Welcome to sailing!  There is a lot to learn.  This page contains some of the material we use to teach sailing and maritime skills.  Check them out below.

Boat parts-answers

Sailing Skills Checklist

The basic boat handling series covers a range of skills, and we have created a handy Sailing Skills tracking log to show what you will learn and allows you to track your progress.


These are links to a knot website:

How do sailboats Work?


One of the most significant things you can do to prepare for sailing is to start noticing and seeing the wind. After all, it is how we move the boat. Where is the wind? Where is it going? Can you find the wind with your eyes closed?

Below is a sample course of a sailboat sailing in a circle. The following worksheets have a couple exercises to get you started. Use a Point of Sail Diagram as a reference while doing the exercises: Worksheet 1 and Worksheet 2 (Click to view or download)


Tacking & Gibing

These diagrams show some of the basics of tacking and gybing.

Watch tack-gybe
Tack-gibe Sail trim

Crew Overboard Maneuvers

These diagrams show the maneuvers required to return to a person “Bob”, who has fallen off the boat.  These maneuvers are also useful for many sailing situations.

The diagram on the left is for when you are heading into the wind, and the one on the right is for when you are heading down wind. You can download both here, COBa and COBb, and the steps are outline and numbered.

COB-down wind COB-upwind

Books to Read

We suggest a couple books for reference (see below) and a great place to get these books is Captain Nautical Supply, located near the 15th ave bridge between Fremont & Ballard.

The Complete Sailor Sail and Rig Tuning

The Internet is also full of resources that allow you to learn sailing terminology and the science behind sailing. Below are several resources that we use. We encourage you to follow your curiosity and find out more.

Boat Terminology

This site provides a description and location of common boat terms.

Sailing Games

Follow Sailboat Racing

  • Video of an Olympic race.America’s Cup: some of the fastest boats in the world with great commentary.
  • Volvo Open 70:  an around-the-world sailboat race

Nautical Facts

Ever wonder about the origin of the phrases three sheets to the wind or cat’s out of the bag? Check out some of these sayings and many more.

Interesting in learning more? Visit our Sailing Lessons page to see what we offer.