Notes on sailing.

"The fastest way from point A to B is a straight line. Adjust your sails and sail a straight line."

Types of Wind

Three types of wind are to be considered on a sailing boat.

The true wind can be seen even when moving by watching out for the smalles patters on a wave; the capillary waves are always perpendicular to the true wind.

Everything on board, such as the tell tales show the apparent wind.


Sailpower comes from four elements:

Sail Twist

Strong winds, especially when sailing close-hauled upwind, can heel the boat to an extent that is detrimental to the speed of the boat, as the top of the main sail works too hard. Loosening the boom wang will lift the boom, effectively shifting the wind force from the top of the sail towards the bottom. The shape of the sail will twist slightly and the heel will decrease.

Types of Motions of a Boat


A manouver to halt a boat.
TODO: add illustration.


A short selection of basic sailing vocabulary in German and English.

sailboat parts

piloting a sailboat


Notes on finding waypoints

The north star Polaris is directly above the North Pole.
As viewed from the Polaris, Earth turns counterclockwise.

Distances are measured in degrees, minutes and seconds.

1 Nautical Mile = 1.8 Kilometers
1 Minute = 1 Nautical Mile
1° of Latitude = 60 Minutes

From the equator are 90° North and 90° to the poles.
From the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England it's 180° to the East and 180° to the West. The date line at 180° goes through Fiji.

Using a Sextant

A sextant measures the degrees of a celestial object like the sun to the horizon.


Notes on weather analysis and forecasts

"Wind is air molecules seeking equilibrium."

Air travels from high pressure zones to low pressure zones, which is caused by uneven warming of the Earth's surface by the sun.

During the day the sun warms up the land. There, the warm air rises, creating a low pressure on the surface and clouds in higher altitudes. The colder air from the sea is pulled towards the land to balance the low pressure zone, creating a sea breeze.

Coriolis Effect

A deflection pattern caused by the difference in Earth's rotation speed: it rotates faster around the equator than around the poles. Fluids, air currents and other objects that aren't firmly attached to the ground have the tendency to turn right on the northern hemisphere and left on the southern hemisphere. This causes many of the large scale weather patterns, such as the rotation direction of storms.

Creating an Affected Forecast


Some basic and useful knots.

"Ropes and knots are among the most ancient and useful technologies ever developed by man, predating the wheel, the axe and probably also the use of fire."
- Kris De Decker


Reef Knot or Kreuzknoten
Palstek or Bowline
Fast method to make a Palstek using a Slipstek as a base.
Figure of Eight
Double Figure of Eight
Clove Hitch
Finished Clove Hitch | Webeleinstek