and water conditions.

Control the boom at all times – some of the most common sailing injuries are the result of not being aware when the boom is about to swing.

Learn basic navigation terms – be sure to familiarize yourself with basic navigation terms.

Practice makes perfect – invest in a sailing course, books, manuals and learn from experienced instructors. No one is born taught. It is much more difficult and too risky to learn to sail without the help of experienced people.

Fundamentals of navigation:

8 nautical and boating terms that everyone should know

If you are learning to sail, these terms are an overview of the basic concepts with which you should familiarize yourself.

1. Bow – the front part of the ship
2. Stern – the rear part of a ship
3. Port – the port is always the left side of the ship when facing the bow.
4. Starboard – starboard is always the right side of the ship when facing forward… A trick (The hand of ESCribir—> Estri or)
5. Leeward – the side of the boat away from the wind. This is a fundamental safety concept.
6. Windward – the side of the boat closest to the wind.
7. Boom – The boom is the horizontal pole extending from the bottom of the mast.
8. Rudder – located under the boat, the rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass or metal that is used to steer the boat. The rudder is not the “steering wheel”.

Navigation tips – navigation rules

The basics of navigation means being familiar with the essential rules of priority navigation as well. There are different sailing instructions on passage priorities for sailboats, as opposed to motorboats. Even if the sea is very large, it is common to find yourself in situations where you have to maneuver. Since vessels end up departing and arriving at the same ports, and at similar times, there are usually situations where control is necessary.

Here is a useful overview of the basic navigation rules:

Always keep an adequate visual and auditory vigilance to avoid collisions with other vessels.
2. Maintain a safe speed at all times so that you maintain control of your boat.
3. Use common sense when assessing the risk of collision with other boats near and around you.
4. Port tack gives way to starboard tack: If two sailboats are approaching and the wind is on a different side of each boat, then the sailing rules are that the sailboat with the wind on the port tack must always give way to the other.
5. Windward gives way to leeward: If two sailboats are approaching and the wind is on the same side of each boat, then the sailing rules are that the boat that is to windward (the direction of the wind) must give right of way to the boat that is to leeward (the opposite direction of the wind).

The last two maneuvers can be simplified with the B maneuvers (Windward and Port)6. If you are at risk of colliding with another ship and all else fails, then the agreed sailing rules are that the ship with the other ship to starboard must give way.
7. Any boat overtaking another must always keep out of the way of the boat being overtaken.
8. A sailboat should always keep out of the way of any boat that:
a) is without government
b) is restricted in its ability to maneuver,
c) is engaged in fishing.
10. Non-commercial motorboats usually yield to sailboats, unless the sailboat overtakes them. However, general sailing instructions are also that sailboats should try to keep clear of larger vessels and ferries which may find it more difficult to slow down or change direction, especially in narrow channels.

Common sense must prevail in all cases, and prevention and prudence are fundamental.

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