Learn To Sail: Tack & Jibe Edition

If you want to learn how to sail to prep for a summer family vacation or as a family adventure at any warm time of the year, you need to learn the two basic turning maneuvers: jibing and tacking. Mastering these sailing techniques requires an understanding of wind direction, a knowledge of sailing terms, and an ability to navigate the assisting features.  When performing a tack or jibe the goal is to shift the boom of the boat from one side to the other. Each turning technique is simply a turning of the sail in the opposite direction. 

Step 1: Determine Wind Speed & Directionlearn to sail Lake Lanier

Most sailboats have access to a variety of wind instruments, which measure wind speed and direction. The next step to sailing mastery is catching the wind at just the right moment. Learn to master the boom with professional sailing lessons in order to ride the wind at your optimum speed heading towards the desired direction. The boom is the horizontal pole extending from the bottom of the mast. You have to adjust the boom towards the direction of the wind so that the sailboat is able to harness the wind power in order to move in forward or backward directions. This sailing trick is used when a sailing vessel is reaching a downwind turn and pushes its stern through the wind in order to make the wind change the sailboat’s direction from one side of the boat to the other. 

Step 3: How to Tack

Tacking is more common than jibing since it involves turning the sailboat directly into the wind. Tacking is a sailing maneuver that is the opposite of a jibing turn. During a tack, the bow of the sailboat sails into the wind. Start by trimming the new jib sheet and continue turning until your sails are full on the new desired track. Keep turning the boat as the sails begin to luff. Next you will release the jib sheet, while the crew and the skipper switch sides. 

Step 2: How to Jibe

Jibing is a sailing maneuver that is the opposite of a tacking turn. However, during a jibe, the boat’s stern crosses through the wind rather than the bow. Begin by turning your boat so that the stern comes to the wind from the starting side so that your boat is dead downwind, the wind is now at the center of the stern. At the same time center the boom, then steer the stern through the wind while releasing the boom and trim the main over to the new side. Once the main is out on the new jibe trim the jib on the new side in order to complete your turn.

Sunrise Sail is a sailing club and academy located on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. Sunrise Sail offers a general sailing club, sailing lessons, sailing charters and memberships during all seasons of the year including Sundays and holidays. Call to meet the Sunrise Sailing team and fit a once in a lifetime sailing lesson into your schedule (770)-271-7444. Learn to sail or become a member of our sailing club!

Frequently Asked Questions about Sailing Lessons

How much are sailing lessons?

Our single private lesson price is $495, plus $39 for your membership to ASA 101. We offer a multi student discount of $395 per student, plus the $39 membership fee. 

How many students can be in one sailing lesson session?

Sunrise Sailing Academy can only be held for no more than 4 students at a time.