Using the Jib. Boats are designed to be balanced when being blown sideways.
is in the middle, dragging in the water
, the fore and aft sail area is balanced around that, the small jib a long way forwards, the mainsail
bigger but close in to the keel
That balances the boat so little rudder
is needed to steer a straight course.
Boat speed through the water
then allows the keel to act like a wing stopping the sideways movement pretty much, until the boat heels, spilling some of the forces and allowing the boat to slide sideways again. Each boat has it's own idea on best angle of heel, and each sail set has it's own mind too. Reefing is reducing area to get the best heel angle or comfort (dry boat).
Tacking is about running near the edge of sailing into the wind, sails full and just fluttering on the back edge, turn into wind smoothly, pull the jib sheet through, collect the boat and away you go again.
For a beginner it's much much easier to take a crew with you. Do one job each. Rudder
or sails. The skipper
decides when to tack and calls 'ready about'. Both check that they are ready to go about. Helm
checks 'No other boats in the area, safe to turn, wind and waves ok.' Sail checks sheets
are ready, coils are not going to snag anyones ankles, the wind is good with no gusts coming in soon (fluffy water/dark clouds etc). Crew reply 'ready'.
calls 'going about' and Helm
begins the turn smoothly, Sail centres the traveller on the main and pulls it in tight and locks it.
Helm tightens the turn as the sails flutter, Sail holds the jib as it was until the wind is pushing it past the mast
, then pulls it through as the main swings across.
Two seconds later and it's tidy up, get the course to the wind right and balance the sails for the new course. Helm has to get the tell tales streaming level on both sides of the sails asking the Sail to trim so both are right together. Main should be tightened so the traces off the back edge flutter gently when the jib tell tales are just right.
Now, for a beginner to do all that in five seconds is near impossible. But after a few clean tacks it all begins to make sense and Sail can be thrown overboard
, or set to swabbing the decks until it all goes wrong again. Best thing of all is talking about what went wrong, not what went right.
I do expect a lot of stick from experienced sailors but this is how I learnt.